For suburban folk with a penchant for green spaces, the hills and valleys of West Auckland often feel like someone else's dream, a long drive from anywhere.
But for Phillippa and Bernie Knight, life for the past 20 years on the fringes of Glen Eden has been the best of both worlds.
They arrived here with two school-age daughters, one of whom, Samantha, still lives at home.
Three cows kept the grass down in the paddocks near their portion of the Waikaukau stream. A swathe of young pine trees benefited the neighbouring Prospect Primary School as a Christmas fundraiser for many years.
When the trees grew too tall, Bernie spent weekends cutting them down. He stored bigger pieces in one shed at the bottom of the property and smaller firewood in the shed closer to the house.
Bernie's patch has been the bottom of the land, in and around the 108sq m, four-car garage. Phillippa's has been in the extensive woodland-style gardens and the interior decor.
For both of them, it has been about making a home around the demands of their sheet metal business, which they established three years before moving here. This modern, low-maintenance home has been the perfect haven, with three levels of functional, multi-purpose rooms.
The front door lobby on the ground floor opens off the south side of the house to the central staircase. This entry level includes bedrooms, a full-equipped bathroom and a separate toilet.
Upstairs, there are living areas with the large solid rimu kitchen alongside the dining area and the adjacent lounge, with its covered deck.
Elsewhere, there is the master bedroom, a large laundry, another large bathroom with separate toilet and Phillippa's office, which is large enough to be another bedroom.
Colour and texture abounds in the paint, wallpaper, window treatments and floor and wall tiles. Renovated about 10 years ago, the entry level bathroom has a touch of Australia in its tiles.
Multicoloured listello tiles depicting the Sydney cityscape were bought on one of their many holidays. On every trip across the Tasman, they've taken measurements of projects they were focused on at the time.
Elsewhere, Phillippa painted over textured wallpaper to enliven feature walls.
One is the vibrant purple backdrop in Samantha's bedroom, which was extended out into veranda space and enhanced with double-glazed windows.
Another similar touch is in the red feature wall in the master bedroom with its sliding doors to a deck.
"I wanted to create a house that was endearing to us," says Phillippa of the updates.
"When the kids were young it was wonderful having a separate wing for the girls. It has also been a fabulous house for family get-togethers."
Bernie has lived all of his adult life within three or four kilometres of here.
Now, with a grandchild in their world, both he and Phillippa are looking for more lifestyle options.
Unlike so many couples their age with adult children, they're looking for a larger rather than smaller home.
99B WOODGLEN RD, GLEN EDEN
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 6 parking spaces.
• Land 1.15ha, house 185sq m.
• Set date of sale: Oct 18.
• Inspect: Call to view.
• Auction: Weds 3 Oct, 2pm, 30 Gaunt St.
• Schools: Prospect Primary, Glen Eden Intermediate and Green Bay High School.
• Contact: Jock Kooger, 021 321 856; Pawel Smuga 021 043 7375; Rachel Ashton, 021 022 44990, Bayleys, oneroof.co.nz/1192023