A couple finds the joy in indoor-outdoor living with a new build framed amongst rolling farm hills
Meet & greet
Greta Martin and Andrew Morgan (co-owners of Cafe Coffee & Bakery Systems) and their four cats and dogs.
1 The Design
With the kids all grown up, it was time for a change of scene for Greta Martin and Andrew Morgan. The pair wanted a home for their cats and dogs to roam freely, as well as a base for their whānau to reconnect come holiday season. After seven years commuting between Cambridge and Auckland, the couple found a perfect middle ground in the idyllic village of Te Kauwhata. “Greta loved the site and the township straight away so the decision to buy was simple. It’s allowed us to have a native bush outlook on the living side of the house and the indoor-outdoor area facing out across the farmland and hills,” says Andrew. A rural outlook was the number one priority for the two, a sight that is framed by sliding stacker doors throughout the living areas.
Having two new builds already under their belt, the couple chose a plan based on a Nixon Homes show home, allowing them to relish in the flexibility of adapting the design and features to their lifestyle. The result is a four-bedroom masterpiece centred around two living spaces that open to the outdoors.
2 The Materials
The country abode is clad in Linea Oblique Weatherboard by James Hardie, laid vertically and alternating between 200mm and 300mm panels for a stunning visual effect, finished in Resene All Black. “We had seen the weatherboard used in a variety of different houses around Cambridge and in magazines,” the pair explain. “We loved the clean lines and contemporary look that allowed us to complement the cedar shiplap panels we had previously decided we wanted as part of the overall look of the house.” Thanks to an automated louvre system, the couple can admire their sleek weatherboard finishing year-round, regardless of weather.
3 The Interior
Modern contemporary decor inspired Greta and Andrew throughout the build. “We have always been influenced by the use of space rather than cluttered areas,” they say. “We like the subtle but sophisticated finish of the natural wood finishes coupled with the clean lines of the Linea Oblique Weatherboards.”
The kitchen and the butler’s pantry is awash with matte black and oak cabinetry, celebrating a feature battened oak wall that comes complete with integrated fridges, a wine rack and drinks bar. The finished look is rounded off by a Dekton benchtop, which according to Greta and Andrew, “balanced the whole kitchen equally so each element had its own statement”.
The bathroom and ensuite boast Italian wall and floor tiles, having first spotted them in a display window on an Arrowtown holiday and promptly fell in love. “The oversized wall and floor tiles add a level of luxury in addition to the patterned designer tiles of each room.”
4 Contemporary Bliss
The road appeal is the couple’s favourite part of the house, who say, “while there’s lots to love about the living areas inside, the house is exactly how we imagined it, with the mix of cedar and Linea Oblique Weatherboards and the shaped driveway from the gates. It’s a nice feeling to know we compromised on the total house size for the additional exterior finishes and features that we get to enjoy daily.”
The couple now spend their evenings sitting on the deck with a bottle of wine, watching the sun hit the top of the trees around the surrounding hills. There are no plans to leave and plenty of landscaping to keep idle hands busy.
Photography by: Swell Productions