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Grey Lynn house


This thoughtfully renovated character villa in Auckland’s Grey Lynn makes the most of its long thin site.

Grey lynne villa exterior

The villa houses four bedrooms and bathroom (as well as a large wardrobe and en-suite to the main suite).

Walking from the street to the front door you follow the central hallway and are led down a few steps taking you from the villa to the new addition, with a contrasting modernist aesthetic. On your left is an outdoor lounge – a terrace with outdoor fireplace which faces the west and makes the most of the late afternoon sun. To your right is a media room and straight ahead the ceiling height increases in the open–plan living, dining and kitchen area before you move outside to the outdoor dining, with outdoor fireplace and BBQ area, and carefully considered north-facing garden.

Exterior of villa and pool

Running the length of the new addition is a lap pool, which seems to fuse outdoors and indoors. Past the kitchen is a scullery, which adds extensive storage, and additional access to the northern garden.

This kitchen is conceived as three main parts: a peninsular island, the main body of the kitchen and the scullery which doubles as a laundry. Adjoining the kitchen is the open plan living and dining room which have a 3.7m stud height, clear-story glazing and stunning two-sided fireplace. The chosen aesthetic of mid-century modernism, reflects the clients’ favourite piece of furniture, a Clausen & Son vintage sideboard which sits facing the dining table. The rest of the furniture was custom made for the room. Including the ‘Outline Chairs’ and ‘The Knack’ sofa (using custom Kvadrat fabric from Simon James Design which picks up tones of the stone fires and the side chairs reference the greenery of the garden), table and chairs (custom from Ben Glass) teamed with a rug from Designer Rugs. The look is completed with George Nelson Bubble pendant lights which emphasises the height of the space.

Home exterior
BBQ and outside seating area
Outside kitchen and fireplace

The outdoor dining space is adjacent to the kitchen and has its own BBQ, wood store and pizza oven fireplace as well as an eight person table setting. At the far end of the lap pool is the outdoor lounge, which by comparison is much more informal but still has its own outdoor fireplace. These sit on built-in bench seats and are complimented by a two-seater sofa.

The garden design directly references the architecture: the building is clad in cedar so this material was carried through to the design of the fireplaces and fences.

The design plays on the Frank Lloyd Wright concept of Compression and Release which in this design is imagined as ‘The Stage’ and ‘The Cave’. The kitchen forms part of ‘The Cave’ which anchors this room with a lower stud and is formed from walnut and granite creating a moody atmosphere. In contrast it opens up to the double height living and dining room as ‘The Stage’.

Dark wooden kitchen and dark bench
Dark wooden kitchen and scullery
Outside fireplace and seating area
Seating areas

The main body of the kitchen is lined in walnut timber veneer, the splashback is black granite and back 'working' bench is stainless steel. The generous peninsular island is designed as a piece of furniture and the Resene Foundry and black granite benchtop complement the walnut. The ceiling is also timber veneered acoustic panels. The kitchen speaks of mid-century modern design and the depth of colour and richness of the materials plays on our concept of the 'The Cave'.

The kitchen and through to the double height living and dining room were finished in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Black White on the walls and Resene Ceiling Flat in Resene Black White on the ceiling. On the exterior of the home the weatherboards are finished in Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss waterborne paint in Resene Foggy Grey with Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta on trims and soffits, and Resene Woodsman Natural wood stain.

Concrete flooring and hallway
Lounge and fireplace and lap pool.

The design team were careful to access the site and consider which parts of the site would be used at different parts of the day. This led them to design an overall space which contains an outdoor dining area, lap pool and outdoor lounge. The outdoor dining faces north so it catches the all-day sun and this area is designed to be used for informal lunches when friends drop by or large celebrations when friends and family visit from overseas. The outdoor lounge is envisaged as a space for cocktails in the evening sun. With a house like this there is always someone who wants to drop in!

Architectural specifier: Rogan Nash Architects
Building contractor: Modus Developments
Photographer: Simon Devitt
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2018

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