Featured Property

11 villas for sale that are still full of heritage character

Article by Property Press

This collection of villas for sale from across New Zealand perfectly balance heritage charm with the comforts of modern living

Villas are the quintessential homes of a bygone era. Built from hardwood native timbers with beautiful decorative features that can’t be duplicated today they are the embodiment of the design aesthetic of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Our style of living may have changed over the intervening years, but villas can offer a wonderful opportunity to create a home full of period charm combined with the comforts of modern living.

Some villas have been hashed about by past renovations, or reduced to a mere shell with a minimalist overlay. Here’s our choice of villas which have a timeless elegance and offer the potential for creating a unique home perfect for contemporary living.

1. Grande dame

This grande dame in Birkenhead is a great example of why villas encapsulate elegant living that’s hard to replicate in modern builds.

The high studs, large gracious living spaces, deep bay windows, lead lights and feature fireplaces all give a wow factor that’s timeless.

This home has the best of both worlds with a state-of-the-art modern kitchen and casual living, heated pool, landscaped grounds and plenty of parking.

2. Captivating character

As soon as you walk through the front door of this villa in Napier with its beautiful decorative leadlight window surround, you’ll be captivated by all the character features.

The wide entry foyer showcases the grand wooden staircase to the upstairs bedrooms. A double living area with fireplaces and generous bay windows offers flexible entertaining that links to the modern kitchen with French doors to a patio.

Original wide verandahs that span the front of both storeys offer dreamy spots for relaxation.

3. Street appeal

This rambling Whangarei villa overlooking Hatea River has so much street appeal with its fretwork, wide verandahs and sash windows.

Inside there’s everything you’d expect with generous rooms, ornate features, original fireplaces and board and batten ceilings.

It’s still got all the comforts of modern living but is loaded with charm.


4. Fabulous views

This pretty home in Kohukohu has plenty of villa features and still offers the opportunity to update the kitchen and bathrooms to your taste.

The fabulous views of the harbour are framed by feature windows and can be enjoyed while you relax on the lovely wide original front verandah that spans two sides of the home.

The wooden floors throughout have been polished and the board and batten ceilings have been stripped back to reveal the lustrous warm tones of native timber.

5. Best of both

This lovely villa in Lake Tarawera has a newly renovated kitchen and family area that opens to a covered deck but it still has plenty of charm.

The lovely hallway with decorative features and natural wood skirting boards and doors sets the tone.

Warm yourself by the character fireplace in the living room or sit in the window seat that makes the most of views from the deep bay window that fills the room with light. ‘


6. Elegant living

This beautiful New Plymouth villa has been lovingly restored and the elegant living room is a case in point — with all its original features this spacious entertaining area is really special.

The new kitchen has made clever use of character features and has the convenience of a scullery.

Leadlight windows, ornate fireplaces, wide verandahs, high studs and polished floors – what’s not to love?

7. Cottage charm

This pretty Wellington villa has a real cottagey charm, with its inviting front verandah with feature stained glass door and lovely verandah detailing.

The formal living room with its handsome fireplace opens to a relaxed kitchen and family room.

It really does combine the best of its heritage with the comforts of modern living.


8. Calling all families

With its dramatic triple gabled façade, stunning leadlight windows, wide central hallway with ornate plaster ceiling and character fireplaces, this Christchurch villa screams heritage.

Currently run as a B&B, with a little bit of updating it would make a beautiful family home.

The manicured grounds with mature trees are just waiting for a garden party.

9. Potential plus

This little beauty in Lyttelton is just waiting for its potential to be unlocked with a bit of interior design flair. The essentials are all there, from the dramatic entrance hall, through to the generous living area with a high stud and pressed tin ceiling.

The bonus is the stunning views of the harbour which are framed by the bay window in the living room.

With a little imagination this lovely villa with so much street appeal could become something really special.


10. Huge site

Calling Marie Kondo…once this Naseby home is cleared of clutter you’ll see the lovely bones and features such as the ornamental fireplaces will make an impact.

It’s situated on a huge double site with plenty of scope to develop further. A lot of the hard work has been done and it’s been insulated so you’ll be cosy over those chilly Otago winters.

This pretty, rambling 1870s villa has so much potential to become a home with the wow factor.

11. A real cutie

What a cutie! This little villa in Waitahuna, Otago is delightful and has been renovated to highlight the original features.

Lovely fireplaces, high studs, board and batten ceilings, polished floors…it has all the features you’d expect of an 1890s period home.

There’s some outbuildings too and the spacious garden has plenty of room for a vegie patch and chooks.

Words by: Sarah Beresford.

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