Landmark Homes North Shore create a stunning, black, retreat for an Auckland couple. See their amazing new home here.
Completed in 2019, Richard and Marie’s 450m2 home is backdropped by a landscape of rolling green hills and lush rural countryside.
“We had a pretty firm idea of what we wanted,” says Richard. “And when we found this piece of land in Wainui, the vision of our new home started to become a reality.
“It’s big, black, square, and surrounded by a green landscape, so it does stand out like the proverbial dog’s you-know-what, but in a good way. We love it, and so does everyone who sees it.”
Having built two homes previously, Richard and Marie knew that choosing the right team for the job was not a decision to be taken lightly. “We undertook due diligence on most of the design and build construction companies on the North shore and concluded that Landmark was at the top end,” says Richard.
“We were able to see some of the homes they’d built elsewhere and could see the type of materials used, the level of quality, and the end result. That gave us confidence that Landmark North Shore was the right fit for us.”
A key aspect of their vision was having a large, private outdoor living space with a seamless flow from the indoor living space.
That has been masterfully achieved with a generously sized 75m2 covered patio that runs the length of the home’s equally generous kitchen and living zones. The patio has been designed to accommodate Auckland’s seasonal extremes with a louvred roof, sides that can be closed off, and a full height outdoor fireplace transforms the area into a cosy winter haven.
“It’s a very large, open environment which is exactly what we wanted,” says Marie. “We love having people over and Christmas is always quite a big effort, so having a home that comfortably accommodates family and friends is important to us.”
Richards explains that a one of the reasons they chose Landmark was because they offer a fixed price contract. “It means you know exactly what you’re up for, right from the get-go.”
And that’s important when dealing with finances through the bank. “Actually, the bank was quite impressed with the paperwork we were able to provide from Landmark. It made accessing advances straight-forward and stress free.”
“You do hear horror stories about finances blowing out during house builds, and that’s something we obviously wanted to avoid,” says Richard. “Having that up-front contract with the costs laid out eliminated that worry.”
With tranquil countryside views at every turn, the Blatches capitalized on the vista by including floor-to-ceiling glazing throughout. The ensuite also features a large picture window that offers a view that would rival any artwork.
The couple also love their large, light-filled master suite which is strategically positioned to make the most of the morning sunshine. “That’s something our dogs are most appreciative of!” says Marie.
There’s no doubt that for Richard and Marie, the hub of the home is the kitchen and informal area. With a three-metre stud height and two of the four walls being glass, the space is filled with light and surrounded by captivating views.
It’s all about processes and people
“One of the things we knew about Landmark is that they have good processes. They have a tried-and-true template which has evolved over the years and which they use throughout their franchises across the country,” says Marie.
“Those processes help channel you down an efficient pathway. It means you avoid wandering off down unexpected tracks, and that you ultimately achieve the outcome you’re after.”
But the other half of that equation is the people. Richard and Marie were guided through their build by Landmark North Shore’s New Home Consultant/Architectural Designer Steve Garvey. “We were very happy with the relationship we were able to build with Steve and the North Shore team. They provided us with a really positive experience.”
From door handles to benchtops, tapware to toilets, there are endless choices available when it comes to fitting out a new home. Wading through the options can be confusing and takes considerable time.
What colour will the paint be? What about the tiles, the flooring, wallpaper, and the cabinetry style … where do you even start?
Landmark’s bespoke interior design service took a complex and time-consuming process and made it simple.
“We managed to sort everything within a few hours by sitting down with Landmark’s designer, Wendy King. She was fantastic at presenting a range of options and talking those through with us. It helped simplify the decision-making process,” says Marie.
With the design decisions made, Landmark specify and document all the details within a comprehensive presentation pack.
“Everything is documented and priced before you sign the contract. The pack contains all the plans, data sheets, and specifications of all the materials being used,” says Marie.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t make a few alterations as you go, which we did, but it is helpful to be guided through all those decisions right up front and then you know exactly what to expect along the way.”
In tune with the latest trends
Richard and Marie discovered an additional benefit of using a company with the extensive experience of Landmark North Shore was being able to tap into their vast industry network.
Marie explains, “Because Landmark North Shore builds around 30 houses a year in the region, they know what’s new on the market, what the latest trends are, and what’s going out of date. You end up with up-to-the-minute products and designs within your home.
“For example, Wendy suggested we use ceiling-hung internal sliding doors which we weren’t initially keen on. But we went to one of their show homes where and saw them in action. They were absolutely fantastic, and we now have two of them. It’s one of those things that would never even have occurred to us to consider.
“The other design feature they guided us on was a ‘secret’ door from the kitchen to the scullery. When it’s closed, it’s completely hidden and just looks like part of the cabinetry. Again, a neat feature that we wouldn’t have thought of.”
The end result
Now that the build is done and the couple are settled into their new home, how do they feel about their new home?
“We’re very happy with the result, the quality is just as we expected.
“In fact, there are a few extra things that Landmark did that we didn’t even realise until later. For example, they upgraded some of the cladding in and round the roof area to match the rest of the house at their own expense because they wanted the best finish possible. There were quite a few other areas where they upped the spec because they felt it would make the house look better.
“We’d definitely recommend Landmark North Shore to anyone considering a build in the region.”
If you’re thinking about building your dream home on Auckland’s North Shore, contact the Landmark North Shore team today.