When Ross Burgess began the renovation of the house he bought near Waiwera, it was all about the view. So certain was he about the purpose of the refurbishment that he started it within days of owning the property.
Sitting high above the coast on the edge of the Waiwera Scenic Reserve, the house already had extraordinary sea views when Ross bought it.
At the time he was living down on the beach and didn't like his waterfront location.
"It was noisy, there were always people going past and the house was full of sand," he says. "I wasn't really looking but then I saw this for sale and the view just took me. It's the most expansive view I've seen and everyone who comes here says the same."
He admits he bought it for the living area that occupies a hexagon overlooking the sea.
"Basically I just wanted this one end of the house."
Fortunately, there was more to the place than that. Significantly more, in fact. At almost 500sq m, the floor plan includes the open plan kitchen, dining and living area, six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a pool room, a laundry, a self-contained apartment and five garages.
Built in the 90s, it's a substantial two-storey home of brick, plaster and tile construction, and when Ross bought it, it was in need of updating.
The scope of the project may have been daunting had he not had a firm vision he was working towards: a totally open plan house where everything would be done to make the views appear even bigger. Surprisingly, it took only four months.
His first step was to put in a new kitchen, set at the back of the hexagon but connected to the view by a combination of floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and windows.
"I have a nephew who does kitchens and we were just going to refurbish it, but it was timber and a bit dark so we decided we'd replace the whole thing."
Big, off-white ceramic floor tiles, used throughout the area, set the scene for the white kitchen with its black tiled splashbacks, pantry and island bench. Ross admits he more often cooks on the barbecue than in the kitchen, but says it's great for entertaining a crowd.
The adjoining living area is sparsely furnished with seating angled to take in the views.
The new paint, lighting and electric blinds also enhance the outlook. "Even just replacing the drapes with blinds made the windows look so much bigger," Ross says.
"The water views are great. They're always changing and there's always something going on down there. At night it is spectacular. You can see down to the city and all over the place."
Above the living area is the master bedroom, which shares the views and has its own balcony, accessed through two sets of sliders and protected by a glass balustrade. A wide hallway links the hexagon with the other wing of the house, which contains garaging, a pool room, a self-contained apartment, bedrooms and bathrooms.
"I didn't really want a house this size," Ross says.
"But it came with the views. We'll look for something smaller next time because we'd like to do more travel, and this house is not exactly a lock-up-and-leave."