Have a nosey inside a dozen homes
Curious neighbours are getting a chance to poke their noses inside some of Auckland’s most elegant homes in the name of charity.
The owners of 12 of Auckland’s finest homes will be opening their doors to the public this month for the NZ House and Garden Tours 2009, fundraising for the Cancer Society and Look Good Feel Better.
Ponsonby home owner Gerardine Drees and her family will be vacating their renovated, three-level villa for a day while the tours are on.
In their four years at the address, Gerardine says she and husband David have worked together, blending their individual tastes to create the elegant, European feel to their home.
They had both travelled a lot and each already had an established home, so she says the new house is a combination of both their belongings.
“We both had a big input into how we wanted the house to look.
“It was certainly never going to be a minimalist home.”
She says the villa was a flat when they bought it and needed a lot of work.
“I don’t think one room was left untouched.”
Gerardine’s favourite space in the house is the light and airy living room, which leads out to a courtyard and pool.
“There’s indoor-outdoor flow. We eat out there every night – it’s almost like a second room.”
For Gerardine, supporting the Cancer Society has a more personal meaning as well.
The day she was asked to take part, she was waiting for the results of a biopsy herself.
Fortunately the test was negative but she says being in that situ- ation made her even more keen to support the Cancer Society.
“I thought: ‘Whatever the outcome is, I will support this.’
“It was meant to be really.”
She says she’s happy to be able to give something back to the Cancer Society and Look Good Feel Better, an international organisation that restores self-esteem to women cancer patients through beauty workshops.
NZ House and Garden magazine editor Michal McKay will also be opening her doors to the public for the tour and says she has been absolutely thrilled with the response so far.
Tickets have sold out in Auckland but there might be more printed, putting the funds raised already at more than $200,000.
She says in the tough economic climate, it is doubly thrilling that tickets are selling so well to support charities that may be struggling more than usual.
“The magazine has such a wide reach, we feel almost morally bound that we should be helping in some way.”
The NZ House and Garden Tours 2009 visits Auckland on March 27.
Tickets are $55 for access to all 12 houses in the tour and they may still be available from www.ticketmaster. co.nz.
Classic style: Gerardine Drees is opening her doors for the NZ House and Garden Tours.