Tucked away in the middle of lush, green countryside, the Coatesville villa Kate Holland shares with husband Jon and 3-year-old daughter Rylee is a genuine oasis, with loads of colonial-style charm.
"It's our dream home," says Kate who is editor-in-chief of Magnolia Rouge wedding magazine.
"We have all of this beautiful peace and privacy, yet we're just 10 minutes' drive from the mall at Albany — it's hard to believe, really."
Surrounded by mature trees, the villa looks as if it's been on the section forever but Kate believes it was moved from Milford, possibly in the 1980s, and has no idea how it was driven up the long private driveway but suspects that it may have arrived in parts.
"The owners then must have added to the house, because you can see where the ceiling height changes," she says.
With original floorboards and typical villa features such as leadlight windows, battened ceilings and exquisite exterior fretwork — plus modern advantages that include central heating, the house has proved an ideal setting for Kate's impressive interior design skills and she's taken great pleasure in styling it to suit her family.
The main living space consists of a modern country-style kitchen, which has lots of cupboards and a generous granite bench, and an open-plan living and dining area with french doors leading to the picturesque wraparound veranda outside. A wood burner provides winter warmth.
Down the wide, bright hallway there are three double bedrooms: Rylee's room, a guest room, and another which is currently used as an office — plus a family bathroom. All are decorated in relaxing earth-toned shades.
The master bedroom includes a bath — and one of Kate's very favourite features: the ensuite shower. It's cleverly located in such a way that bathers can enjoy extensive views across the surrounding green valley.
"I don't know who ever thought of doing this, but it's really fantastic and a great way to start the day," she says.
Kate has maintained a spectacular garden with raised beds for vegetables, copious citrus trees and many large pots full of blooming seasonal flowers.
A lawn surrounds the house and Kate and Jon have identified the perfect spot for a lap-pool. "If we were staying here that's something we would definitely do," she says.
There's also a huge triple garage, with separate laundry.
A number of nice cafes are within easy driving distance of the house and several excellent childcare establishments.
Kate says: "We're really only selling now because we've decided that at this stage of her life our daughter might benefit from living in a more urban environment — closer to our families."
In years to come she, Jon and Rylee could well try country living again.
"We've absolutely loved it here and while it's a great family home I also think it will appeal to middle-aged couples — maybe empty nesters — who want the best of both worlds: a lovely house with a big section, away from, yet close to city amenities.
Kate says that by leaving early, Jon can be at his city office in 25 minutes.
"People imagine that it's a big commute but it really isn't."
59 ROBINSON RD, COATESVILLE
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 3 parking spaces.
• Land: 1.4ha, House: 228sq m (inc garage).
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 12.30-1.15pm.
• Auction: Thurs 15 Nov, 1.30pm, Takapuna.
• Schools: Coatesville Primary, Albany Junior and Senior School.
• Contact: Ailsa McArthur, Bayleys, 027 298 4000, oneroof.co.nz/1208769