Colleen Cavanagh and Grant Chester knew the solidity and elegance of this architecturally designed, plantation-style home was what they wanted as soon as they saw it.
They hadn't been satisfied with the quality of a previous Orakei property they'd owned and so instantly appreciated the clever design and build quality of this one.
Colleen, a lawyer, says: "We found out this home had been designed by Sumich Architects, whom I've always admired, and no expense had been spared during its build."
Grant, who owns Chesters Plumbing and Bathroom Centre, says: "I actually think the most skilled person involved was the architect — everything has been designed so well and flows so beautifully."
The couple wanted to put their own stamp on the home and had significant renovation done before they moved in.
Colleen says: "I love the symmetry of the home. It's really well set up for entertaining and the previous owners told us they once had a function for 80 people here.
"And because both my sons were living with us when we moved here we wanted a layout that would suit older children, and this place had a great downstairs set-up for them."
Colleen and Grant bought here in mid-2016 and commissioned interior designer Bev Grant, of BG Design.
Visitors often comment how private and peaceful the property is.
It's set behind secure gates, handy to the waterfront and to Colleen's central city office.
As soon as you enter, a path lined with clipped trees and the shimmer of an azure front pool set the tone for an oasis of calm.
The home, clad in Sto cladding with a Zincalume roof, reminds the couple of a plantation home, as front living spills out to the shelter of a deep covered front porch.
A large foyer leads to the open-plan living-dining-kitchen. This area has french oak floors and flows to outside.
Its stud height is about 3.3m, topped with a contemporary version of beamed ceilings. Says Colleen: "The height makes it feel like such a light, airy space."
It took 12 men to carry in the extra-wide, leathered granite benchtop for the kitchen renovation.
The kitchen includes an antiqued mirror effect splash-back, Gaggenau steam and traditional ovens, and a walk-in pantry.
This living space includes a study area that can be closed off behind doors and an enclosed, wood-burning fireplace, the replacement for gas fireplace.
Wide bifolds further open up the space, leading to the deep front porch with gas outdoor fireplace, and beyond to the front pool with spa.
A formal lounge, which can be closed off from the hallway with sliding doors, is a sophisticated haven.
Its walls are deep chocolate and its gas fireplace's breast subtly glints with Porters rich copper alchemy paint.
A hallway powder-room precedes two upstairs bedrooms, both with en suites and views over the Orakei Basin and surrounds.
One is the master bedroom, looking out to a mature oak tree on one side and opening to the side deck that is also accessed from the formal lounge. It has a fully fitted walk-in wardrobe and a renovated en suite incorporating a deep bath, Italian tiles and a stone vanity benchtop.
Downstairs is teenage nirvana with a media room, large enough to house Colleen's piano and incorporating a kitchenette with dishwasher.
There are two big downstairs bedrooms and a bathroom.
A gym, laundry, and utility room, symptomatic of the home's generous storage and triple garaging fronted by extensive off-street parking, complete the layout.
Now that their sons have left home, Colleen and Grant are ready to downsize.
6 FENTON CIRCUS ORAKEI
• 4 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 3 parking spaces.
• Land 1 214sq m, house 453sq m.
• Auction: Wed, March 6.
• Inspect: Please phone for viewing times.
• Schools: Orakei School, St Joseph's School, Selwyn College.
• Contact: Karin Cooper, Barfoot & Thompson, 027 4912 158.