It was their children Ben and Sienna's schools that initially drew Kate and Aaron Young to Remuera's Victoria Avenue four years ago. That and the near-perfect layout of the recently renovated 1950s home they discovered hidden and elevated along the impressive, hedge-lined driveway.

The Young family moved from Kohimarama because Ben was at Kings Prep and they were looking ahead to top secondary schools as well.

"Kate is a doctor at Starship Hospital and Kohi is great, but it's a long way from town. As the kids were growing up, their mum was becoming a bit of a taxi driver," says Aaron.



"Kate loved the Remuera location. It's so much handier than Kohimarama where we were. Getting anywhere on the motorway is easy.

90 Victoria Ave, Remuera, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst
90 Victoria Ave, Remuera, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst

They were also attracted by "the simple layout" of the house that makes it so easy to live in for a family as all the bedrooms are on one level and there are big open living spaces downstairs — all facing north-west. It's been really well-thought out. Every room except the study, which is handy to the front door, gets the sun all day and into the evening.

The large separate pool house on the lower half of the huge garden was also a major part of the appeal.

"We had a nanny and it meant she could have her independence."

The home had been totally updated by Wendy Shacklock Architect in 2012 with white plantation shutters in almost every room that give a cool, contemporary flavour. Kate and Aaron decided to make their own changes just a year after they moved in.

"Basically the whole of the living area is just months old," says Aaron.

90 Victoria Ave, Remuera, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst
90 Victoria Ave, Remuera, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst

By switching the kitchen to a more central position looking out into the garden from the generous open family area, they were able to create a darker, cosier TV nook. Anchored by a rear wall painted midnight blue, it's now a lovely place to sit and relax.

Beside a door to the double garage, the sleek white kitchen with vibrant blue glass splashback is now twice its original size. In its new location, it gains the benefit of natural light from skylights.


There is also a separate lounge for entertaining at the end of the hallway. Here, they built in timber display shelves around the log fire and a large storage unit.

An accumulation of clutter was cleared from the versatile room on the balcony above the garage. It was once used as an arts studio but it is now set up as a gym.

90 Victoria Ave, Remuera, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst
90 Victoria Ave, Remuera, Auckland. Photo / Ted Baghurst

As well as tidying the garden with clever landscaping to reduce the amount of maintenance required, they revamped the pool area. They added expansive decking and solar heating that brings the water temperature up over 35C in summer.

But now it's Dad's turn. As vice-commodore of the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron, he's already busy with the lead-up to the America's Cup and spends around 25 hours a week down at the waterfront.

Moving to the other side means more time he can spend with the kids. So a lifestyle change is imminent for everyone, says Aaron.

• 5 bedrooms, 4 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 1341sq m, house 318sq m.
• Auction: Nov 21.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 3-3:30pm.
• Schools: Double grammar zone.
• Contact: Steen Nielsen, Ray White, 027 557 8336.