The spacious North Shore character home that television and radio personality Toni Street shares with husband Matt France and their three children, Juliette, 6, Mackenzie, 3, and 3-month-old-Lachie, is tidy and stylish, yet full of personality.

Lachie is their "miracle baby", carried by Toni's best friend Sophie Braggins after Toni was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disorder, which made a third pregnancy too dangerous.

"He's slotted into the family just perfectly," says Toni, who resumed her role at The Hits radio station after three months' maternity leave, bracing herself for the 4am alarm call and a drive across the harbour bridge in early morning darkness.

"Matt had to get the girls up and ready and Lachie was so good, sleeping in until 7.30am on my first day," she says.


Toni and Matt moved to their Bayswater Avenue base, within easy walking distance of Narrowneck beach, five years ago, when Juliette was nearly 1.

"We were looking for somewhere with lots of space, and this house certainly has that," says Matt.

"However, it was a bit of a mess because previous owners had tacked a 1970s extension on to the original 1930s dwelling and there was a lot of fixing up to be done."

178 Bayswater Ave, Bayswater, Auckland. Photo / Michelle Hyslop
178 Bayswater Ave, Bayswater, Auckland. Photo / Michelle Hyslop

The pair say that in the course of the past five years they have restored, replaced or re-painted every single centimetre of the house.

The top floor has two spacious living areas, intersected by the stylish kitchen — plus the scullery, one of Toni's favourite features, and there's a deck outside with loads of room for eating and play.

The colour scheme throughout the home includes lots of refreshing white and light grey, and the extensive built-in shelving in the family room is both stylish and useful.

The bedroom wing, where the main bathroom and a separate powder room lie, retains some of the home's original decorative features including beautiful leadlight glass in the elegant and romantic master bedroom's windows.

The walk-in wardrobe is enormous and was only recently completed, while the ensuite has a bath, which is great for the children.

178 Bayswater Ave, Bayswater, Auckland. Photo / Michelle Hyslop
178 Bayswater Ave, Bayswater, Auckland. Photo / Michelle Hyslop

Mackenzie's room reflects her love of the colour purple, while Juliette is a "pink" girl and her bedroom enjoys an adorable mini walk-in wardrobe in a space that was cribbed from a passageway in the home's previous life. On the other side a second section of that passageway is now a smart, compact home office.

Lachie's bedroom is decorated in restful, soft, earthy colours and has a large closet for all the cute clothes that his besotted mother just can't resist buying.

Downstairs is another versatile spot with a huge laundry that also has some useful kitchenette features, a newly completed bathroom, and a spare, fifth bedroom for when the grandparents come to stay.

There's yet another large living room, opening to a sunny patio, and, the piece-de-resistance: nearly 30sqm of dry storage space, with lighting and shelving.

Toni admits to being an accumulator of all sorts of things — including her particular passion: Christmas decorations.

178 Bayswater Ave, Bayswater, Auckland. Photo / Michelle Hyslop
178 Bayswater Ave, Bayswater, Auckland. Photo / Michelle Hyslop

"I can keep it all nice and organised in here," she says.

Now that the neatly painted and landscaped house is on the market, Toni and Matt, are seeing it through new eyes, and occasionally they wonder if they're doing the right thing.

"But we both love a challenge," she says.

"It will be such fun bringing another house back to life."

She and Matt say they'll definitely be staying in the neighbourhood with its good schools and all the handy sports facilities they use as a family.

Both grew up in provincial towns and they've found that the sort of community spirit they enjoyed as children is definitely alive and well in Bayswater.

With a ferry terminal right nearby, they still feel well-connected to the city, which means they have the best of both worlds.

• 5 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land: 647sq m, house: 280sq m.
• Tender: Closes 4 Dec (unless sold prior).
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 11-11.30am.
• Schools: Bayswater School, Takapuna Grammar.
• Contact: Carol Wetzell, Barfoot & Thompson, 027 245 3392 or Ian Cunliffe 027 227 9322.