Most properties evolve over the years, developing from basic, bare beginnings to mature, fully featured environments as owners come and go.
For some properties, evolution becomes transformation. And Frayne and Deb Bloor have been integral to the latest changes at their 452 Mountain Rd property on SH3a near Lepperton.
They have taken a popular cafe business and built a new home alongside to take advantage of a stunning private garden backdrop. That gave them the unique lifestyle they wanted and which is now an opportunity for new owners.
The two acres or so of land here was initially farmland and then became part of Ian and Sheryl Swan’s garden nursery operation. The Swans developed beautiful private gardens around their nursery which were much admired as part of the early Taranaki rhododendron festivals.
In 1998, they decided to complement the garden and nursery surroundings with a cafe facility and built Tawa Glen Cafe. When they subsequently chose to concentrate their efforts on their nursery business, they subdivided off and sold the cafe with adjacent land and a slice of the rear gardens.
Frayne and Deb recognised opportunity here when they returned to Taranaki from 18 years of living in Brisbane. They saw the potential for a dream lifestyle for their family.
‘‘We’ve had a couple of years of hard work, but we’ve made the dream a reality,’’ Frayne says. ‘‘Now it can be someone else’s dream property.’’
Frayne and Deb have decided to let go their dream, as they plan on heading back across the Tasman, responding to the pull of all those years spent there and the wealth of friends still in Brisbane.
They don’t regret the time they have spent here at all. ‘‘The kids have absolutely loved Lepperton School and living in a country setting,’’ Deb says. ‘‘And they are at an age now where they will take that experience and remember it.’’
That will let new owners settle into the environment the couple has enhanced here – now an appealing package of land and lifestyle.
‘‘It’s a quiet area, with established shelter belts, beautiful gardens, mature trees, and a new home to go with it,’’ Deb says. That’s a rare package – most lifestyle blocks that hit the market seem to comprise an older home with established gardens or a new home with grounds yet to be reach maturity.
The cafe facility is part of the package here, but that’s an option new owners can use or change to suit themselves – offering an income to go with their lifestyle, or the choice of redeveloping it for alternative options. Those options could range from another home-based business to converting the facilities into a larger residence … even developing a bed-and-breakfast accommodation here.
The garden spaces that make the beautiful backdrop to this property are a special element of life here. They are a lush frame of greenery flushed with colourful blooms in season and alive with the sound of birds.
There’s no heavy weeding workload to daunt new owners, either, says Frayne. ‘‘The gardens are barked … there’s minimal maintenance and people can just walk in and enjoy the place.’’
The home they built here is ideal for sitting back and appreciating the setting and its features. It’s been carefully linked to the existing cafe building, which makes it convenient to extend life through there or create a B&B.
It’s a contemporary family home with character, Frayne says. Board-and-batten cladding is a pleasingly rustic finish outside, complemented inside by the chunky macrocarpa beams and the tongue-andgroove panelling along the lower half of the interior walls.
The ply-lined double garage is set to the front of the residence and forms one side of a sheltered sunny courtyard that welcomes visitors to this home. The front door opens into a generous foyer that separates the spacious open-plan kitchen-dining-family area from the formal lounge space. Doors open from both the informal and formal spaces onto the central paved-and-pebbled courtyard.
There are more doors on the other side of the kitchen-dining-family space to a timber deck that looks across lawn to the green wall of shelter-belt trees. This gives the family morning and afternoon choices for outdoor living; on a hot summer’s day they can throw open the doors on both sides of the room. ‘‘It’s great for entertaining,’’ Deb says.
In winter, the doors stay closed, of course, and the woodburner in the corner of the living areas keeps them cosy. A heat transfer system carries the warmth throughout the house.
The lounge has a bonus mezzanine space up in the striking timber-lined ceiling structure that’s great for a growing family, allowing activities to happen in three different living areas. ‘‘It’s a good sleep-out space, too,’’ says Frayne.
There’s an office space to the side of the lounge, with another large walk-in cupboard at the back that offers extra storage space, but could also be a computer/study nook.
To one side at the back of the foyer is the master bedroom with its view out into the beauty of the rear garden. ‘‘I’m going to miss waking up to that on the weekend,’’ Frayne admits.
There’s the expected ensuite in the master bedroom, as well as his-and-hers wardrobes as an alternative to the usual walk-in model.
Two more double bedrooms, the family bathroom and generous storage cupboards are found down the hallway from the foyer.
Looking out to the rear grounds, Frayne notes the more than 20 fruit trees in the orchard they have planted. ‘‘They are coming into fruit this season, so someone else will get the rewards.’’
He smiles at his initial doubts about settling down here. ‘‘At the start, I said there was no way I was living in Lepperton … but I’ve loved it . . . the location, the climate, just five minutes to town and the airport.’’
Deb says the community has been as great. ‘‘They embraced us and supported us … I feel really lucky and blessed to have had this time here. They are wonderful people and I hope we have made their lives a bit happier, too, while we have been here.’’
McDonald Real Estate consultants Anjie Cook and Donna Black are marketing the property, which they say is an exceptional and flexible opportunity for new owners to create their own special lifestyle.