Heather Walker cringes when she remembers the character-filled but run-down two-storey house she first laid eyes on 18 months ago.

"It had threadbare blue carpet throughout and the walls were painted awful colours such as apricot. It had been tenanted for 10 years and it needed a lot of attention."

As the owner of design store CocoHills in Remuera, and a seasoned renovator, Heather was exactly the right person to take on the challenge of restoring the 1920s home to its original glory.

She says it's been a labour of love.


"My partner Craig Herbison, is CEO of a digital marketing firm and it was pretty much a first for him, but he soon got used to the upheaval."

After buying the property, Heather quickly went to work, planning what would essentially become a brand new home within the bones of the existing structure.

Heather hired a team of builders and tradespeople and says the process went with barely a hitch.

45 Owens Rd, Epsom, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst
45 Owens Rd, Epsom, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst

At the front on ground level is the formal lounge with its high ceiling, twinkling light fittings, gas fireplace and picture windows. Beyond it is the combined family and dining room, with garden views and polished kauri floorboards.

The white kitchen is a dream with no expense having been spared in creating the perfect layout. It has copious cupboards and masses of benchtop and sits adjacent to the rest of the living area in a way that's semi-separate yet still well connected.

Also on the ground floor is a guest suite with its own bathroom and doors to the deck, plus another sunny sitting or media room, a family bathroom and the laundry, which is behind doors in a room that could also be a library or home office.

Upstairs are four further bedrooms, all decorated in crisp, cool tones. One is used when Craig's small sons come to stay and has the added bonus of a lined loft play space.

The master suite is sumptuous, with a luxury bathroom, huge his and hers wardrobes, and a balcony with rooftop views across the neighbourhood.

45 Owens Rd, Epsom, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst
45 Owens Rd, Epsom, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Heather's daughter Eva's room has loads of wardrobe and storage options, which makes it easy for her to keep it tidy. Heather says everyone in the family likes clean, uncluttered spaces.

Heather is proud of what's been achieved here in a relatively short time. The exterior of the house has been repainted, the lawn is looking good, the trees are well-established, and there's potential for further landscaping if the new owner is a keen gardener. The double garage incorporates a gym area and there's ample off-street parking.

She says that it wasn't until the last builders left after so many busy, often messy, months that she and Craig suddenly realised just how big a house they actually had.

45 Owens Rd, Epsom, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst
45 Owens Rd, Epsom, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst

"My son Max has recently left home and Craig's boys come only for a few nights each month, so that leaves us rattling around a bit with Eva and her twin brother Theo.

"We're planning to look for something a bit smaller but we will be staying in the general area. I grew up in Epsom and have almost always lived here. Eva is a fifth-generation pupil at Epsom Girls Grammar school, which I think is very special."

Epsom residents are looking forward to the opening of the new 277 shopping complex at Broadway Newmarket, which is expected to be later this year.

Of course the Gillies Ave motorway on-ramp is mere minutes away.

• 5 bedrooms, 4 bathroom, 2* parking spaces.
• Floor: 324sq m, land 860sq m.
• Auction: Weds 3 April, 2pm, unless sold prior.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun, noon to 12.30pm, or by appointment.
• Schools: Newmarket School, ANI, AGS, EGGS.
• Contact: Colleen Strachan, UP Real Estate, 021 283 6194 or Richard Hart 021 973 474.
*Plus 2 OSP