The current Auckland property market is certainly breaking all kinds of traditions in terms of price, but although established, much-loved family homes in gilt-edged suburbs are selling for sums that repeatedly defy belief, many new properties are also being constructed by sensitive developers.
These are often quite spectacular in their own right; well-built, using quality materials, and definitely worthy of inspection.
Design manager Julie Russell could see endless potential when she first laid eyes on this versatile site in St Heliers' Melanesia Rd, just a short walk from the popular local beachfront.
"We were doing two Hatfield Architect properties here," she says. "I felt that each had to be unique and make a really good use of space between outdoors and in. Nobody likes buying something that's exactly the same as their neighbour's."
What Julie also had in mind was the need to create something relatively timeless.
"When somebody buys a high-end house like this one, they don't expect to be thinking about changing things for at least a decade -- and hopefully, even for much longer still."
Fellow designer Megan Judd agrees.
"We wanted something that was almost hotel-like so if a busy executive is coming home from work at night, he or she will just feel utterly relaxed and revitalised as soon as they open the door. "
In a house that's approximately 346sq m in total floor area, there's inevitably loads of room to relax and to share space with family and friends. The luxury part of the experience begins immediately beyond the impressive front entrance.
A large kitchen -- bespoke in design and equipped with quality appliances -- plus a useful and increasingly desirable scullery -- is an entertainer's delight. There's an incredible expanse of cupboard capacity too, often subtly arranged, so that loads of crockery and glassware can be well-hidden.
This -- along with the cosy main living area -- takes up most of the garden-facing ground floor.
Most windows have views to surrounding roofs, gardens and landscaping, plus the in-ground swimming pool, and there's the bonus of another living room, around the corner of this particular level, along with an easy and elegant powder room for guests.
On the second storey, reached via freshly-carpeted stairs are three bedrooms plus a sunny little spot that could be used as a computer or office-hub, with break-out space for simply relaxing.
The three bathrooms throughout the house continue in a cohesive theme with marble tile finishes. The master suite is, indeed, a masterpiece with a sumptuous bedroom, with its own living space, plus a walk-in wardrobe and luxurious en suite.
Overall, this elegant, new house has a relaxed, Zen-like atmosphere, enhanced by the use of various understated modern textures, via wallpaper and other innovative 3D surfaces, such as the spectacular kitchen splashback. It's in good school zones and will integrate seamlessly into local life as soon as new owners take possession and make it their own.
In general terms, it's also smart and hard-working with excellent storage facilities throughout -- and the location is a big plus. Just a comfortable walk away from fashionable St Heliers, this offers easy access to local shops, cafes and restaurants.