Simplicity-plus is the defining theme throughout the home of Kate and Scott Mason. At its most basic, it's a rectangle with a white interior. But from its black corrugated iron/cedar exterior cladding and its open frontage, it flags many more surprises than the usual rectangular New Zealand home.
The elementary rectangle is how this house took shape when Kate and Scott contacted Scott's uncle, Tauranga-based architectural designer David Evans of Vision Design Architecture.
David started with that rectangle, both to achieve a cost-effective build and to maximise the width of the frontage in this new subdivision.
To enliven the front face of the house, he added contrasting cedar battens that he repeated beneath the pitched roof portico on the rear deck.
Then he turned his attention to the inside and promptly threw out the rule book. Beyond the front lobby with its raked ceiling, he off-set the wide, gallery-style hallway. "It's so you don't get that feeling that 'this is like a big long tunnel'," he says.
Within those lines, he mapped out a floorplan to give Kate and Scott both communal and private spaces and for their four children — aged from three to eight — to have their own bedrooms and lounge.
David located the children's wing, the adjacent family bathroom and the large air-conditioned drying room to the left off the front of the hallway.
On the opposite side, he earmarked the master bedroom with a study nook/second dressing room and en suite, next to the large separate laundry.
At the end of the hallway, he put in a lounge/media room at one side, kitchen and scullery at the other, and expansive casual living opening to the north-facing outdoors.
In siting these living areas, he deliberately added a sense of diagonal movement through the house.
"Once again, you've got the opposite of the traditional rectangular house and the feeling of walking up and down the long hallway through the middle of the house."
Construction on the house started in November 2016 and 11 months later Kate and Scott, an air-conditioning specialist, and their family moved in from the home they'd renovated in Papakura.
From the outset, Kate was clear about her colour choices. She wanted white walls and a touch of colour and pattern in her children's rooms, changing her mind only twice along the way.
She painted the half-height headboard wall in their bedroom a light grey colour before realising her error.
"Sometimes you think there has to be a feature wall or something, but once I painted it in our own room I didn't like it and I knew it had to be white again."
In the children's lounge, she knew she needed colour somewhere to better suit their existing couch. She found the answer in a tin of black matt exterior paint left over from their fences.
"I love black, it's a colour I'm drawn too and I love the moodiness of it here," she says.
Kate stuck with her palette of black, white, natural timber tones and green plants to ensure a cohesive result.
She also opted for matt, rather than high gloss finishes, in her bathroom and scullery marble splashback tiles.
"I started to get stressed originally but when I stopped and thought about what I liked then it was a lot easier," she says.
Now Kate and Scott are looking for a renovation project in Ngatea.
4 BENNER DR, NGATEA
• 5 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• House: 299sq m, land 1000sq m.
• Fixed Price: $990,000.
• Inspect: April 13, 11 to noon, and viewing by appointment.
• Schools: Ngatea Primary & Hauraki Plains College.
• Contact: Avalon Pascoe, Richardson's Real Estate Ngatea, 027 5689 707, or Adrienne Jordan 027 355 5193.