For a couple who have just been through a 15-month rebuild of their home, Leanne and Todd Hardie still seem remarkably relaxed. "Our renovation of the 1950s' house turned into a full rebuild," says Leanne.

"We stripped it back to the bare bones, even replacing the roof trusses that had been bowed by 20 tonne of roof tiles. We replaced the tiles with ColourSteel.

"Todd and I have built five homes, this is our sixth, so we're experienced. We've learned lots about how important all the things you can't see are.

"And we didn't rush anything, there was extra time involved in making sure we had the best people who understood what we wanted to achieve."

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The house they'd bought in 2015 was quite an icon in the street, where everyone knew it as 'The White House'.

So they wanted to respect the style of the solid weatherboard and hip roof of the original, while adding about 40 per cent more floor area. Their architect implored them to retain at least a few original walls.

31 Seacliffe Ave, Belmont, Auckland. Photo / Fiona Goodall / Getty Images
31 Seacliffe Ave, Belmont, Auckland. Photo / Fiona Goodall / Getty Images

Their son's bedroom is roughly in the spot of an earlier room, although they pushed up the ceiling to follow the roof line and added built-in storage.

There's a charming powder room for guests here, but son Luke can slide a pocket door from the hallway to create his own suite when he needs to.

Daughter Emma gets her own en suite, off her Millenial Blush-painted room, complete with window seat. There's a third guest room and a slick family bathroom on this private side of the house.

The rework of the floor plan pushed out a grand front porch and entryway, nearly double the size of the open plan living and dining room inside.

They connected house and double garage with a generous media room (more built ins, more clever roof lines), rearranged the ground floor bedrooms and repositioned the stair to the upper floor master suite.

An old back porch utility became the sleek scullery, the whole living room opens through doors to covered decks and a view of the back lawn and pool.

Everywhere, windows catch the views across the road to the sea, private from neighbours because the house is elevated.

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Todd and Leanne were particular about breaking up the huge living/dining/kitchen area. In the living room, they added a ceiling of cedar tongue and groove, a nod to the cedar-framed porch of the original house.

31 Seacliffe Ave, Belmont, Auckland. Photo / Fiona Goodall / Getty Images
31 Seacliffe Ave, Belmont, Auckland. Photo / Fiona Goodall / Getty Images

They repeated the material in the porch and front door, and in the pergola and covered barbecue area out back.

They selected LED light fixtures that play with scale — circular over living and dining, a long sliver over the huge kitchen island.

Designer Jordan Dale of Gold Kitchens designed a kitchen that plays off oak and dark timber boxes, with a stunning slab of stone anchoring the island.

The couple then brought in oak — wide oak plank floors, a striking slatted oak screen between kitchen and entry, another slab for the informal dining off the island bar.

Todd and Leanne love entertaining, so spent a lot of time getting the flow between indoors and out just right.

"We wanted to create a number of spaces for kids, and their friends, and for us," they say.

That explains the two wine fridges — one in the kitchen and a bigger one in the scullery.

There's also a drawer fridge and more carefully designed storage.

The couple love their technology (for security, music and so on ) but also had fun with lighting — a feature wall of tiny uplights on a textured wall paper replaces the more conventional art.

In the master suite upstairs, Todd and Leanne really went to town. The dressing room includes not just space for a chaise and window seat, but also a proper sit-down dressing table.

Their bathroom includes a luxurious cast iron bath with views to the sea. The couple built a little bar so they don't have to go downstairs for morning coffee.

The landscaping is also carefully thought through. A professional helped them get the lush tropical environment they were after, including six varieties of palms. Water tanks and vegetables and fruit trees are tucked in the front and side yards, leaving the back for the resort-style pool.

But after 18 months, the Hardies have found another plot of land and are moving on to another new build. No doubt equally carefully thought through and luxuriously detailed.

31 SEACLIFFE AVE, BELMONT, DEVONPORT
• 4 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• House 356sq m, land 868sq m.
• Auction: Thur 18 April.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun, 11-11.45am.
• Schools: Belmont Primary, Belmont Intermediate, Takapuna Grammar.
• Contact: Lynda Betts, Bayleys, 021 278 3024.