Rose McGregor has a canvas featuring an Yves Saint Laurent quote that sums up her attitude towards home design: "Fashion fades, style is eternal."
She had those wise words in mind when she set about creating her home on a generous plot of land at Tauriko, 10 minutes from Tauranga.
"I love traditional and timeless design," Rose says. "I knew what I wanted — something tasteful and special but not too precious or ostentatious. It turned out even better than I was expecting."
She's full of praise for architectural designer Jon McAlpine and builder Daman Beckett for turning a drawing she sketched into a stunning home. She'd worked with them both before and they instinctively understood what she was after.
Rose's country homestead looks like it has been in place for several generations, but is only two years old. From the bespoke wrought iron gates she designed through to the striking light fitting in the living room that she commissioned, meticulous attention to detail has gone into every aspect of the house.
Bricks recycled from a Christchurch hotel were used to create the gate posts, pillars by the front steps and the two fireplaces. A tongue and groove ceiling in the kitchen, and wood paneling with dado rails in several rooms, also add a traditional feel.
Rose was fussy when it came to sourcing materials. Hexagonal floor tiles in the bathrooms were made from clay from Mt Etna in Italy, while South Island stone was used for the front steps. Meanwhile joinery — including the kitchen cabinetry, a built-in bookcase and the dressing room shelving — was custom-made to Rose's specifications by Tauranga firm TKB.
Plenty of thought also went into the home's layout. Two wings — one containing the master bedroom, en suite and dressing room, the other with three bedrooms, a rumpus room and family bathroom — are connected by the home's central living part.
Along with the elegant living room, there's a spacious and well-equipped kitchen, with scullery and Falcon stove, in this central hub.
Guests tend to gather around the 3m-long island or sit on the partially covered deck in front of the outdoor fire.
"I've had so many events here, like my daughter's pre-ball party, because it lends itself so well to socialising."
When it came to decorating, Rose choose calming neutral colours, top quality fixtures and fittings and classic features such as plantation shutters in many of the rooms.
The exterior received as much careful thought as the interiors. Wraparound verandas are great spots to sit in all weathers, and the house looks out to the sparkling water of the heated pool. A particularly clever feature is the L-shaped "moat" on two sides of the pool, that has been planted with griselinias.
Rose inherited numerous established magnolia trees when she bought the land, and her landscapers put in plenty of natives, including pohutukawa and puriri, to attract birds.
"It's such a peaceful place to live ... but it's just a few minutes to Bethlehem town centre and the new shopping centre, Tauranga Crossing, that have everything you need. It's also so close to Tauranga."
As thrilled as she is with her wonderful home, Rose has decided to sell now her youngest daughter Madison has gone to university, so she can move closer to oldest daughter Jamie and 2-year-old granddaughter Mollie.
66A ECHO VALLEY WAY, TAURANGA
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• House: 327sq m, land 3396sq m.
• For Sale: Price by negotiation.
• Inspect: By appointment.
• Schools: Tauriko Primary School, Bethlehem College.
• Contact: Jan Hodges, Bayleys, 027 546 3437.