Written by John Williams
Rich and Cindy Brookes first fell for the park-like setting and coastal location of their villa on Tramway Road in Beach Haven in the early 2000s. Nineteen years on, they still love living here, so much so that they subdivided their property so others can share in the delights of living in one of Auckland’s friendliest little coastal suburbs.
Up until the 1920s, the Beach Haven area was rural land, largely made up of market gardens growing fruit and vegetables. In fact, Rich and Cindy’s villa, originally a workers’ cottage, sits on a site that was covered in strawberry fields.
"We saw the place and fell in love with it. We felt we were meant to own this property, so we ended up purchasing it.
Over the next ten years, the couple gradually renovated the villa. Then, in 2010, they built the cottage on the same site next to the villa, which is on the market right now. The 'Coach House', as they have fondly named it, was initially built as a studio and workspace for Rich, a photographer and director.
"We wanted the new build to be in keeping with the original villa and pay respect to its history. 4a is a modern villa with all the attributes you'd expect in a well-built, well-insulated modern home, but wrapped in an older style look," says Rich.
Unfortunately, Rich had a spinal injury a few years ago, so the couple decided to develop the Coach House into a home by creating four bedrooms on the ground floor and putting in a kitchen upstairs. It was a logical and seamless conversion.
The beautiful, deep timber colour of the newly polished upper floor and stairs are solid River Rimu, while the lower floor is a modern polished concrete finish, enhanced by the all-white palette of the rest of the house.
The upstairs open-plan living space is stunning – like walking into a modern penthouse apartment. It's large, light-filled, and, thanks to windows on three sides, enjoys sunrises and sunsets. The simplicity of this room is one of its best features, allowing the new owners to add their touches to the space. Sitting in the lounge, you're not overlooked by anyone; all you see is the sky and treetops.
“The kitchen is brand new and has never been used,” says Rich. “We designed it to maximise the openness of the living space and make the most of the incredible sunsets you get from this room – which are to die for.
And it's not only the kitchen that's new. The entire upstairs and downstairs interior has been redecorated, and the light fixtures are all brand new. The exterior and roof have also been newly painted, and the grounds have been fully landscaped, including sowing a new lawn and putting in a raised herb garden in the private courtyard.
"It's immaculate, like a brand new house – the new owners can just move in and enjoy it," says Rich.
The driveway is shared, with the site split into two separate titles. The new owners will have their own large grassed area with a beautiful Maple tree and garden shed matching the house, plus a private courtyard for outdoor dining.
4a Tramway Road is ready for someone to fall in love with and will be auctioned on-site on 30th July 2022.
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