Jimmy and Denise Seed's Oakura home is just as impressive today as it was when I first wrote about it as a new home about 10 years ago.
It sits a few metres back from beachfront Messenger Terrace, with just the green buffer of Shearer Reserve between the home and a day on the sand. Three storeys, a curved roof and frameless glass balustrades across wide decks give it a presence that draws plenty of admiring looks.
The looks flow the other way when you are inside the house. The wealth of window glass captures a panoramic view from one end of the popular beach to the other. Standing in the living areas, or upstairs in the master suite, the sea looks as though it is just at the end of the property. Actually, it is.
That was the drawcard when Jimmy and Denise bought the section back in 2000.
It didn't take them long to make the decision to buy. Builder Jimmy was working on a house up the road when Denise called in to say a For Sale sign had just gone up at 1 Arden Place.
Within an hour, they had sealed a deal on the property.
Today's home took a year or so longer to shape and the couple visited the section a few times just to sit and talk about what they should build there.
The views they enjoyed were so good that they decided to share them and build a home that could also provide a bed-and-breakfast business.
That explains the four bedrooms on the bottom level, each with its own en suite and sharing an open-plan lounge and kitchen with access to the front lawn and the gate to the reserve and beach beyond.
The two levels above provided plenty of space for the couple and their children - the huge living areas and deck in front and triple garaging behind at Arden Place street level, with the master bedroom suite and its adjacent lounge area and two more bedrooms on the top level. There's also a large office up here, which could provide another bedroom, and a family bathroom.
All up, there's around 580sqm of space in this home - a substantial residence by any measure and a unique property in Taranaki with its combination of features.
With the testing coastal conditions, Jimmy made sure this home was going to last here - choosing quality low-maintenance materials to finish the exterior, plastered concrete block construction for the first two levels and a lighter textured cladding for the top storey.
The roof is aluminium, joinery has been chosen specifically for the coastal proximity and paint finishes feature a more durable product than needed in inland areas.
Inside, there's a welcoming and comfortable environment with a timeless feel.
Entry is through large double doors to a black-tiled step-down foyer. Higher ceilings enhance the sense of space on every level.
Deep-pile SmartStrand carpeting in warm earthy tones flows away throughout the house. Decor colours are neutral and soothing, complemented by the beautiful grain of the heart rimu timber that has been used in the kitchen and doors and window trims everywhere in the house.
There's plenty of time to enjoy the setting and comforts here - the Arden Place entry is primarily concreted driveway, while the grounds out front on the Shearer reserve boundary have a modest lawn with low-maintenance landscaping.
"It takes me seven minutes to mow the lawn," says Denise.
"Five minutes if you want to go somewhere," Jimmy quips with a smile.
Life here has been very satisfying, they admit. "It's been everything we wanted ... and
more," says Jimmy.
He appreciates the short trip out from town when he's working there. "As soon as you leave town and you are on the main road heading this way you start winding down."
Denise agrees. "It's only 10 minutes to the Post Office, but out here it's like being on holiday all the time. We can go down to the beach, come back here for something to eat, and then toddle back down to the sand again."
The family has also enjoyed the advantages of New Plymouth Old Boys Surf Club membership - and its patrolled swimming options on the beach.
When the weather changes, the beach is still an attraction, says Denise. "Even in the middle of winter, it's great going for walks along the beach. It's different every time you go down there."
From the house, they can sit back and watch life flow by below. "We can look out and see everybody coming and going. It's a really strong community out here - everybody knows each other from school to the club."
As a bed-and-breakfast operation, many people enjoyed the attractions of life here. For several years, while Jimmy built houses, Denise hosted guests from all over the world.
That was put on hold in more recent years, as family moved back in while they developed their own homes. And that's where the huge spaces here proved their value.
"We've had some big family barbecues out here," recalls Denise. "We had to take the dining table out on to the deck as well and the two tables were chocker ... it was cool."
With family now back in their own homes, Jimmy and Denise are on their own at 1 Arden Place and have reconsidered their options.
"We built this for ourselves ... it was going to be forever," says Denise. "But now it's time for a change."
Jimmy's grandparents were farmers and he's keen to revisit a life on the land. The development of the Tapuae Farm Estate between Oakura and New Plymouth allows them the chance to continue to enjoy life along the beach as well as experience a rural setting.
The couple has bought one of the one-acre residential sections at Tapuae, which also gives them a 30th share of the farm estate, and will be building their next home there. "It's the nearest thing to a farm we can get and without theresponsibility," Jimmy explains.
That lets new owners take advantage of the premier Oakura setting at Arden Place.
TSB Realty consultant Beau Burmester is marketing the property, which he says is unique. "It's an icon of Oakura. And there's nothing like it in Taranaki with its size, location and quality of appointments."
WHERE: 1 Arden Place, Oakura.
HOW BIG: 784sqm in land; 580sqm in home.
HOW MUCH: Expressions of interest invited.
WHAT YOU GET: Top-quality central Oakura residence just metres from the beach with a striking panoramic coastal outlook. Huge family space with up to eight bedrooms, or the option of using the four on the self-contained ground level as a bed- and-breakfast business.
MARKETED BY: Beau Burmester at TSB Realty - 06 968 3800 (ext 8141) or 021
ON THE WEB: open2view.com (ref 283981) or tsbrealty.co.nz (ref NP4202).
SEE IT: By appointment only.
- © Fairfax NZ News