Melissa and Tim Rankin-Mills reckon their luck was really in when they found this Remuera hideaway in Buttle St, a peaceful haven just off Arney Rd and at the end of a cul-de-sac.

They moved in around Christmas 2009, with three young children: Josh now 14, and twins Jessie and Nate, now 11.

One of the things Melissa was drawn to was the "forest", a wooded area next to the house. "It's a popular gathering place for local kids who build tracks, explore and enjoy picnics, just metres from their own front doors," she says.

"Ours got to have a true, laid-back, Kiwi childhood, which pleased me and Tim because we both grew up in the provinces.

"We quickly made great friends with all the other parents on this street and looked out for each other's offspring."

The house itself is a wonderful showcase of early 1970s New Zealand architecture, designed by then ground-breaking architect Ian Burrows, who has agreed to sign the original plans and sketches for the property's new owners.

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"When we bought it, the exterior was terracotta pink and inside there was horrible pink nylon carpet which might have been original, or was perhaps from the 1980s," says Melissa.

She and Tim set out to redecorate. While they didn't need to change the foot-print of the property — which had already had one sympathetic extension during its life — they did rejuvenate all the colours, turning the rooms into relaxing spaces with peaceful paint shades inspired by nature.

The house is set over three storeys with extensive decking all round. At the top are two bedrooms — one with en suite and dressing room — and an office with mezzanine.

The middle level has living/dining/kitchen, a lounge with window seats, and a master bedroom with en suite and dressing room; the ground level has another big bedroom and separate laundry.

The middle level has living/dining/kitchen, a lounge with window seats, and a master bedroom with en suite and dressing room; the ground level has another big bedroom and separate laundry.

The designer kitchen is bright, modern and recently updated, with glorious views across the leafy neighbourhood.

Melissa says that in hindsight, she and Tim should have commandeered the top floor bedrooms for themselves, but they do like their main-level master suite.

Beside the official front door, which is rarely used, a central spiral staircase encased in a turret leads to the top floor and its two balconies.

One of the two bedrooms up here has an en suite bathroom and dressing room, and the semi-open layout has a home office on a mezzanine that looks over the living below.
Downstairs at basement level is yet another big bedroom, separate laundry and more decking.

To the rear of the section is a lush garden which offers further potential for a new owner with green fingers.

Living in the double-grammar zone, Melissa and Tim assumed their children would go to Auckland Grammar and Epsom Girls' Grammar schools, but Josh is at St Kentigern College and twins Jessie and Nate are planning to join him there.

Melissa and Tim dream of having a swimming pool on a level section, so they're exploring other possibilities around Auckland's waterfront.

27 BUTTLE ST, REMUERA
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land: 685sq m, house: 163sq m.
• Auction: Nov 27.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 2pm-2.45pm.
• Schools: Stanley Bay Primary, Belmont Intermediate, Takapuna Grammar.
• Contact: Ken Choong, Ray White, 021 780 524.