Amanul and Oxana Haque came to New Zealand looking for a family home, and when they found this property at Warkworth, everyone in the family got what they wanted.

"My husband wanted land, I wanted big gardens, and the kids wanted a horse," Oxana says.

"We'd already looked at about a hundred properties in the area and when we saw this one it really appealed."



The big, cedar-clad chalet house, built in Austrian style, spoke to the couple, who were used to houses of this style in Europe.

The house was built in the mid-90s by a German couple who had lived near the Austrian border and found the houses there picturesque.

They planned clean lines, big spaces, and a light and airy feel, and then set about finding the materials they wanted to use.

Macrocarpa was the timber of choice because it was cost-effective and easily available, and they sourced supplies from timberyards around the region, having the lots cut to length.

The rich colour of the timber adds to the warm, solid look of the interior Oxana and Amanul so admire.

They are also grateful to the original owner's skills as a watchmaker, which they believe contributed to the attention to detail that went into the house.

He crafted the brass bolts and plates which join the interior posts to the ceiling beams, laid the tongue-and-groove flooring, built the open tread staircase and attached the timber sarking.

The house is clad in dark-stained cedar with a traditional green corrugated iron roof and matching green joinery.

It sits among mature trees on the edge of a pond, surrounded by the gardens that were on Oxana's wish list.

A stone's throw from the front veranda is a covered pergola from which the gardens can best be viewed. Outside the garden areas are 11 fully fenced and watered paddocks.

"We have had one horse, some sheep, and about 30 cattle grazing on the property, and we've built stables and a shearing shed," Oxana says.

"We also put in raised vegetable gardens, and an orchard."

There was nothing to do inside the house because "there were so many beautiful elements".

Polished wooden floors, timber ceiling beams and architraves, a timber counter and timber-edged bench tops in the kitchen, beautifully crafted glass and timber interior doors, and a superb open timber staircase are standout features.

The timber is balanced by the number of windows and french doors opening to the surrounding decks.

Two of the upstairs bedrooms have pitched ceiling sarked in blonded douglas fir, and the large master suite has its own balcony.

It's one of Oxana's favourite spaces, alongside the kitchen and its rural views.

The location has also played its part in making the property ideal for the family.

Commuting to Auckland has been straightforward — it's possible to get to the motorway without driving through Warkworth village.

• 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 14.1ha, floor area 370sq m.
• Inspect: Today 1pm-1.45pm; Nov 4, 1pm-1.45pm.
• Auction: Nov 7, 2pm.
• Schools: Warkworth School, Mahurangi College.
• Contact: Dianne Coman, 021 790 307, Bayleys,