Ross Cato has been building homes for 41 years, since he was 16. Of those years, 30 have been spent north of Auckland in the Rodney area.
His son Simon joined him as an apprentice 12 years ago and, working as a team, they have garnered a reputation for new contract homes.
Occasionally though, they design and build spec homes, like this one in Dawsons Rd.
It is the second they have built in this subdivision that was an early dairy farm.
The first home he built here had an industrial vibe. For this, he took his design cues straight from the location.
"Dawson's Landing is at the end of the street on the Mahurangi Estuary. You can paddle up to Warkworth from here," says Ross. "I used to take a boat into the harbour from the landing. The site has a view of the hills beyond Matakana, 5km away.
"It's a little bit coastal and a little bit country, without being too rustic."
It is a beautifully refined, high-spec, contemporary family home clad in cedar and painted white brick with extra spacious indoor outdoor living spaces. And although it has a great, easy-flowing layout, it is the flawless attention to detail that sets it apart.
Ross says the site lent itself to creating two pavilions — one is a dedicated living, dining, kitchen wing, and the other accommodates three bedrooms, linked by a flat roof space between them.
In the central area, there was plenty of room for Ross to build a good-sized laundry as well as a library/office. High pitched ceilings and exposed trusses are a feature of the generous living areas that look impressive against whitewashed interiors.
Oak floors in the family area give a more relaxed, beachy feel that marries with the cane pendant light-fittings above the white composite stone island benchtop.
Classic Shaker style defines the kitchen, also in white, with traditional brass handles, German hardware for that easy glide and a 900mm wide oven plus gas hob. While there are plenty of drawers, a scullery offers more space with an extra sink and timber shelving.
Distinctive timber and glass barn slider doors close off the lounge to form a cosy winter space with a gas fire. A floor-to-ceiling panel of demolition brick is a focal point, introducing rustic texture and a warm ambience behind the fireplace.
Massive bifold doors open the dining space to a huge deck on the northern aspect with built-in lighting to maximise outdoor evening dining opportunities. There is another paved courtyard around the corner.
With a walk-through dressing room behind an attractive panelled divider, the master suite also opens out to its own deck.
The master en suite has a large walk-in shower with no lip and the family bathroom incorporates a curvaceous freestanding bath.
For those with family, there is a primary school 100 metres away and parkland across the road. There are beaches in all directions.
31 DAWSON RD, SNELLS BEACH
• 3* bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2** parking spaces.
• House: 214sq m, land 622sq m.
• Auction: 2 May (unless sold prior).
• Inspect: Sat/Sun, noon-12.30pm.
• Schools: Snells Beach School, Horizon School, Mahurangi College.
• Contact: Steffan Meyer, Bayleys, 021 055 4346.