Alistair and Astrud Guthrie's Devonport home has been reinvented numerous times during the course of its 100-plus year history.
It started life as a bootmakers', and at one stage in the 1980s the commercial space downstairs was used as a centre for flotation tanks. It has also housed an industrial embroidery loom.
When the Guthries saw the building seven years ago, it immediately appealed because they could see that the 65sq m downstairs area that opens out on to Calliope Rd would be an ideal workspace for photographer Alistair.
They were right -- for much of the time they've lived in the home, it has provided a generous area for Alistair to not only work in, but to display his striking photographs.
"It's been a real luxury, having such a great space in my home," says Alistair.
But it also proved its versatility earlier this year when it was easily converted into a guest suite for friends from France who came to stay for 10 weeks. They had barely left to go to the airport when the Guthrie's eldest daughter, Augustine, 16, claimed the space as her own, and it has remained a teenage bedroom/sanctuary ever since.
Now new owners can reinvent the space yet again. "The options really are endless," says Alistair, pointing out it is business zoned.
Shop, art gallery, office, yoga studio, cafe ... it's bound to be the perfect area for somebody wanting to run a business from their home. Or it would make an excellent games room (there's plenty of space for a pool table) or kids' play room.
The house has been a wonderful family home, say the Guthries, who also have another daughter, Aila, 13.
"The house itself has been good because there are so many different areas where you can go off and do your own thing," says Astrud. "Plus this is a wonderful neighbourhood to bring children up in. There are lots of families and the kids can just go out and play all day -- like an old-fashioned childhood."
The Guthries gave the two-storey weatherboard home a top-to-toe makeover when they bought it, from replacing the rusted roof to putting in new walls and doors. Downstairs, the floor is original, however, upstairs they've pulled up the carpet and laid a whole new floor, says Astrud.
They have successfully achieved the delicate balance of reinstating the character of the home's era with period features such as architraves, while adding modern touches with contemporary fittings in the bathrooms.
It's obvious that the owners of this home have an artistic eye. Crisp white walls provide the perfect backdrop for their extensive art and photographic collection, and there is the odd splash of colour, like the orange carpet in Astrud's office. Classic butchers' tiles have been used to great effect in the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry. In the kitchen, a central island found in a local shop was updated with a rimu top blonded and laminated to match the floor, while old wooden cupboards from a school science laboratory provide great storage in the laundry. There is plenty of storage throughout the home, including in the attic, which is easily accessed by a pull-down staircase. The Guthries also had two large storage cupboards built in the studio.
Downstairs, the kitchen, dining and family room opens on to the north-facing deck and small-but-perfectly formed garden. Upstairs, the lounge has great views north through oversized windows, and a woodburning fire for when it is chilly.
"For an old house, it is surprisingly warm and dry," says Astrud.
A move to the country is on the cards to be closer to Aila's pony, and it is time for new owners to enjoy all the house has to offer, say the couple.