When it came to designing a home for himself and wife Lucy Powell, architect Daryl Maguire had many features in mind.

"Basically, what I wanted to achieve was a modern homage to the traditional bungalow, since most of the houses around us are period homes," he says.

"It was great to have a blank canvas, and because I'm familiar with building, I know where the value is."

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Many of the windows are high up, which gives privacy while allowing for cross-ventilation. There's solar-heated water, backed up with a heat pump, under-floor heating throughout, and double-glazing.

The house is fully insulated beyond code minimums, says Daryl.

On the ground floor the main living and kitchen area is large and light, just as he and Lucy intended.

It has polished concrete floors to trap the sun's energy and there's a semi-separate dining room, which could be used as a second living room or a snug.

With a stainless steel benchtop the kitchen has a slightly industrial flavour, with quality Smeg appliances, built-in fridge, and American white oak veneer cabinetry. The roomy pantry is a bonus. "We tried to think of everything," says Lucy, "and putting in the double-dish drawers was a particularly inspired idea. Everyone should have them."

Next door is the tiled ground-floor bathroom and laundry. Beyond that, lies the spare bedroom.

It has its own access, and Daryl says it's brilliant for family to stay.

At the time the house was being built, Daryl was involved in the redesign and upgrade at Eden Park, ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

He has used some of the timber panelling from the park's old boardroom in the house. Upstairs is the main bedroom, with his and hers vanities in the bathroom and a double shower.

The Bose sound system throughout the house is piped into the bathrooms and Lucy says she selects her shower music according to her mood. At night, sensors turn on floor lights on the way to the toilet.

A further bedroom has access to the third bathroom, and the mezzanine living space is sun-drenched.

Daryl designed this part of the house in such a way that it could be easily adapted as a fourth bedroom. Plans for this come with the house.

Outside of the impressive living space on the ground floor is the garden, clearly designed with entertainment in mind.

It has an outdoor fireplace, easy-care native trees, and plenty of room to sit and enjoy the sun.

The double garage has internal access and plenty of space for tools and things. Feline fans will be impressed with the built-in cat doors.

Popular decile-10 Maungawhau Primary School is just a short walk away and access to the city is via nearby Dominion Rd.

Mt Eden village with its shops, cafes and bars is just up the hill and there are loads of ethnic eateries at nearby Balmoral.

Since building the house, Daryl and Lucy also lived for a time in Christchurch, where he worked on the temporary stadium, and she co-founded a communications company.

Now, their future lies in Melbourne, where both have exciting new jobs. "We're wanderers and we've lived in lots of places, but having designed it for ourselves, we'll remember this house with particular fondness," they say.

34 KENSINGTON AVE, MT EDEN
• 3 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 367sq m, House 207sq m.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun, noon to 12.30pm.
• Auction: Thur 1 Nov, on site, 2pm.
• Schools: Maungawhau Primary, Balmoral Intermediate, MAGS.
• Contact: Colleen Strachan 021 283 6194 or Richard Hart 021 973474, uprealestate.co.nz/UPM11701