The great outdoor living experience created by the owners of this large, handsome villa had drawn many compliments from visitors — and the surprise patronage of a tradesman.
The renovated bay villa in the heart of Epsom is home to Rebecca Thomas, her husband Andrew Thomas-Dick, their three children, and labradoodle Marley.
As well as renovating elements of the 1910 home they commissioned landscapers Greenscene to overhaul the 809 sq m grounds.
These now feature lush green planting, creating privacy around the outdoor entertaining set-up with pool, spa, decks, and stretch of lawn.
Rebecca says: "We love entertaining and eating outside with people and this is perfect with the great indoor-outdoor flow and lovely garden."
The couple both run, their 12- and 16-year-old daughters do triathlons, and their 18-year-old son is a keen surfer.
"So being outdoorsy types it was important to us that the outdoors here was just as good as the indoors."
Before the kids outgrew it the property included a rear tower with flying fox, which Rececca was surprised to one day return home to find a tradesman sweeping down it.
She says: "I really didn't mind but he looked a bit sheepish."
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They moved to this property from a smaller Epsom home in 2005, wanting their son to be in-zone for Kohia Terrace Primary School, a short walk away. They're handy to Mt Eden, Newmarket, the airport and Cornwall Park.
Rebecca says: "We really wanted a villa and I loved this home's high ceilings which help make it feel so special." The ceilings are battened and the floors polished native timber.
Its five-bedroom spaciousness was ideal as their family grew. It welcomed lots of visitors, too, including Scottish-born Andrew's friends and relatives.
Early on the couple had front gates installed, one for pedestrians, the other for the driveway leading to the double carport.
Clipped bay trees line the front veranda. Much of the lighting is heritage style, except for the two Kartell Bloom pendants which Rebecca chose for the extra-wide hallway.
Rebecca says: "When the kids were young a neighbour asked, 'What's that funny noise coming from your place sometimes?' It was them racing up and down the hallway on their little plastic ride-on cars."
There's generous storage throughout. There are five bedrooms, including the master with en suite and his-n-hers wardrobes.
The family bathroom has a clawfoot bath. There's a separate laundry A rear guest room opens to outdoors.
The couple installed central heating, taking away the role of the character fireplace in a separate formal lounge and another fireplace in the dining room.
Rebecca says: "That separate lounge is a lovely place for Andrew and I to enjoy quiet time together."
The open-plan living/kitchen area has a renovated kitchen harbouring a wide oven and flows out to outdoor entertaining. A rumpus/gym room downstairs is accessed from one side of the home.
A tilting umbrella can shield the rear outdoor dining area, or be angled to view the setting sun.
Landscaping includes full rear fencing masked with mature trees and climbers. A side stretch of lawn good for children to play incorporates a pebbled trampoline area.
Rebecca says: "It's pretty, green and private out here with an outdoor sound system, lighting and plenty of room to sit or lie around the decks."
Their son is off to Otago University this year and as both daughters attend St Kentigern College, Rebecca and Andrew know they're not utilising their double grammar zoning and think they will move a little closer to the girls' school.
20 KIMBERLEY RD, EPSOM
• 5 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 809sq m, house approx 231 sq m
• Auction: 6pm Wednesday 27th February at 95 Manukau Road, Epsom (unless sold prior).
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 2-2.30pm.
• Schools: Kohia Terrace School, Auckland Normal Intermediate, Auckland Grammar, Epsom Girls' Grammar.
• Contact: Mike Robson, Harcourts, 021 484 288 and Lorraine Marshall, 027 349 6969.