The morning after Anna Stove moved into her self-designed rural retreat south of Auckland, she woke to a frost so heavy it looked like snow. Rather than bundle up, however, she threw open the over-sized APL Architectural Series sliding doors that meet at the corner of the master bedroom, and then she and her husband lay back with cups of tea and surveyed the Narnia-like scene outside. “It felt like we were camping,” she says.
That ‘under canvas’ impression may seem at odds with the sheer heft of this 405 square metre house, where visitors are greeted by a barn-like front door framed by hefty two-storey timber posts, followed by a capacious interior where all the specs have been pushed to the max. Yet there’s also a lightness here that derives from the seamless connection between the inside and the outdoors, enabled by outsized APL Architectural Series sliders that disappear against the exterior walls when opened.
“When we open the man cave, and the lounge and the master bedroom, it feels like one big room,” says Anna, who designed with the goal of creating big, relaxing spaces and a form that looked at home in its rural setting.
As was noted when the house won a 2018 Registered Master Builder home of the year award, this is a property that “raises a toast to the good life”, with an infinity pool and outdoor fire, and a petanque court nestled in an olive grove. The enjoyment of those simple pleasures is enhanced by extensive glazing that leads the eye out, uninterrupted, to the farmland setting, and by the clever deployment of louvres and other Altherm joinery features, such as the kitchen bi-fold window, that keep the house cool in the summer, and well-protected from the prevailing south-westerly when it blows.
“I drew what I wanted,” says Anna of her design. She got it just right.