A light touch and a simple palette of colours and materials have transformed this grand villa into the jewel at the top of the crown.

Built in the early 1900s, this example of handcrafted style was New Zealand's answer to the need for something larger and more elegant than austere pioneer housing.

In the 1990s the house was extended to separate the parents' bedroom upstairs and create more expansive formal and casual living areas downstairs.

When the current vendors moved here in 2007, the house was shrouded from public view behind a rambling garden beneath overgrown trees.

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The first job was to remove the trees to let in more sunlight and clear spaces for lawns. It gave them a clear view of what they had to work with ahead of their full-scale renovation in 2016.

24 Kenyon Ave, Mt Eden, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst
24 Kenyon Ave, Mt Eden, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst

This elevated home now basks in sunshine on all sides, with the longest vista extending beyond leafy suburbs to the Waitakere Ranges.

Designed by RTA Studio in Auckland, the alterations changed comparatively little of the footprint.


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The back of the house was pushed out to accommodate a family bathroom. It lies opposite cavity-sliding doors to the laundry and its marble benchtop.

From the original coloured-glass front door to the back door, this house is a seamless transition between old and the new.

24 Kenyon Ave, Mt Eden, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst
24 Kenyon Ave, Mt Eden, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Two casual living areas and a dining area by the kitchen open to north-side verandas and a pergola by the pool.

Traditional features include deep skirting boards, board-and-batten ceilings and three original Victorian fireplaces, each with tiles of different floral patterns.

Exterior joinery is a mix of new and original.

New interior doors feature matt brass fittings. International touches include the Japanese-designed brass tapware and UK-designed lights.

24 Kenyon Ave, Mt Eden, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst
24 Kenyon Ave, Mt Eden, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst

In the kitchen, there is a dark composite scratch- and heat-resistant benchtop.

But it is the new three-car garage with separate guest bathroom that solved the biggest challenge, and that was an adventurous plan to house cars in a garage under the pool.

Such a project meant removing tonnes of volcanic rock.

Instead, the design team came up with this colonial barn-style structure, to the delight of their clients.

24 KENYON AVE, MT EDEN
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 3 parking spaces.
• Auction: June 5.
• Contact: Edward Pack, Bayleys, 021 428 241