A drawcard when these owners bought in 2011 was that the property backed on to Oranga Primary School's fields and, as a result, delivered light and openness. A redevelopment of the house has made the site better again.

Jon Houldsworth and wife Tina Tu moved here from a city apartment, before having daughter Millie (now aged 2). They wanted somewhere reasonably central with a garden.
Says Jon says of the rear garden: "The wide open rear view of trees and sky lets in the perfectly north-facing light all year round.

"You can sit on the deck listening to native birdsong and feel like you're in the countryside."



They liked the location of the 1950s ex-state house and the easy access to Cornwall Park, the motorway, CBD and Onehunga or Ellerslie villages.

They initially toyed with just adding a second bathroom, but the redevelopment four years ago expanded, eventually topping $400,000.

"We laugh now about how much we ended up spending, but it's totally been worth it," says Jon.

"We've enjoyed a beautiful home, much of it having been basically made new."

They re-clad the original house with weatherboard, which continues on the extension, reroofed with Colorsteel, replaced walls and ceilings, added new bathrooms with underfloor heating, and installed double glazing and LED lighting in most of the home.

The house looks smart behind its griselinia front hedge. But its biggest "wow" factor is at the rear.

Here their 40sq m extension delivers an airy dining-living room under vaulted sarked ceilings. High windows top massive bifold doors opening to a 40sq m wraparound deck.
John says: "People comment right from the front door about the beautiful rear outlook and the way the high windows bring in so much sky and light."

They brought the vaulted roofline of the extension back through the renovated kitchen, where keen baker Tina loves the scullery, twin-oven Belling gas cooker and engineered stone bench-tops.

The living area has polished concrete floors warmed by the sun; the kitchen has matai wood floors.

The house now offers four bedrooms and two bathrooms, including the master bedroom with en suite, walk-in-wardrobe and french doors to the deck.

A design they spotted inspired the distinctive family bathroom, which includes a double-head open shower alongside a bath.

Tina says: "There's a dividing glass wall which makes one end of the bathroom a wet room down where Millie can happily pour water out of the bath or splash around."

The couple opted for a subtle Cape Cod ambiance for the light and airy interior.

Friends with in-cupboard laundries envy their smart separate laundry, which has a pull down-ladder for ceiling storage, and opens out to the washing line.

Photography buff Jon ensured fibre was backed up with fast-speed Cat6 wiring.

He's enjoyed photographing Millie in their fenced backyard, which includes an al fresco dining area and mature fruit trees.

Jon once thought about putting a gate in the back fence to access the school field and its bike track and playground.

Tina's overseas-based relatives regularly stay for extended periods, so the couple want somewhere with more of a self-contained set-up for guests.

• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 0* parking spaces.
• Land 718sq m, house 150sq m.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 1-1.45pm.
• Auction: 10am Wed 14 Nov at 34 Shortland St, City (unless sold prior).
• Schools: Oranga School, St Mary's School, Remuera Intermediate, Royal Oak Intermediate, One Tree Hill College.
• Contact: Jill Jackson, 021 745 424, and Emma John 021 862 242, Barfoot & Thompson, oneroof.co.nz/1211972