Think­ing in­side the square

Herald on Sunday - - COAST & COUNTRY - Leigh Bramwell


What you see is not exactly what you get when it comes to the dream home Mike and Jackie Ju­lian built for them­selves at Hunua in 2010. On the out­side, it’s a large, high-end house of plas­ter over brick with schist de­tail­ing — a clas­sic de­sign in the style of a coun­try lodge. But in­side, Jackie has em­ployed her de­sign skills to cre­ate an el­e­gant yet quirky in­te­rior that works per­fectly for a fam­ily that likes to have fun, en­ter­tain a lot and gen­er­ally en­joy life.

“It re­ally was de­signed as our dream home, and we like to build things that are dif­fer­ent,” Jackie says. “We needed lots of space so it had to be big — it’s over 400 square me­tres — and if I’m hold­ing a fund-raiser here I can have as many as 130 peo­ple.”

The north-fac­ing house has a big open plan liv­ing space where kitchen, din­ing and sit­ting ar­eas all open up via bi-fold doors to the pool and spa area. It’s where all mem­bers of the fam­ily spend most of their time. Even Mike and Jackie’s teenage sons al­ways liked to eat at the din­ing ta­ble and so­cialise here, rather than hang­ing out in their rooms or the me­dia room.

The Ger­man-made kitchen by luxury kitchen com­pany Hacker is Jackie’s do­main and she has en­sured the de­sign works for her. The stor­age space is mainly soft-close draw­ers as op­posed to cup­boards, and the over-sized is­land bench has a float­ing stainless steel top made by Jackie’s brother, a stainless steel fab­ri­ca­tor. The stainless steel ap­pli­ances in­clude a Smeg dou­ble oven and cook­top and Asko dish­washer, and there’s a spa­cious but­ler’s pantry which makes for easy en­ter­tain­ing.

“That pantry is very well used,” Jackie says, “and it’s bril­liant for a fam­ily with teenage boys who don’t get that it’s re­ally nice to put stuff away.”

The liv­ing area fea­tures com­mer­cial grade vinyl plank­ing, which again is ideal for a busy home where en­ter­tain­ing is a way of life. It plays into the warm, coun­try lodge look and is easy-clean and easy-care. Up above, the high pitched ceil­ings are clad in grooved ply and are a strik­ing fea­ture.

“The builder’s mind bog­gled when we told him what we wanted to do but as it turned out, all the tradies re­ally en­joyed do­ing things that were out­side the square,” Jackie says.

She brought skills learned on a cou­ple of in­te­rior de­sign cour­ses to the job of de­sign­ing the in­te­rior. Her piece de re­sis­tance is the guest bath­room, where she wanted to cre­ate a lux­u­ri­ous space that her fe­male guests in par­tic­u­lar would ap­pre­ci­ate. She de­signed it to pro­vide the same ap­peal as a clas­sic boudoir, so it’s large and lush, and the vi­brant rose wall­pa­per, re­flected in a su­perb sil­ver-framed mir­ror, is a stand­out.

The five bed­rooms all have french doors to the gar­den, and the mas­ter is equipped with an en suite and a walk-in wardrobe.

Vir­tu­ally ev­ery room has ac­cess to out­door liv­ing spa­ces, which in­clude the swim­ming pool area, a se­cluded court­yard, a deck, and the gar­den.

There’s a dou­ble garage and car­port at the house, and an­other dou­ble garage at­tached to a self-con­tained sleep­out.

With their chil­dren ready to fly the coop, they’ve de­cided a slightly smaller house is in or­der. They both love the area and the com­mu­nity, so they’ll build again nearby. But be­fore that, in the spirit of do­ing things out­side the square, they’ve de­cided to have a some­what be­lated gap year in Europe. Size (more or less):

Land 1.789ha, house 416sq m.

Price guide:

$1 mil­lion-plus to $2 mil­lion.

Auction: In­spect:

Nov 18 on site 11am.

To­day 2-3pm, auction day (18 Nov) 10-11am.


Opa­heke School, Rosehill Col­lege.


Lynn Lock­hart, Har­courts, 0275 354 024.

On the web:

har­ PP171002

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