A light-filled sanctuary in Orakei
When Nikki lost out on buying two houses at auction on one day, she decided to take matters into her own hands. She says, “We had already sold our family home at Sunnyhills and had been actively looking for a property for over a year, but we kept getting outbid.” That evening she searched on Trade Me and found an ex-state brick and tile home on a decent-sized section, and put in an offer there and then. Fortuitously, one week before getting the keys to their online purchase, Nikki was also selling her business and therefore had some time between jobs to devote to a new project: demolishing the old house and building a new one.
Through mutual friends, Nikki was introduced to architect Bruce Wigglesworth who works for Urban Design NZ. The two hit it off immediately, and when Nikki gave Bruce a three page list of requirements for the new build, the architect got busy drawing up the plans. With a husband and two growing boys, Nikki wanted a family home with plenty of space and a playroom for the kids. High on the wish list was a wide staircase and 2-3 living areas, along with a pantry/scullery for Nikki to indulge in her favourite pastime of baking. Light was also a major consideration in the build. With a north-facing back garden, the family wanted to capture the afternoon sun and make sure the house would be filled with natural light.
Traditional villa with a contemporary twist
From the outside, the two-storey house oozes curb appeal. The cedar timber is complemented with windows that on first inspection look like they are made of wood. Nikki comments, “We love natural wood, in fact the architect said he would only build us a house made out of wood! However, we wanted to install aluminium joinery. It’s simply more practical than wood, easier to maintain and comes with a guarantee of longevity.” The windows that she specified were from the FIRST®APL Metro Series manufactured by Silverdale aluminium joinery specialists Windowmakers. Nikki had been referred to Windowmakers by a friend, and a visit to their Design Centre proved to be inspirational. Nikki says, “I had heard that Windowmakers was by far and away the best in the business for aluminium joinery. I took Bruce our architect with me to their showroom and frankly he was blown away by the number of different options available, from huge commercial styles right through to contemporary residential windows and doors. What we both loved was that Windowmakers powdercoat the windows with a matt white colour (warm white pearl).
This not only effortlessly blends in with the external look of the house, but gives the impression the windows are made of timber.” The house itself is situated in a quiet street in Orakei, the elegant front door – manufactured by Windowmakers – is made of aluminium and opaque glass and has a unique electronic lock which negates the need for multiple sets of keys. Nikki specified this so that the kids wouldn’t lose keys and she would be able to go out walking without having to carry a key ring. As you enter the house you walk into a massive hallway with bedrooms, bathrooms, and a playroom leading off the corridor. An impressive staircase takes you down to the ground floor and to the heart of the home. The open plan kitchen, dining room and lounge space is enveloped with light from the two massive sliding doors on each side of the room. These slide back fully onto the outside space which has a seating and barbecue area, a grass lawn and a beautiful pool. Nikki states, “The sliding doors go up to the high stud in the room to maximise the amount of light into the area. We had considered bi-folding doors, but when we saw how far back the sliding doors can reach and the large opening they created, we chose this design instead. The indoor/outdoor flow is truly seamless, which is exactly what we wanted. I can sit at the dining table and watch the boys play in the pool on sunny afternoons. It’s an absolute treat."
Easy does it
Nikki and her husband John are delighted with their sun-filled home. “People have asked me if I would consider building again and I can honestly say I would. From laying the concrete to moving in took only six months,” explains Nikki. “The architect managed the whole process smoothly and scheduled all the tradies and suppliers to do their jobs in such an organised, methodical way. The builder was great and literally brought the plans to life. For us, things certainly moved quickly, which meant we could get on with enjoying our spacious and light-filled home. Once I close the front door at night, I feel this is my quiet sanctuary far away from it all.”
AT A GLANCE
Joinery: FIRST® Metro APL Series with a warm white pearl colour in a matt finish.
Hardware: The hardware is colour matched Urbo.
Glazing: Clear double glazed throughout. The bathrooms have opal windows which provides additional privacy.
Architect: Urban Design NZ Ltd
Builder: A&T Builders Ltd
Joinery: Windowmakers Ltd