COVER PROP­ERTY

Taranaki Daily News - Your Property Weekly - - Front Page - Mike Shaw

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.

Photos: DEL HIL­DRED-TOLL AT OPEN2VIEW

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