Surprising given its central location, Ireland St is a leafy cul-de-sac with a laid-back ambience that has suited a busy family well.

It's parallel to Franklin Rd and a few doors away from a playground.

Art director and AUT design lecturer Robert Key says: "When we first came to look at this home I started paying attention as soon as we turned into this no-exit street because it had such a good feeling."

Robert lives at 7 Ireland St, Freemans Bay, with wife Nikki Walker, a TV producer and textile designer, daughter Lola, 18, a university student, and son Theo, 11.

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Robert says: "From the outside I'd thought the house might have been a bit small, but then it felt like it grew as we went through it.

"It's spread over three levels and I was surprised how much it opens up with its rear living."

It takes Robert eight minutes on a Lime scooter to AUT in the central city. Theo can walk to Ponsonby Intermediate School and Lola walked to St Mary's College.

7 Ireland Street, Freemans Bay. Photo / Supplied
7 Ireland Street, Freemans Bay. Photo / Supplied

Ponsonby Rd is only a couple of minutes' walk away for Robert to get his caffeine fix and "we treat New World just down the road like our local dairy", he says.

Ray White agent Marty Hall says: "Purchasers aren't immediately aware off the sheer convenience of this location, along with the fantastic layout."

The character home was more modest before being extended upwards and pushed out at the back.


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Says Robert: "There's plenty of space and the layout gives you separation from others if you want it."

Visitors usually take the wisteria-clad spiral staircase to the veranda and the front door into the main mid-floor.

You can also enter via a side path or through the single front garage, which fits a smaller car.

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Despite some modernisation over the years it remains a character home with its high stud, leadlight windows and doors, and sash windows.

Robert says: "The way things look is important to me because of my job and this place is light, bright and north-facing."

7 Ireland Street, Freemans Bay. Photo / Supplied
7 Ireland Street, Freemans Bay. Photo / Supplied

A lounge which can be shut off precedes the rear living-dining neighbouring the kitchen. There are heat pumps and the house has been re-carpeted.

Living opens up to courtyard-style rear grounds, a deck and garden beds. Robert appreciates low-maintenance as the family have busy lives and a bach at Port Waikato.

He says: "It's very lock-up-and-leave, which gives you time for other things."

He's not surprised the kitchen works so well as he understands the earlier owner was a chef. Three can comfortably work there at once. It has a wrap-around bench and abundant storage. There's also an in-cupboard laundry.

This level also includes a bathroom and two good-sized front bedrooms, one with an en suite and a mezzanine floor.

The master suite on the upper level has window-seat, en suite and walk-in wardrobe.

"You get a slice of the view out to Rangitoto and the city."

The guest suite on the lower level has en suite, kitchenette, its own access and courtyard. Nikki's office adjoins it.

The family are looking at basing themselves outside central Auckland.

7 IRELAND ST, FREEMANS BAY
• 4 bedrooms, 4 bathroom, 1* parking spaces.
• Set Price: $2,075,000.
• Contact: Heather Lanting, Ray White, 0274 394 124; Marty Hall, 0274 500 168