From the street, there are few clues that this 1920s bungalow has a much bigger take on the world beyond its leadlight bay windows. Beyond the front door, where the old chimney once stood, there's a leafy vista that extends far beyond the rear living areas of the recently renovated home.

It takes everyone by surprise, to the delight of Oliva and Ben Afeaki who have brought the backdrop into their everyday lives.

"When you open up the front door, people coming in just don't expect to have a view through to the trees and the reserve at the back," says Olivia.

The towering trees that screen their rear garden and line the adjacent walkway to the reserve are a big part of their love of this neighbourhood where Olivia grew up.


But at the front, trees on the grass verge that shaded the house were not well received when Olivia and Ben bought here in January 2017.

They had the council-owned trees taken out and the natural light that poured in as a result brought hopes of getting even more light into the heart of the house.

40 Lemington Rd, Westmere. Photo / Supplied
40 Lemington Rd, Westmere. Photo / Supplied

Olivia and Ben had been sharing a villa with flatmates and were ready for their own space. They came here with short-term "do up" goals, but after renting the place out, then living in it for four months, they settled on a longer-term vision.

"We wanted a house with room for us, room for guests and room to entertain our friends," says Olivia.

"We got exactly what we wanted, but we also wanted to future-proof the house for buyers so they could build another level. This house was built with that in mind."

This original two-bedroom house is still a two-bedroom house. But beyond the four walls and the rear living extension with matching weatherboard cladding, the house functions entirely differently.

40 Lemington Rd, Westmere. Photo / Supplied
40 Lemington Rd, Westmere. Photo / Supplied

The original front bedroom and the lounge with the fireplace are now the master bedroom and baby Sophia's room.

The old front door was on the side of the house. In its place is the new fireplace. The second original bedroom is now part of the new lounge.

Ben, scrum coach for the Blues Super Rugby team, loved the house as it was with its front fireplace.

But Olivia, whose passion for design and interiors is evident in her job as business manager for a design company, saw greater potential at every turn.

40 Lemington Rd, Westmere. Photo / Supplied
40 Lemington Rd, Westmere. Photo / Supplied

With architect Jack McKinney, they took the house apart. They created a lounge with internal steps down to the kitchen/dining area and two outside steps down to the 24 sq m kwila deck.

Beneath those outside steps, there is standing-height basement storage.

Throughout, Ben and Olivia built in plentiful storage in both their dining area and their bespoke laundry that is next to the bathroom off the main hallway.

They chose quality materials including the biggest bath that fitted, American oak for the flooring, and slate for the waterfall kitchen bench.

Now they are pondering a couple of lifestyle changes, so they are happy to leave this house and the rest of its untapped potential for the next owners to enjoy.

• 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 0* parking spaces.
• House 115sq m, land 443sq m.
• Auction: April 10.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun, noon to 12:30 or by appointment.
• Schools: Westmere School, Western Springs College.
• Contact: Susie Calderwood, Barfoot & Thompson, 021 337 161.