Jenny Brocas says her late brother Frank Craig's home was intriguing and exciting, especially for her grandchildren. They loved to hole up in one of the private lofts and read, but Jenny says adults appreciative of architecture were also excited by the Kevin Moffat-designed house only a few strides from Orewa Beach.
The site has subdivision potential, she says, and the house is packed with features including clever angles, super-high ceilings, nooks and lofts, internal brick columns and interestingly-shaped windows with coloured glass sending prisms across the room.
Jenny, who is selling Frank's home, says of its "quite incredible" architecture: "My brother was a craftsman. He was a cabinet-maker/boat-builder extraordinaire, so this would be his choice of home."
Jenny was close to her big brother who passed away at the age of 92. Frank bought the house after his wife Ruth became ill because it was close to the beach and shops.
He lived there about 10 years and Jenny thinks the house was built in the 1980s.
"I know it's a Kevin Moffat house. It's a unique house. It's a craftsman's house. It has a lot of native timber, a lot of nooks, lofts and windows and the coloured glass to pick up every season, every mood."
She thinks the vision of the home was about possibilities. The large size and the way it was built means it can accommodate another flat within it, or the house could be converted into a duplex.
Whoever built it was thinking ahead, Jenny says. There are many unusual touches to the home, such as the day bed in the master bedroom which has a window above it.
Jenny's grandchildren used to love lying there at night watching the stars.
"My brother said you could see satellites go by. It's quite intriguing. I've never seen anything like it."
Jenny says she has always lived in "box-type" houses where to get any privacy you have to go for a drive down the road. But at Frank's place you could always find a corner in the sun where you could read a book and be private and peaceful.
The home is across three levels with an entrance foyer leading one way to the kitchen/dining/lounge area where the deck is.
There is a full bathroom and laundry on this level: "It's got one of those big laundries that older houses have — you know, that you can shut a sick dog in."
There's a big rumpus room and a room Frank called the drying room but which used to have a spa pool which Jenny says could easily be put back.
A corridor leads into triple garaging and there's another bedroom/office off the back of the garage.
One of the lofts above the garage would make an amazing retreat for teenagers, says Jenny, or would be equally great for working from home.
Upstairs, where the main bedroom is (along with a sitting room and a conservatory) you can see the ocean. "It really glistens in the morning so with the sun rising it's so pretty."
Jenny always loved that you can walk along the beach and soon be in the middle of Orewa. "It's got a buzz to it. It's got live music, that sort of thing, and everything is tucked behind.
"You know, everything you could want, medical, retail, supermarket, and then you could walk along the beach back to his place."
For perfectionist Frank the house was about the architecture. "If you think of him you think of beautiful furniture and perfect architecture. You'd go to him and he'd explain what wood it was and how old it was."
He was a man who always had plans, Jenny says. "He was always clearing something, building something, planning something, and if I went and said 'we're going to build a deck' he'd draw a plan."
Whoever buys the house is in for a treat with the letterbox Frank built, which has locks and extra doors. Says Jenny: "He said 'it's the best in the street and I think it's the best in Orewa', and that's how it was.
"It had the best timber. It's got a separate compartment with a lock and he used to put the lawn mower man's money in there. The lawn mower man had a key."
441 HIBISCUS COAST HIGHWAY, OREWA
• 4 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 3* parking spaces.
• House: 258sq m, land 1012sq m.
• Tender: Closes May 16, 3pm.
• Inspect: Sat 2-2.30pm, or by appointment.
• Schools: Orewa North Primary, Orewa College.
• Contact: Calvin Howarth, 021 0278 0341.
*Plus 4 OSP