Mid-century gem in Titirangi looking for new owners
There was a time in the "naughties" when it was quite the thing to paint over rimu sarking to lighten up the ceiling.
It's just as well the owners of this house weren't tempted, because the home can now be appreciated as a near-pristine example of the Mid-century genre.
The Titirangi, Auckland house, built in 1971, belongs to Grace and Jon Chapman-Smith, who believe they found their "holy grail" when a friend told them about the house six years ago. And it was the fact that the house hadn't been messed with that really appealed to them.
"When we stumbled on this house, we thought, this is unbelievable. We never thought we'd get a house like this," says Jon Chapman.
In terms of materials and layout and architecture, it could easily be mistaken for a Group Architects' house, he says. "My grandmother was best friends with Bill Wilson and many of the 'group' from that period, and she had her houses designed by them."
The couple have since found out that the original builder also worked on many of the Group Architects' houses.
The layout is not entirely original, however. One of the first things the couple did was to cut a hole between the kitchen and the dining room. They also put in a new kitchen.
"Most people come in and think that's the original kitchen. Grace did a fantastic job at making it in keeping with the rest of the house," says Jon Chapman-Smith.
Other changes and improvements have all been in keeping with the Mid-century character, including the addition of a copper Tom Dixon light pendant and the Martinique Banana Leaf wallpaper in the sunken snug. Chapman-Smith says the paper was originally bought to go in the toilet but they decided the pattern was too big for such a small space, so opted to put it in the snug with new timber panelling on either side "to cosy it up".
The couple especially like the layout of the house, and the way spaces are revealed as you walk in through the front door.
"And there's the texture," Chapman-Smith says. "The timber and the brick, and the blue carpet, which is outrageous. I doubt you'd ever intentionally choose that colour, but it works so well. It's absolute gold."
The couple, who now have two daughters, have decided it is now time to move on, and have listed the house with Ray White Damerell Group
"We feel blessed that we found this place, for sure, but we know that whoever ends up buying it will have the same appreciation that we do, and will carry it on."
The house is due to be auctioned by the Ray White Damerell Group in Ponsonby on Wednesday, June 28.