The list of reasons Elizabeth and Paul Collins have for buying their home near Pukekohe is unusually long. As usual, the wide rural views come near the top, but there's also the lie of the land, the modern style of the house, the privacy, the indoor-outdoor flow, the number of different spaces, and the proximity to Pukekohe.

"Basically, it just had the X factor," says Elizabeth. "We'd looked north, south, east and west of Auckland but we kept coming back to this."

Designed by architect Richard George and built by Zanar Construction, the house is down a pebblecrete circular driveway on a park-like 1.4ha block.

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It's surrounded by landscaped gardens, hedges, specimen trees and a stand of mature native bush that is home to many birds.

Built in charcoal weatherboard with a toning corrugated iron roof, the single-level house is made up of four pavilions surrounded by patios and incorporating two expansive courtyards.

The big kitchen and dining area are separated from the main lounge by a freestanding wall containing a fireplace that easily heats the whole living area.

Feature timber trusses define the space, which has a wall of stackers opening to the garden at the opposite end.

Elizabeth loves the kitchen with its timber floors, generous storage, gas cooking, double oven, and an island bench with breakfast bar. A pale colour palette of whites and greys, along with the high ceiling, expands the space.

"I've never entertained so much in my life," she says. "I love it because it's really not a chore. The kitchen has the proper work triangle, and a connection to the dining area and the sun room."

The sun room is a separate sitting area at right angles to the main lounge and is one of the design features of the house that appealed.

"We've always liked that feeling of being able to spread out," Elizabeth says.

A 5.5 x 7.8m paved courtyard opening off the dining area provides extra entertaining space. An outdoor fireplace here makes for cosy evening dining, and an electric shade awning provides summer comfort.

Linked by an extra wide hallway are four bedrooms including the master with its walk-in wardrobe and en suite with a bath, fully tiled shower and under-floor heating. All bedrooms open through french doors or stackers to an east-facing covered terrace and gardens beyond.

As well as terracing on three sides of the house there are many tranquil places in the garden.

Elizabeth and Paul have planted more trees including citrus and other orchard varieties and put in raised vegetable bins.

There's an attractive mix of native and exotic planting, with lawns and hedges adding a formality to the design, and outdoor lighting adding an ambience in the evenings.

331 TUHIMATA RD
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 1.419ha, house 275sq m.
• Auction: Nov 21 (unless sold prior).
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 12.20-1pm.
• Contact: Scott McElhinney, Barfoot & Thompson, 027 210 8887.