There comes a time when the spreading country lifestyle simply doesn't work any more.
Frances Campbell and her husband Ross Moore reached that point a couple of years ago
when the commute from their beloved Greenhithe property was getting too much — some days Frances was on the road for over 90 minutes to get to her job at Kings College, Otahuhu.
So they decided to try townhouse living — replacing their country views with those of the sea.
After renting in Devonport they found this modern house, one of a group of three, on the wide avenues of Bayswater.
"I grew up in this area, so I know it like the back of my hand," says Frances. "My daughter and grandkids are in Bayswater, so this was the area for us.
"We could see the potential in the big front yard to put in a pool and really make this a place for the kids to gather."
They got the best of both worlds when they found the Koi Architects-designed two-storey masonry townhouse on a freehold section of over 425sq m at the beginning of 2017.
Floor to ceiling glass doors around two sides of the L-shaped living area slide open to paved terraces and a generous sunny lawn, and there's even room for a clothesline and storage shed.
And while it's not a country barn, the carpeted garage had room for a generous laundry and walls of storage cupboards.
In the front yard, the couple added more planting and a spa pool, and had concept plans drawn up for a swimming pool and entertaining area.
However, they've put those plans on hold as they are planning a move back to Devonport, closer to shops and activities of the village they know so well.
Nevertheless, Frances and Ross have made many changes while they've been here. Much as they loved the polished concrete floors and fireplace surrounds, and the walls of glass in the living room, they found a room divider chopped up the high-ceilinged room, and the kitchen was dark and dated.
They updated the kitchen with sleek white, from smooth-close drawers to pantry organisers and white glass backsplash.
The white stone benchtop now extends into the living space to give guests a place to gather on bar stools (underlit for a glamorous floating effect), while sliding windows above the sink open to a servery for the barbecue and dining area outside.
The redesign made room for a double fridge, a wine fridge and bar area.
While the living room has a fire, it's more for ambience, says Frances, as the concrete floors absorb the heat and keep the whole house warm.
Upstairs there's a useful stretch of bench on the landing, wired for office or homework.
The master bedroom gets the glimpse of the sea that Frances wanted, while the en suite has room for a double vanity and bathtub.
The other two bedrooms have a Jack and Jill bathroom — a semi-en suite accessed from each room, handy for when family visit. One of them has a walk in closet, too.
The house has worked well for Ross and Frances, helping them make the transition from country lifestyle back into the city.
With Bayswater ferry only a couple of minutes walk away, a great school community, they imagine this would make a great neighbourhood for young families.
And finally that pool complex they planned for can get built.
4A NORWOOD RD, BAYSWATER
• 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• House 235sq m, land 425sq m.
• Deadline treaty: Dec 6 (unless sold prior).
• Inspect: Sun 11am-11.30am or by appointment.
• Schools: Takapuna Grammar, Belmont Intermediate, Bayswater Primary.
• Contact: Michael Swarbrick, Harcourts, 021 888 133, harcourts.co.nz/Property/865733