When Leanne Adams lived in a bungalow in Kiwi Rd, Pt Chevalier, she used to stroll to the beach with her husband every day. On the way, they often admired the 1930s Art Deco home, one back from the beach at 32 Harbour View Rd, and fantasised about living there.
Then suddenly, at the age of 39, Leanne's world crumbled when her husband passed away. As part of the healing process, she continued to walk along the beach. "It's a very soulful place where I talk to my husband every day," she says.
A few years later, as she began to pick up the pieces with the support of her two children, son Keegan and daughter Simone, she felt she needed to move on with a new focus.
To her delight, the house at number 32 came up for sale only a year after the new owners had undertaken a major architectural makeover, turning it into a contemporary version of the original.
Leanne felt buying this edgy seaside retreat was meant to be and she was thrilled when she succeeded in making it her own.
"I walked in and thought, this is the home we have always loved. I had come from a cold, old bungalow and this was so light and warm."
Time went on and Leanne met a new partner, Andrew Olsen. One of the things they enjoy most is sitting on the expansive deck, drinking a wine under the louvred roof and watching the sunsets.
Reaching across to a sunken lawn — just enough to kick a ball — and surrounded by tropical plants, the north-west facing deck doubles the size of their living area.
Floor-to-ceiling glass sliders draw back with ease to create a seamless indoor/outdoor environment.
"It was a really high quality renovation," says Leanne.
"They used expensive commercial grade joinery throughout. And 10 years down the track, it still looks new."
A gate on the property serves to bring kayaks up from the beach through the neighbour's property, which has waterfront access.
That's another thing Leanne loves about the property. "The neighbours are fantastic. The beach is a very interactive and sociable place," she says.
Some standout original features were re-used to link the renovation to its past. On the ground floor, original timber floors have been lightly stained a pale silver for a fresh contemporary look that marries with the white walls and timber ceiling.
And the original balustrade with its vertical balusters is a striking feature in the cedar-clad entry atrium.
Leanne's favourite aspect is the freestanding marble bath secluded behind a bamboo hedge on the private deck off the master bedroom suite.
Upstairs, both children have outdoor living off their bedrooms too. Keegan's room has a view of the Sky Tower, while Simone's full-width deck overlooks the harbour.
"It's nice to watch the jet-skiers and wind-surfers from up here," says Leanne.
Leanne says she could not have gone through these tough years without her children.
Now she has the chance to pay them back.
She's bought an old grocer's store on a large property up the road and is developing three new homes — one for each of the children and herself — plus a commercial building on a large site nearby.
32 HARBOUR VIEW RD, PT CHEVALIER
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 1* parking spaces.
• House 232sq m, Land half share of 1436sq m.
• Sale: By negotiation.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 2.30-3pm.
• Schools: Pt Chevalier Primary, St Francis School, Pasadena Intermediate.
• Contact: David Simmons, UP Real Estate, 021 277 7579 Jennifer Temm Mumms 027 222 1555.