An advertising creative loves the surprisingly spacious and open rear grounds of her 1914 villa where she had a cricket pitch set up during an Australia party.

Australian-born Lisa Fedyszyn moved to Auckland more than a decade ago, initially intended to stay a couple of years but decided to buy property after falling for this country and its people.

She says: "Ponsonby reminded me of areas I liked in Melbourne such as Fitzroy and St Kilda.

"I loved the bones and character of this house. Its simple footprint worked well and it felt like there were obvious ways in which I could improve it."

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Lisa feels like this villa she bought a decade ago had lived several lives before she bought it. It had past-its-best carpet, lots of beige paint and a rather ramshackle rear deck.

Upgrading the aging rear deck into a modern two-level one amid smart landscaping has been a key renovation component as the property packs a surprise it its tail.

Lisa says: "People are often surprised to discover how big and open the rear grounds are with the deck and outdoor entertaining stepping down to a good sized lawn.

"Before I started renovating I had an Australia party playing cricket and firing up the barbecue out back, with Vegemite sandwiches and Home and Away on the telly."

She likes her location some 400m down Lincoln Street, not right in Ponsonby strip but a short stroll from it.


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It's handy to favourite Richmond Rd haunts such as Ripe delicatessen and near several parks where she walks her fox terrier-Jack Russell-Basenji cross, Billy.

Lisa says future owners may want to explore putting a garage under the house. She can also visualise its footprint being extended at rear with open-plan living and a master suite.

Lisa's eye for aesthetics saw her repaint the formerly green weatherboard exterior white, also favouring white decor inside. She painted native timber floors in that hue after pulling up carpet.

The fenced property with front veranda opens into a hallway which previously masked its height under a lowered ceiling. Lisa says: "I chose to add open wardrobing to the two front bedrooms to maintain their spacious feeling."

Designer light fittings abound and include pieces by Tom Dixon, David Trubridge and Douglas & Beck. The bathroom with bath includes a cupboard laundry.

The hallway opens up into living. The lounge, with heat pump set into a character fire surround, neighbours a dining area opening to the rear deck.

There's a rear kitchen with stone bench top and black-and-white lino off the lounge.

Lisa says: "The lounge is one of my favourite places, cool in summer but cosy in winter. I often curl up on the sofa there to do some work.

"And I love being out on the deck in summer which gets so much nice light for reading, relaxing or having friends over for wine."

Family and friends helped her with working bees inside and outside the home. She got professional landscaping advice to help make outdoors stylish yet relatively low maintenance with planting including star jasmine, port wine magnolia and an espaliered persimmon.

The rear deck introduces the surprisingly spacious backyard and steps down to a second level alongside an outdoor entertaining courtyard. Chunky steps proceed down to a fully fenced lawn, laid 'stadium style'.

Lisa returned to this home after working in New York. She is ready for her next project but can imagine a young professional couple loving this property as is, or exploring its potential.

70 LINCOLN ST, PONSONBY
• 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 0 parking spaces.
• Land 303sq m, house 78sq m.
• Auction: 27 Feb (unless sold prior).
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 11-11.30am.
• Schools: Richmond Rd School, Ponsonby Intermediate.
• Contact: Chris Batchelor, Bayleys, 021 217 7026.