An opportunity to work from home started Nicola and Andrew Betts thinking about escaping the city to live permanently at Omaha. They'd holidayed in the area for a decade and there was a family holiday house there, but the idea of a home of their own really appealed.

"We saw this place, fell in love and bought it that same weekend," Nicola says. "And no, it wasn't an impulse buy, it was just meant to be."

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The weather on the day they first looked at the award-winning build was pretty average, and they were amazed that the house was warm from bottom to top, and the first floor was light-filled from front to back. Nicola liked that while the design was very modern, it worked as a family home which was important, as the couple still had a daughter living at home.

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The house was designed by Joseph Long of LTD Architectural to combine the elegance and sophistication of contemporary living with the practicality of a beach lifestyle. The entry foyer sets the tone with its timber and iron feature floating staircase and full height concrete block walls. Other special features are oak timber floors, over-height joinery and high ceilings.

"I loved the concrete and the structural elements," Nicola says.

Upstairs the open plan living area offers plenty of space for family living and entertaining.

The kitchen/dining/lounge accommodates large numbers of people and the dining table seats 10. The stylish kitchen and adjoining concealed butler's pantry have granite benches and high-end appliances, and Nicola finds it ideal when entertaining.

"The kitchen really works because the island style means you're not shut off from anyone.

And it's a really big kitchen — I've collected more kitchen gear than I'd ever had in my life."

Also on this level is the large master suite with a walk-in wardrobe and a spacious ensuite with both shower and bath, a second lounge/media room, a concealed office area and a guest powder room.

There's a west-facing deck here too, which Nicola and Andrew added on. "We knew when we looked at it that we'd be able to put a deck on the back and we did that. It overlooks the golf course and we sit at about the 5th tee with views over the course to the estuary.

"The sunset comes from that direction too, and many a merry night has been had on the back deck."

Downstairs are three large bedrooms including the main guest room with its own ensuite and walk-in wardrobe, a separate family bathroom, and a stylish laundry that packs a real punch with burnt orange cabinetry set against an industrial concrete block wall. "We all know it sucks to do laundry but when you come in here you actually don't feel like you're
in the laundry," Nicola says.

She's grateful they've had as much time as they have in the house. "We've been here longer than we thought we would and it's been such a treat." Now that their youngest have left home to go flatting, they're preparing to move back to the city. But Nicola knows finding a house that comes up to the standard of this one will be a difficult task. "I think this house will have made us pretty fussy about what comes next."

46 MANGATAWHIRI RD, OMAHA
• 4 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 1 parking spaces.
• Land 579sq m, floor area 279sq m, plus outdoor deck.
• Inspect: Today 1-1.45pm.
• Auction: Nov 14.
• Schools: Mahurangi College, Matakana School.
• Contact: Victoria Turner, (021) 795099 Bayleys, OneRoof.co.nz/1207875