Easy-care character in city

Sunny, sheltered lifestyle just a walk from city

Last updated 15:34 14/06/2013

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Life at 124 Carrington St in New Plymouth is a weave of convenience and character.

It hasn't come about by chance ... the home has been carefully refurbished over a number of years to offer the appealing ease of contemporary living within the embrace of a 1950s home that still retains most of its warmth and character.

Subdivision over those years has also changed the scale of life here. Today's 728sqm of land was apparently once part of a larger estate in the early times of the city and the stucco bungalow was built in 1953 after that estate was broken up.

In the last five years, subdivision again reshaped the property, with the generous rear grounds sold off to create a more compact, easily maintained property. It could almost  be considered an apartment alternative now with the extra appeal of outdoors living.

The change has been good for owners Ken and Anna, who have continued to enjoy the benefits of this location - without the necessary effort of looking after large gardens.

"We have a city lifestyle here," Ken explains. "It's just a walk down the hill to the city ... we often go out for dinner and walk into town."

On a warm evening, they'll walk back ... or take the option of a short taxi ride home.

"It's very easy living," says Ken.

They already appreciated the location 10 years ago when they bought the property, having lived not far away. The investment of previous owners in the home also attracted them when it came to market - including a designer kitchen and gas-fired central heating.

Those renovations were not at the expense of the home's character, with its appealing ornate plaster ceilings overhead and timber floors polished to effect underfoot.

What it did lack at the time Ken and Anna bought this property was a good outdoor living area and Ken carefully planned that in.

Existing terraces in front of and behind the lounge offered some outdoor sitting space, but today's spacious paved courtyard is a huge improvement. It's set down off steps along the rear terrace and framed by camellia hedging and solid concrete walls for shelter and privacy.

Barbecues are an easy and expected meal option out here in fine weather, but there's another option that Ken and Anna have thoroughly enjoyed with family and friends.

It's a pizza oven, the domed structure providing the intense heat that's needed for tasty pizzas in very quick time - just a minute or two from placement to ready, according to Anna.

Sit back in the sun on the built-in seating around the courtyard and you quickly appreciate how good this spot is. "It's sunny, sheltered ... and quite private now," Ken says. "It's great."

There's also a freestanding spa here that is staying with the house in this sale.

Out the front, now-established landscaping draws the visitor in past the double garage that Ken and Anna had constructed on the streetfront. There's just a small patch of lawn behind the garage that Ken says takes only five minutes to mow.

That leaves plenty of time for those walks downtown - or across the road and down George St to Pukekura and Brooklands parks. Shops - including bakery and takeaway options and a new cafe - are just metres up Carrington St at the corner of Mill Rd, and Ken notes how easy it is to stroll over to the musical attractions of Womad or concerts in the park.

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Steps carry visitors up to the front door of their home - a solid choice in tongue-andgroove timber that opens this home's story of quality and character.

Step through and you find the open-plan foyer-kitchen-dining space with the formal lounge through French doors to the right.

Polished floorboards in the kitchen-dining area give way to the plush loosely woven carpet that covers the lounge floor and then flows through the rest of the house, up the hallwayand through the three spacious bedrooms. More polished timber welcomes you in the bathroom and service areas.

The carpet is part of Anna's recent redecoration of the interior and the comfort of the deep pile has drawn positive comment, Ken says. "It's so thick and lush that you feel like you want to lie down on it."

The kitchen is the focus of the living areas with its curved timber-topped, blackfronted bench and white cabinetry behind. Dark charcoal wall tiles above the cooktop provide a design statement that's repeated elsewhere - with the same colour on the feature wall at the end of the lounge, in curtains framing lounge and dining windows, and picked out in patterns on feature wallpapers.

Windows throughout the house are good-sized, letting in plenty of natural light and warmth. They also allow good views out - from the dining room into the front garden, and through those exterior French doors in the lounge out into the courtyard.

There's a wealth of sun in the extra room at the end of the lounge that Anna uses as a hobby room - you can see her work in the mosaic mirrors hanging in the bathroom and separate toilet off the laundry. That toilet is the home's original, but Ken and Anna had a second toilet installed in the bathroom for extra convenience.

Harcourts consultants Robyn Prentice and Lisa Weston are marketing this property and expect plenty of interest in its fresh entry to the city housing market. The combination of its prime location on Carrington St so close to town, a stylish interior,
easy-care landscaping and double garaging will appeal to many different buyers, they say.

QUICK LOOK

WHERE: 124 Carrington St, New Plymouth.

HOW BIG: 728sqm in land; 160sqm in home with separate double garage.

HOW MUCH: Negotiating range $470,000-$520,000.

WHAT YOU GET: Tastefully styled stucco bungalow in a convenient lower
Carrington St setting, close to city, parks and suburban shopping. Easy-care section
with sheltered private outdoor living space.

MARKETED BY: Robyn Prentice and Lisa Weston at Harcourts New Plymouth -
phone 06 759 9160 or Robyn on 0274 866 781, Lisa on 0272 808 798.

ON THE WEB: www.open2view.com - ref 293120; www.taranakiharcourts.co.nz - ref NP4759.

SEE IT: Open home on Sunday, June 16, 1.00pm-1.45pm.

- Taranaki Daily News

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