House of the week: Ruby Bay

JILL WILD
Last updated 05:00 12/09/2012
House of the Week: Ruby Bay
The spacious airy feel captivates guests as soon as they enter through the front door.

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This family house on the cliffs overlooking Ruby Bay, near Nelson, had to deliver ease of living, sun, privacy and pockets for outdoor living for owners Catherine and John.

These were all necessary incentives to ease the family's move away from Christchurch and the family home of more than 30 years and extensive garden.

"We didn't want a show home type construction but more a house where our four children, [their] partners and [our[ grand children could come, relax and enjoy life, with a swimming pool, and plenty of light inside and open living," says Catherine.

The couple commissioned Nelson architect David Jerram after hearing good things about him. They found him sympathetic to their ideas and five years on they say the house delivered beyond expectations.

"It took a year to design, time enough to ensure the views would be seen from every point, with ample outdoor living for morning and afternoon places to relax in the sunshine and have flow from the house to the pool."

The two second level houses bedrooms including the master bedroom, with en suite, which has views east over Tasman Bay and west over the surrounding vineyard.

The large ground level living extends east to west with kitchen, dining and living opening two ways, to the sea and vineyard. A second smaller living room is much used by the couple when alone.

"Its wonderful in the winter, so warm with the gas fire and in the summer the sliding cavity doors open out to the pool and garden. The living room is just the right size for us when we don't have family or friends staying and it's handy to the kitchen," says John.

The house is one of five set in an operating vineyard, each with a share in the seven hectares of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes.

The vineyard is leased out, so the residents are able to enjoy the vines through the seasons without having to deal with the day to day tendering, pruning and harvesting of the fruit.

The couple resisted the temptation to grow a fussy flowered garden and have instead planted interest and texture using plants that flourish in the environs.

"We've planted one bit of our Christchurch garden here," says Catherine. "A bed of 30 much loved and admired Margaret Merrill roses. This is our one part of the garden that takes extra tending but it's well worth it."
The rest of the 3300 square metre section is easy care, with cultivated lawns and pots that are replanted annually to give summer colour.

The project was completed within $5000 of the couple's budget. They say it has proved a perfect family gathering point - a home where friends visit and stay long enough to relax and catch up.

"But when we want to travel we can just lock up and leave without any concerns, it's perfect." says Catherine.

THE DETAILS

ARCHITECT: Jerram Tocker Barron Architects, Nelson

BUILD SIZE: 320 sq.m.

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MATERIALS: Plastered Hebel

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: High

DONE RIGHT: House design and build

DONE WRONG: Outside paving and driveway surface

UNEXPECTED: Spectacular western vista across the vineyard to the mountains and amazing views from the bedrooms upstairs.

RECOMMEND: Mayfair pool

NEXT TIME: Full-sized basin in the guest toilet

- © Fairfax NZ News

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