Inglewood's a cosy place to live. The town is a compact environment focused on the central crossroads and shopping area and, wherever you live here, nothing is very far away.
Today's feature home at 11d Tawa St, however, offers quite a different feel. There's a private peaceful leafy environment here at the end of the right-of-way drive that creates an impression you are well away from suburbia.
You are not, of course. This end of Tawa St runs out on to the main road at the southern end of town and a trip into town could involve either a walk or starting the car - you just choose the level of convenience you want at the time.
Sue and Colin appreciated the setting here immediately they saw it 14 years ago and were quick to formalise their purchase.
It was just five or so years old then, but they recognised the family environment they could achieve. "The potential in the house and section hadn't been realised and we thought we could make it something special," Sue says. "And I believe we have."
The spacious grounds gained their early attention. "We had a bush backdrop to work with and a few mature trees," Sue recalls.
They filled in the gaps between trees with new plantings, creating a lush green boundary for the home. "It's 100 per cent private here now; we are in town, but not in town."
Growth here is not all green. There are splashes of colour, such as the deep red of the maple that glows vividly in one area. "The garden looks quite stunning all the time - bar mid-winter. It's just magic," Sue says.
It's all tucked away behind the house, which fronts the right-of-way. A walk around the house takes you through a pergola-roofed courtyard area - a shady retreat in the heat of summer - to the sward of lawn and surrounding garden at the back.
Sue points us to the far corner of the grounds where we find a deck that's built out into that bush backdrop and looks down to the boundary stream that chuckles its way past the property. A great place to sit and contemplate the peace and beauty here, she says.
"Sitting out here, you wouldn't imagine you are anywhere near a town. A lot of people who come up the drive for the first time say this is the best-kept secret in Inglewood."
It can also be appreciated in comfort from the home to which Sue and Colin have given the same dedicated attention once the gardens were developed.
It's quite different to the home they initially moved into, Sue says - not so much in terms of the spaces or flow, but in its presentation. "There's almost nothing of the old house here other than the structure."
Their focus started outside, where they changed the original terracotta-coloured paint to the fresh white of today's home. That lighter decor was then carried inside where a new white kitchen was installed, replacing one that boasted a rose-pink benchtop.
White walls throughout also give the home an airy spacious feel. And carpet in a subtle blue-green shade is a soothing finish underfoot. Flooring in the kitchen has a timber finish while tiles feature in the bathrooms.
Sue loves her white kitchen, with its greenhouse window that lets her look up to the sky as well as out to the private rear grounds.
The couple carried on to renew the home's three bathrooms in white as well - an ensuite to the downstairs guest wing, the main downstairs family bathroom along the hallway, and the ensuite to the master bedroom upstairs.
New showers were installed, as well as a spa bath that was given pride of place in the family bathroom.
This home works very well for a family, Sue says.
The front door is a colourful welcome for visitors, with its feature leadlight side panel, and there's a natural flow through into the living areas. "The leadlight looks absolutely stunning with the light shining through it," Sue says.
Kitchen, dining and family area all open out to those private back grounds, while the separate lounge opens to the other side of the house and that pergola-framed courtyard space. There's a water feature out here that adds its tinkle of sound to the peaceful feeling and a wisteria spreads up and over the pergola framing - an impressive mauve experience when the blooms arrive in spring. "It looks gorgeous when the flowers are hanging down and you walk through them."
To the side of the family areas is a guest bedroom with ensuite and its own entrance from the garage - a great teenage space or an area for visitors to stay.
Two more bedrooms are located down the hallway past the main bathroom, while the master bedroom and an office provide a parents' retreat upstairs.
This home and its features work so well for Sue and Colin that she plans to take it with them when they step out to the larger rural setting they are now aiming for - well, a new version anyway. "We would like to build this house again on the new piece of land," she says.
New owners will appreciate having the home left here, says McDonald Real Estate consultant in Inglewood, Gayleen Chapman. "It's a private and polished family home that's a step above a standard new build. With its guest wing flexibility, it would suit an extended family, having visitors to stay, even taking in a boarder."
WHERE: 11d Tawa St, Inglewood.
HOW BIG: 1131sqm in land; 230sqm in house.
HOW MUCH: To be set by tender.
WHAT YOU GET: Spacious and finely presented family home in a beautifully private, easy-care garden setting. Boundary stream and bush backdrop are pleasing features.
MARKETED BY: Gayleen Chapman at McDonald Real Estate - 06 756 8889 or 027 572 2258.
ON THE WEB: www.eieio.co.nz - ref IN2673.
SEE IT: Open home Sunday, May 13, from 1.00pm to 2.00pm
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