Coastal collaboration takes the cake

“We wanted a ‘clever home’ that was very nice to live in and wasn’t conspicuous,” says home owner Peter. He’s not talking about NASA electronics or automated functions. The cleverness manifests in the absolute liveability of the home that Pete says has ‘a very friendly, homely feel’. This was the brief in a nutshell, and the bells and whistles are in the intelligent design that links the existing ‘bachstyle’ home to the new, main pavilion.

Passive solutions for the heating and cooling of the home were a big factor, as well as suitable garage parking for the boat. In the ‘winterless north’, ventilation was a key consideration, and the slight opening of the large doors and windows worked with the plywood roof design and clever use of vents with traditional purlins to allow ‘the home to breathe’. It was a subtle and understated yet crucial facet.

Keeping the owners cool was another consideration and, by working together with Pete and his team, the couple’s expectations were exceeded in the final result. Often a stressful undertaking, the process, from design to turnkey, was a revelation for Peter and Nikki, who now joke, “When can we build the next one?” A big factor in the enjoyment was the relationship with Pete and his team. “They were so interactive,” says Peter. “Nikki and I would try to get out most weekends to check on progress, and if we found something we wanted changed, be it layouts or nonstructural wall framing positions, it was no problem at all to get what we wanted.”

As far as an owner’s contribution goes, Peter and Nikki weren’t just the overseers of design but were also the suppliers of timber – lots of it. Vast amounts of poplar and eucalypt was milled from, and on, their Titoki farm, then machined into the beautifully crafted internal doors, the front door, the expanse of flooring, the cabinetry and the stand-out window framing. Not only was the timber a practical application of resources: it also provided the home with heartfelt family history and attachment. The workmanship in the doors was something to behold, and was duly appreciated by Nikki and Peter – especially the oversized sliding door between the master and en suite.

With contented clients, down-to-earth Pete diverts the gratitude and due praise. “I get a real kick to see how much they enjoy it,” he says, still taking the time to visit them for a beer. The building experience was an enjoyable enterprise for Peter and Nikki, and the smiles on their faces, when they saw the finished project, was the icing on top.

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