Labour Of Love.
Listing | 36 Le Roy Terrace, Birkenhead Point |
Agents | Brooke Barrass – 021 131 0566 | Jordan Selwyn – 027 671 5882 |
Auction | 13 June 2019 |
Major renovation was family’s baby.. and it was worth all the labour pains, writes Donna Fleming.
Carrying out a major renovation is a lot like having a baby, says Wendy van Lieshout.
“It’s horrible when you are going through it, but you forget about it afterwards,” she says, laughing. “And in the end, it is worth it!”
The renovation of the home she and husband David Marriott own in Birkenhead Pt was a huge undertaking that involved gutting the house and pretty much starting from scratch. “The only things that weren’t touched were the wardrobes in the master bedroom,” says Wendy.
The couple and their children Jacob and Saskia moved out for six months while the work was carried out — they ended up living in eight different places in that time — and Wendy recalls popping in one day to see how things were going to find a digger in the middle of the house and a two-storey hole where many of the rooms used to be. “That was a bit of a shock,” she says.
But the work means family now has a stylish, luxurious and highly functional home that is perfect for its idyllic site.
Number 36 Le Roy Tce is at the end of a cul-desac that’s a short walk from the Hinemoa St shops and cafes.
David and Wendy were walking to the shops from their nearby home eight years ago when they spotted the open home sign for Le Roy Tce.
They nearly didn’t go in because the 1930s home — then painted duck-egg blue — wasn’t very appealing from outside. But when they ventured inside and saw the outlook from the rear over neighbouring Le Roys Bush, they were won over.
“The minute we saw it we thought, Wow. It was so private and peaceful and we felt like we were in the middle of the bush. It is such a magical setting.”
The house was a “higgledy-piggledy rabbit warren of rooms” that had undergone numerous makeovers over the years.
Wendy and David waited five years before they changed anything. An Architect friend of a friend did concept plans, and then architect Michael Cooper was commissioned to draw up the plans that full y transformed the home.
He did a spectacular job, says Wendy. A self-confessed control freak, she barely changed a thing he suggested. As well as loving he overall design and look of the home, which is a fresh mix of classic and contemporary styling, she’s delighted with the little touches Michael came up with, like the full-height glass walls and doors in the showers the mean steam doesn’t escape.
“He thought of everything, and was always ready to help”, says Wendy. “When we were choosing tiles for the bathroom he met us at the shop to help us decide, and we could do things like text him photos of the kitchen lights we were thinking of buying to get his feedback. He was very invested and enthusiastic.”
Michael’s a kitchen designer as well as an architect, and it’s no surprise to learn the stunning kitchen he came up with for Wendy and David won an award.
Part of the large open plan living/dining area at the rear of the house, the kitchen features a huge central island with a striking ceramic surface.
There’s an abundance of automatic opening drawers, cleverly-placed open shelving about upper cupboards and a mirrored splashback that reflects the greenery outside. A vertical sliding window creates a balcony feel, looking down on the garden, when it is open.
Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and a deck off this open plan area make the most of the bush outlook, and a splendid magnolia tree creates extra privacy in the summer months.
Work on the house was only finished 18 months ago, so everything is still pristine and immaculate. But unfortunately the family won’t get to enjoy it for much longer – they’re off to Queenstown for work.