Designer lifestyle near Inglewood

Last updated 15:16 14/12/2012
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75 Lepper Rd, Inglewood.

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Four hectares of land just outside Inglewood has been transformed in the past four
years or so into both a home and a business base for its owners.

You wouldn't know that from the road, however, as the property enjoys complete
privacy at the end of a metalled drive that winds its way appealingly into the
landscape.

The property is an unusual T-shape, with the contemporary 308sqm house set in a
landscaped welcome at the foot of the T, and a huge 400sqm workshop-garage-and-
office complex tucked away past the home on the other side of designer plantings.
Beyond that, there's a new bridge spanning a stream to access the rear paddocks
across the top of the T.

What a package! Work from home on a grand scale.

A visit has to start at the house which welcomes people to the property. It's an
impressive monopitch design, planned in fine detail by owners Ashly and Fiona
Peters. The contemporary lines are enhanced by the combination of vertical lines in
Hardie Axon panels and the horizontal effect of Dimond Coloursteel cladding.

The land was bare when they bought it, giving them a blank canvas on which to build,
Ashly explains. "We wanted an easy-to-live-in family home, with a high emphasis on
insulation."

The seasons which followed their move into the new home in 2008 proved that they
achieved that aim. "In winter, we very rarely have to use artificial heating ... you can
have ice on the ground outside and it is still warm inside. In summer, we just crack a
couple of windows open and it's really cool.

"It makes it comfortable and very easy to live in ... what a home is supposed to be."

You can appreciate the easy-living aspects when standing outside on the expanse of
hardwood decking that spans the length of the house. There are lush low-maintenance
gardens bordering the deck that were designed by noted landscape architect Mike
Mansvelt.

At the western end of the home, you step down off the deck into a sheltered barbecue
area that boasts an outdoor fire and its own 'outhouse'. "We had timber and cladding
left over from the house, so we extended the sewer pipe and built this," Ashly
explains. "This is a very busy house with kids and friends ... we can sit out here with
a beer and a barbecue and with a toilet out here, we don't have to go in and out of the
house."

Giving the outdoor areas privacy within the larger privacy of the property are the
walls of stacked gabion baskets that the designer specified and Ashly then set in
place and filled with stones. They make a dramatic and effective frame for the home,
creating a protected courtyard for outdoor living.

Ashly carried out a lot more work than just filling those baskets; he also formed
the foundations for the home - with power assistance. "When I realised how much

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earth had to be moved, I bought a 12-tonne digger and we laid all the foundations
ourselves," he explains.

The children were introduced to shovels during the process to make the start a family
effort. "And I'll never forgive you for that, Dad," is the comment from inside the
house as Ashly reveals that detail - although it sounds like the memory has more
good humour than malice in it.

More effort went into erecting the frames that shaped the home and the spaces inside.

Those spaces are now generous and finely appointed.

Most of those appointments are easily seen, but Ashly notes the installation of Cat 6
network cable throughout the home to carry video, audio and TV signals wherever
they might be wanted. "There are jack points everywhere."

The living areas comprise an open-plan kitchen-dining-family room in the centre of
the home, with a large games room (complete with another toilet) available through
cavity-slider doors. Modular shelving has been fitted in both rooms and remains with
the house when sold. A custom-built rimu bar unit is a negotiable extra, says Ashly.

The kitchen is an easy-to-use galley design, with the island bench topped in a Corian
surface that is finished with a 'waterfall' effect at one end. The timber-look floor in
the kitchen area is actually ceramic tiles with a realistic woodgrain finish.

Doors along the length of the living areas open on to the decking and the promise,
this sunny week, of a summer to enjoy. "For entertaining and just living in, this home
is incredibly simple," says Ashley. "It's set up for the sun; the floor slab warms up
during the day and it becomes a passive heater at night."

The spaces work well together, he says. "You can get a lot of people in here and you
don't feel like you are on top of each other."

It helps that the living spaces have a 2.7m stud height, with a standard 2.4m stud
through the rest of the home.

A wide hallway leads from the living areas to the four bedrooms, family bathroom,
separate laundry and oversized garage.

Ashly's commitment to detail shows up in the family bathroom, where a large tiled
bath has pride of place. "I couldn't find a bath that I liked, so I made one," he says
with a smile.

Both family bathroom and master bedroom ensuite have large walk-in glass showers.
The ensuite gets twin shower heads, and the master bedroom also enjoys his-and-hers
walk-in wardrobes, and its own doors out on to the deck.

The separate laundry has custom-crafted cabinetry, with the practical advantage of a
large pull-out clothes bin under the bench.

There's a fair bit of knowledge behind all these extras built into this home. "We've
built before; so we knew what we wanted and what we didn't want," says Ashly.

A walk out the back of the house - where we note the digital entry pad rather than key
access at the doors - leads on to the business facilities.

Here is the 405 sqm complex that has plenty of flexibility for new owners. It could
easily remain as business spaces, with a workshop of around 160sqm, offices of
125sqm and a 'hangar' of about 120sqm with a 3.6m-high roller door.

Ashly says it also would be simple to convert the offices to two-bedroom
accommodation with an open-plan kitchen-dining-lounge area. That would leave the
workshop at one end as more than generous garaging, and the 'hangar' at the other
end big enough to accommodate a motorhome, boat, large caravan, or other 'toys'.

A separate 'Gator' shed nearby houses the farm implements and equipment, while
a hay shed created by roofing over two 20-foot containers sits on the land over the
stream. The new bridge is strong - Ashly says it regularly has 18-tonne loads move
across it.

The pasture here can easily carry 12 beef animals, he adds. "There's no pressure on
the grass. We've never been short of feed here."

Water for stock comes from the stream, while the house taps into 45,000 litres of
stored water that comes off the workshop and house roof areas.

McDonald Real Estate consultant Gayleen Chapman is marketing the property and
says it offers a blueprint for whatever new owners could want. "It has location,
privacy, lifestyle, a great house, outdoor living, the garaging is collossal, and it's so
well designed for family and friends to enjoy at any time of the year."

QUICK LOOK

WHERE: 75 Lepper Rd, Inglewood.

HOW BIG: Four hectares in land; 308sqm in home; more than 400sqm in commercial
offices, workshops and storage.

HOW MUCH: $1.1 million.

WHAT YOU GET: Great lifestyle property combining a large contemporary family
home in designer surroundings and spacious commercial premises adjacent that could
be transformed into extra accommodation.

MARKETED BY: Gayleen Chapman at McDonald Real Estate - 06 757 3083 or 027
572 2258.

ON THE WEB: www.open2view.com - ref 281621.

SEE IT: Last open home for 2012, tomorrow, Sunday, December 16, 2pm-3pm.
Private viewings by appointment over Christmas and the New Year.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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