This home integrates both the native timber treasured by a Thames family and the passion of the woman it was created for, despite her only getting to spend three nights here.
The home, designed by architect Peter Sargisson, was commissioned by Marie Managh, widow of a long-time Thames timber industry identity, Keith Managh.
Marie moved into it last year, three days before leaving on a Mediterranean cruise. She died, aged 76, while overseas.
One of Marie's five children, daughter Mary Hamilton, says: "Our family history ties into timber having been used so beautifully in this house."
Mary's grandparents established Thames Timber, initially running a bush gang to mill kauri, rimu, matai and kahikatea in the Coromandel.
Mary says: "My grandfather had kept some of the native timber they had on hand when the government put a stop to native timber logging in the '70s.
"Some of that native timber has been used in this home, in cabinetry and other accents made by local cabinetmaker Brendan Moxon."
Marie and her husband Keith raised their children in a hillside house down the road from here.
But after Keith died, Marie wanted to live on a level section and bought a 945sq m site bearing a 70s brick-and-tile house.
She chose Sargisson, as he'd designed her beach house at Maritai and other extended family homes.
Mary says: "Peter has a real passion for timber. He did an amazing job of positioning windows to focus on views of the hills, not the neighbours.
"My brother John worked tirelessly with my mother on the design and build of this house.
"He said to Mum: 'You build the house of your dreams.' And that's exactly what she did."
Marie worked closely with interior designer Sylvia Sandford. The two-level weatherboard home is five minutes' walk from town and on a non-thoroughfare street. A portico over its side entranceway provides cover, and the double-garage has internal access.
From the double-height foyer a timber staircase leads upwards, while a gallery-style hall unfolds to the south.
Mary says: "The front open-plan living-dining-kitchen is really generous because family was so important to my mother who loved cooking and having family over."
The kitchen and its marble bench flows out to the covered front deck with adjustable side shutters. Sarked pine ceilings, incorporating adjustable skylights, and American oak flooring are interior hallmarks.
An additional lounge opens to a side deck and two fireplaces compliment central heating.
Mary says: "My mother didn't want to go into a retirement village; she wanted to see out her days here.
"It has level access and the ground floor is wheelchair friendly. She wanted all the details right, such as central heating ducts made of wood to blend in with the floors."
Most interior doors are handcrafted in kauri, with rimu featuring in bathrooms and the kitchen. The master bedroom, with Italian-tiled en suite plus dressing room, an office, powder room and laundry, complete this level. Upstairs has views, two bedrooms and a family bathroom.
Mary says: "As a family we don't dwell on the fact she only got to spend three nights here because she was creative and absolutely loved the process."
104 CLARENCE ST, THAMES
• 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 3 parking spaces.
• Land 954sq m, house 295sq m.
• Auction: Onsite Sat 17 Nov, noon (unless sold prior).
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 11–11.45am.
• Schools: Thames South School, St Francis School, Thames High School.
• Contact: Pip White, 021 618 888 and Tony White, 021 221 8888, harcourts.co.nz//TRU3466