Sandra Willis and her partner Mark Milburn have done several renovations, but they ventured into new-home territory for the first time three years ago when they saw this "sloping site, no views" piece of land advertised for sale.

The site was surrounded by houses under construction near the top of the Kawau Waters subdivision. By the time Sandra and Mark had consent for their plans, in November 2017, they had secured guaranteed never-to-be-built-out sea views that take in the
Tawharanui Peninsular and a wide rural outlook.

The couple, both with business backgrounds, worked closed with Red Rabbit Architectural Design to draw up the house, finalise the design and drive the on-site changes as the building took shape.

"This has been done with our hearts and it has everything we wanted that was important to us," says Sandra.

In order of priority, Sandra and Mark listed off-street parking for their car, boat and associated essentials because they'd noted a dearth of street-side parking in the area.


Secondly, they wanted level entry into the house from the double garage and they've achieved it with a compromise of just four steps to the walkway between the two structures.

21 Ariel Place, Snells Beach. Photo / Supplied
21 Ariel Place, Snells Beach. Photo / Supplied

Everything else was about bringing views, natural light and ambience into the upstairs living areas and bedrooms and the downstairs rumpus room/office with its own entry.

They've done so in a house clad in both vertical and horizontal Canadian cedar. Upstairs, their bedroom and living area decks are kwila with a built-in seat that has a macrocarpa top. For the garage deck, Sandra chose purpleheart timber to add a different tone and texture.

Indoors, there is more evidence of the research Sandra did to build this house.

"Everything we have done, we have done for the 'wow' factor," she says.

In the black-on-black kitchen, she chose leathered-finish granite for benchtops. The cabinetry carcases were black laminate. The cabinetry fronts use anti-fingerprint technology.

"I love clean and tidy and it was important to me to have a black kitchen and to know it wasn't going to be smothered in fingerprints all day."

In the scullery, Sandra toned down the all-black palette in favour of grey cabinetry beneath the same black granite bench tops.

21 Ariel Place, Snells Beach. Photo / Supplied
21 Ariel Place, Snells Beach. Photo / Supplied

Black surfaces are also in the laundry and three bathrooms. Each bathroom features grey ceramic and copper/bronze metallic tiles.

Metallic tiles also feature in the master en suite, on the bathroom floor and one wall of the shower. The downstairs bathroom has metallic tiles on one wall only.

Sandra's paint choices are grey-based neutrals. Oak flooring for the living areas completes a timber theme she is proud of.

"This house stands on its own even without any furniture," she says. "It is so beautiful."

Sandra is starting on another project.

• 3 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 2* parking spaces.
• Land 610sq m, house 205sq m.
• Auction: April 7.
• Inspect: Sun 11-11:30am or by appointment.
• Schools: Snells Beach Primary, Horizon School, Mahurangi College.
• Contact: Nola Kloppers, Remax, 021 425 597 and Ben Kloppers, 021 425 599.
*Plus carport