An interior designer and land surveyor's renovated home looks so pristine it seems baffling they say they were the "hillbillies of the street" for several years.
But when Lynn Ramcourt and partner Gavin reminisce about rejuvenating what was an extremely original home it makes The Block sound like a walk in the park.
"We actually ate out of a carport which had a dirt floor for three years because we didn't have a kitchen; we had a barbecue out there."
She bought the now deceivingly spacious home around 15 years ago while Gavin was overseas. Upon returning from his trip he affirmed her choice, reminding her he'd once commented driving down the street that he'd like that house but suspected it was beyond their budget.
They bought the circa-1915 Arts and Crafts bungalow five minutes' walk from Takapuna Beach from the original family that owned it. It was full of scrim, in a largely original state bar a closed-in deck extension at the rear.
Lynn says "I'd always wanted to do up an old home from scratch and, yeah, we did that all right."
They've nurtured the home's origins, cherishing and restoring character features such as leadlights and original kauri and rimu, which predominate throughout. They've future-proofed the home by repiling, replumbing, rewiring and thoroughly insulating it.
They replaced the modified closed in rear deck with a sympathetic yet contemporary rear living extension.
Colour-savvy Lynn, whose interior design consultancy is called Divine Living, wanted to retain the black exterior. But it was a hard slog upgrading it from fading original creosote to today's striking dark stain.
A verdant griselinia hedge cocoons the level front patio and lawn. Gavin and Lynn refer to a freestanding studio as cat Tinkerbell's "condo" as it has a discrete cat door.
The bungalow has two parking spots alongside and a covered front porch where visitors can admire big original pillars and the stained glass entrance. The kauri-panelled hallway with kauri floors showcases plenty of glorious original timber.
Newcomers are often surprised when they realise the home is more substantial than appears on approach. The end of the hallway steps down into a light-filled open-plan living spread designed for great entertaining and flowing to outdoors.
This rear expanse opens to a deck with wide stairs that double as stadium-style seating for guests.
The couple excavated the level rear grounds somewhat to gain privacy from neighbours.
A gnarled pepper tree serves as a focal point near an entertaining patio and raised garden beds in which they grow their own veges.
Inside Lynn has chosen modern Italian black-and-white decor for the open-plan expanse, which has underfloor heating and a gas fire in its living area.
The elegant kitchen leaves carport-barbecue cooking for dead, supported by a butler's pantry-laundry. Its second entrance is handy when unloading the week's groceries from the car.
Gavin can still remember the bonus of pulling down the master bedroom's previous green gibbed ceiling and uncovering its sarked timber ceiling, which complements its window-seat.
Lynn revels in the master suite's spaciousness.
As well as having an en suite and an unexpected walk-in wardrobe behind a traditional door it has a second living area, off which is a little study.
Two further double bedrooms flank another bathroom in which the feet of an original clawfoot bath they had resurfaced gleam with a chrome finish.
The couple are moving to their other property in Cooks Beach for the lifestyle.