By the time you read this, our house will be in tatters: we’ve just moved out so the builders can move in, adding much-needed space to our tiny 62-squaremetre home, with a thoughtful redesign by architect Megan Edwards. We never meant to stay this long. I bought the place when I was single, partly because it had a studio flat out the front that I could rent out. Then Hannah moved in, we got a dog, and now we have two kids under two... One day, we joke, we’ll rebuild the studio and send the teenagers out there. In short: it’s a house that, despite its obvious limitations, is growing with us as a family. The thing is, we live very differently these days. Young people can’t afford to leave home like they used to, or they move back in – often with their own children. Baby boomers seem to have little intention of retiring completely. A booming property market and earthquakes in Christchurch, meanwhile, have made previously difficult sites seem like good places to build. And everyone would like a little rental income, right? All the houses in this issue respond to those changing realities. In Auckland, Dave Strachan’s own house expands and contracts to accommodate his extended family, while a house by Aaron Paterson overcomes a south-facing slope for a young and growing family. In nearby Mt Albert, Marc Lithgow has created a family ‘compound’ around a house he designed for clients more than a decade ago. In Wellington, David Melling designs a new house – and a rentable flat – on a steep site that had sat empty since the 1980s. And in Christchurch, Jeremy Smith and Patterson Associates design contemporary new houses to replace beloved family homes damaged in the earthquakes. As you’ll see, the houses sprouting up in our suburbs are different: they respond to new family structures, new ways of living and new economic realities. They’re hard working and yet beautiful. I’m deeply excited by that, and I hope you are too.
We were delighted to win Best Magazine Design at the Canon Media Awards last month. It’s testament to the incredible work of Arch MacDonnell and Sarah Gladwell at Inhouse Design, along with Catherine Wilkinson, Imogen Temm and Sam Smith here at Bauer Media – and, of course, to our wonderful photographers who shoot beautiful images each month. “HOME delivers something special,” the judges said. “There is a quiet confidence that runs throughout its presentation; an understated precision... HOME is a place you really want to be.” We couldn’t agree more.
Top left A kitchen in Hawke’s Bay by Leanne Larking – part of our kitchen and bathroom special (p.132). Above left A family ‘compound’ in Mt Albert, Auckland, designed by Marc Lithgow (p.60). Top right Mary Gaudin’s beautiful shoot of Milan Design Week...