We hear constantly about the lack of cost effective housing in Auckland, the hundreds of homeless families and how much it is costing the taxpayer to house dozens of poor families in motels.

Or how they're having to sleep in cars, garages, sheds and so on.

Unfortunately I flipped onto Grand Designs NZ on TV3 this week which featured a modernist home based on a Parisian apartment being built on a rare empty site in the heart of Auckland's historic Ponsonby.

In fact it was just a street back from Ponsonby Road.


Auckland couple Philippe and Sarah Lods were hoping to create their dream inspirational home.

As Sarah said they couldn't live in Paris so they decided to bring Paris to Auckland.

This couple were uber styley perfectionists who loved all things French. They were obsessive about every tiny detail and it galled me.

I know live and let live. The couple were intent on creating their house in their style even to the point of sacking the builders after eight months and hiring a new crew.

It was self-obsessive and far from entertainment for me.

I groaned as they moaned about every finicky detail right down to aging the shiny brass door handles which they soaked in a tank of vinegar to take the shine off.

I have to admit I couldn't shed a tear when Sarah said sadly the planned Juliet balcony of their upstairs bedroom wasn't to be because Phillipe hadn't had time to fashion the weathered wrought iron surround and anyway they didn't really want to look into the neighbour's yards.

The cost of their Crittal steel windows was $300,000 and the whole house project went $1million over budget from $1.5 million to $2.5million.


"Budget-smudget", muttered Phillipe when asked about the overrun.

We saw Sarah shopping for marble and bits and pieces to put inside saying; "...this is where I am in my happy place. This kitchen is going to be seriously sexy gorgeous."

The finished stylie concrete slab olde parisian apartment was beautiful and light filled.

We saw a shot of the housewarming party where the guests were pretty much a full compliment of Auckland A listers waggling sparkling stemware sloshing with champers.

This wasn't entertainment for me.

It was a load of social fol-de-rol.