Linda and Michael Buttle describe their decade at Taupaki as a journey of redevelopment.

The couple bought this 4.7ha property, named Oakbrae, attracted to the land which offered the chance to further their equestrian lifestyle.

When they moved here with their son and daughter, there was an older farmhouse, a cottage and some stables.

Stage one of the redevelopment was the equestrian facilities.

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"We started building the barn at the back of the property, using equestrian design and construction specialists Harrison Lane," says Linda.

The barn has five open stalls, two stable boxes, tack, covers and feed rooms, and a truck and boat bay. It also includes a loft.

"We have a pool table up there, room for a TV, a big lounge/open plan area. That has been great over the years for parties."

The next project was building an arena next to the stables.

"It is a 60 x 30 floodlit area that enables riding at night after school in the winter," says Linda.

With the equestrian facilities completed, and post & rail fencing enclosing the 10 paddocks, the couple turned their attention to renovating the property's two-bedroom cottage.

"We renovated, reroofed, insulated and put air conditioning in there. And then we lived in there while we built the new house," she says.

Their brief to architect Geoff Luke was for a house and pool complex (with heated pool, spa pool and dressing room) to fit in well with the rest of the buildings on the property.

"We wanted it to look homogeneous. and we wanted a modern, contemporary farmhouse look," says Linda.

The old farmhouse was moved off the property and they moved into their new home a bit over three years ago.

The north-facing 473sq m house is built of pine weatherboard and concrete block, with a steel Euroline roof.

The cottage is board and batten, as is the barn.

"We made them to look the same and they are all painted Resene Sea Fog."

Michael loves to entertain and Linda loves to cook so it was also important that their new home's main living areas, inside and outside, accommodate these passions.

The kitchen is a chef's dream with large workspaces, Calacatta and Corian benchtops, Gaggenau, Wolf, F&P and Miele appliances.

"And we wanted covered outdoor entertaining area with outdoor fireplace and infrared heating, so we could extend our time of eating outside and having barbecues in the summer," says Linda.

"I designed the kitchen's big island, so my guests can see me cooking when we are entertaining. I don't like to hide away. Also, we have the scullery so when we have Christmas or big parties, Michael can go out the back and do the dishes."

"And I can be hidden from the guests!" says Michael.

Linda especially likes the flow of the living areas to the pool. "From lots of rooms you can see the pool and the pool house and the gardens."

The living areas are in the centre of the home, and the house is almost a U-shape facing the pool.

"The living area is the crown and glory with the kitchen, family dining, all in one. It is a beautiful room with a vaulted ceiling, and lovely acoustics," says Linda.

The four bedrooms and three bathrooms are in their own wings for privacy. The children's area has its own lounge and TV area.

Tailormade Hitachi air-conditioning units, the lighting and Integra sound system throughout the home are designed to be minimalist.

The couple are selling now that their children are adults.

"It was mainly for our daughter who we came out here for the equestrian lifestyle. But I also have been interested in horses all my life.

"Now our daughter is working, she is not riding much, and it's time for us to move back into town. Our son lives in Australia, so it is just the three of us rattling around."

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