A smart ren­o­va­tion blends char­ac­ter with contempora­ry fea­tures in this lovely vin­tage home, writes LEIGH BRAMWELL

Herald on Sunday - - HERALD HOMES -

When Ben and Sarah Fahy bought their Mt Al­bert house in a pri­vate sale, part of the deal was that on set­tle­ment they had to come round with a bottle of cham­pagne.

They liked the idea, loved the house, the deal was done and they moved in on the open­ing day of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

That was a decade ago and Sarah still re­mem­bers the plea­sure of mov­ing from a cold flat to a warm fam­ily home with views.

The sought-after lo­ca­tion in a quiet street with ac­cess to trans­port and ameni­ties, and walk­ing dis­tance from good schools added to the appeal.

Built in the 1920s, the house had been ren­o­vated over time by pre­vi­ous own­ers, and was im­me­di­ately live­able for Ben and Sarah. But their fam­ily was grow­ing and over the next four years they got a good feel of the space and how the house could best be ex­tended.

Once their builder had con­firmed the build­ing was good and solid, they de­cided to add a storey to take ad­van­tage of the sun and the views, and give them the space they needed for what was to be­come a fam­ily of six.

“They’re all girls,” Ben says in mock de­spair. “Thank good­ness I’ve got the dou­ble garage and work­shop.”

The now-gen­er­ous de­sign cov­er­ing 263sq m com­prises five bed­rooms, two bath­rooms, and dual liv­ing ar­eas with an easy flow around a smart kitchen.

The con­fig­u­ra­tion al­lows for both for­mal and in­for­mal en­ter­tain­ing, and the space opens through the orig­i­nal French doors to a good-sized deck.

Ben and Sarah wanted to keep as many of the orig­i­nal fea­tures as was prac­ti­cal and saved all the orig­i­nal wooden win­dows, the tim­ber floors and the be­spoke beamed ceil­ings. “The builder said that match­ing up the ceil­ing beams once the house was ex­tended was the hard­est part of the de­sign.”

The sym­pa­thetic ren­o­va­tion has re­sulted in a house whose ex­te­rior blends in with the neigh­bour­ing char­ac­ter homes, and whose in­te­rior pro­vides for modern fam­ily liv­ing with cen­tral heat­ing, elec­tric rain­sens­ing sky­lights, gas hot wa­ter and an alarm sys­tem.

Out­side, a big, el­e­vated outdoor liv­ing area takes in views of the city and the up­per har­bour, while lawns and

“Lock­down re­ally showed us how easy this house was to live in.”

gar­dens pro­vide good space for chil­dren within the fully fenced prop­erty.

“I’ll miss the light and the views,” Sarah says.

“Be­ing able to see the city makes me feel very con­nected, and my world feels like a big­ger place.”

“Lock­down re­ally showed us how easy this house was to live in,” Ben says.

It also showed him that work­ing re­motely was a real op­tion and that, along with the re­al­i­sa­tion that fam­ily is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant, has driven the de­ci­sion to move.

With fam­ily in Wanaka and In­ver­cargill, their next move is to head off to the South Is­land for a new chal­lenge. Sale: Auc­tion Au­gust 12

Con­tact: Rachel Berry, Ray White, 021 195 4321; John Covich 021 195 4321

Hold your phone cam­era over the code to see the list­ing on

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