TAKAPUNA 13 LAKE VIEW RD
Three years ago, as Sandra and Andrew Hiskens’ children were getting driver’s licences and cars, Sandra began scouting the streets in her neighbourhood for properties with garaging for three cars. The family were living nearby, and when Sandra spotted a ‘for sale’ sign on the 1990s place that lead to the lake, she knew she’d found the perfect spot. And the house needed only a bit of tweaking, she thought.
“We did nothing structural, it was just a makeover — although it took about six months,” says Sandra.
With her skills in interior design, and Andrew’s in property, their version of “makeover” was impressively thorough. As well as putting in a new kitchen, new decor and moving a wall, the couple also upgraded lighting throughout to LED, improved heating, cooling and smart wiring and overhauled the landscaping. Favourite builders Coastal Builders and Hewe Kitchens were brought in to make sure the couple got the quality they wanted.
The three-level concrete plaster house was a classic from the 1990s, designed by Terrence Hitchcock with his signature copper hip roof and spouting, detailed cedar joinery and interesting use of levels and sight lines to open up views. The experienced Hiskenses — they love doing up houses — knew immediately there was a great modern home lurking beneath the dated black slate floors, black lacquer and colour scheme that included purple, golds and chocolate.
The family living at ground level opened to a terrace of sandstone pavers around a classic pool with terraced gardens leading down to a spreading lawn on the lake front. Pavers needed replacing and gardens were rebuilt around sleeper steps (cleverly surfaced with artificial turf to survive in the shade) so that the family could make the most of the stunning lakeside lawn.
On the exterior, pastel plaster and tired cedar was updated with fresh white and dark black stain. Clipping and tidying the hedges at the front entrance revealed once more the welcoming lines of the entry portico.
Indoor/outdoor carpet and extra storage went into the single and the double garages that now store an eyepopping array of water toys, bikes, workshop and more. So much for Sandra’s search for parking for the cars — they’re all on the roomy parking court out front.
The double-height entry is on the middle floor of the house, with a gracious curve of stairs leading down to living rooms or up to the kids’ floor, with the master suite on this level. New pale carpet and wide oak floorboards were an immediate, beachy update and Sandra sourced striking light fittings directly from overseas for key spots around the house.
On the living floor, the Hiskenses tweaked the existing arrangement of kitchen and dining room. A casual sitting area half a level below the dining room features a Mediterranean-style concrete fireplace that merges with built-in concrete divans, perfect for lounging, whatever the season.
On the other side, a larger sitting room and media room were opened to the kitchen to improve flow and connectivity. A smaller adjacent room, used as Andrew’s office, has sliding panel doors so it can be closed off from family hubbub.