A creative director and his aesthetically savvy wife were drawn to this elevated Kingsland villa's level flow out to a family friendly backyard.

Gina and Nick Riley already had son Zachary (now 4) and were six months pregnant with Sebastian (now 20 months) when they moved into this 1912 villa two years ago.

They'd come from Ponsonby, where their previous home didn't particularly suit young ones.

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Gina says: "I loved the flow here and could see the kids playing outside so easily. There's no sense of separation."

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The villa already had street appeal when they bought it, but they've done a considerable amount of remodelling and redecorating inside.

Gina, a classical ballerina in her youth, has an eye for aesthetics, thanks to having studied graphic design and worked in fashion, including textile design.

She says: "The interior felt quite a lot darker when we moved in, with dark wooden floors and deep cream-coloured paint.

"We didn't realise quite how dark it felt until we started painting it white."

They park on the street but have resource consent to create front off-street parking.

A fence, hedge and pedestrian gate define the pretty front garden with steps up to the covered veranda, where the family live with weimaraner dog Edi and silver tabby Paris.

Gina says: "The high stud helps give it that really light and spacious feeling inside."

They created a lighter, more contemporary feeling by blonding formerly dark timber floors, which start in the hallway and continue through rear living areas.

The front bedroom and its bay window has become the master bedroom, complete with walk-in wardrobe.

Gina says: "This is one of my favourite rooms, with its lovely sense of elevation and views to the Sky Tower and the city."

Zachary's bedroom across the hall opens to the front veranda. A child gate outdoors on the veranda provides a self-contained indoor-outdoor play space. The third bedroom is behind the master.

The hallway with heat pump opens up into a light and airy open-plan living-dining-kitchen containing a second heat pump. Off this is a lounge.

The stylish new contemporary kitchen complements the easy entertaining capability with effortless flow on to decks and level lawn.

The kitchen has brass handles, stainless appliances and fish-scale-shaped tiles on its splash-back.

It has plenty of storage, backed up by additional storage in the roof space.

It is accessed via the hallway's pull-down ladder stairs and has standing room and a skylight.

Gina says: "It's so easy to nip up there and get things we only need occasionally."

There's a big storage cupboard in the bathroom, which has been remodelled with marble-look tiles and an in-cupboard laundry.

Across the rear deck's alfresco dining expanse is a separate studio with bifold windows, now used as a home office but equally suitable for guests, teens, or a hobby space.

Gina says: "These grounds are private, fenced and safe, and because the villa is elevated and slopes down at the rear, we get good sun."

The couple expected this would be their home for a while, but having enjoyed the renovation process they are ready for the next step.

22 SECOND AVE, KINGSLAND
• 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 0 parking spaces.
• Land 404sq m, house 136sq m.
• Price: Above CV of $1.4 million.
• Auction: 2pm Wed, Sept 12 (unless sold prior).
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 2-2.30pm.
• Schools: Newton Central School, Kowhai Intermediate, MAGs, Western Springs College, Auckland Girls' Grammar.
• Contact: Chris Batchelor, 021 217 7026, Bayleys, oneroof.co.nz/1185640