Inspired - Havelock Haven | Design Builders




Havelock haven.

Visiting an open home got this couple thinking about building their own. With its view of iconic Te Mata Peak, the owners wanted to get the details right, while keeping an eye on the bigger picture.

Seeing a showhome inspired you to build. Tell us how that happened?
We were looking to build in Havelock North and went to an open home. The house was very well built. The finishing, the detailing, the painting… It was a Design Builders home. We thought, ‘Why don’t we look into building our own?’ First, we thought we would go to a builder and manage it ourselves. But then we realised we needed people who know this stuff.

It’s a great location. How did you find the section?
Originally, we looked at the section next door and put an offer down, but the seller wanted quite a bit, so we said no. One night, I opened up a real estate magazine and the section we’re on was up for sale! Design Builders got in touch with the auctioneer. We put in an offer and got it. We felt it was the better section for us.

“The relaxed vibe is very us.”

What appealed to you about this spot?
For me, it was having Te Mata Peak in my sight. That’s personally important. It’s a place where I love to go with the children. To wake up every day and have a clear view of it is just so peaceful and beautiful. The location is so close to town but feels rural. The kids walk, scooter or bike in. My partner loves the snow. So, I look at one side of the house and see Te Mata Peak and he sees snow and the ranges. We’re blessed with the views.

“We’re blessed with the views.”

What was your brief to the Design Builders team?
It was quite open. They came back with a design, and I really liked it. I wanted this house to work now and also when we’re older. When the kids leave, it should still be an easy house to live in. I wanted to make sure we weren’t going to be paying huge amounts to keep it warm. It houses five people extremely well.

Design Builders’ slogan is ‘A home built around you.’ What aspect of your brief sums this up?
For me, it was about building a house that wasn’t going to be too much of a statement. I like people to walk through our door and relax. That relaxed vibe is very ‘us’.

How was the build?
Exciting. I remember the day the frames went up. My partner came out on his way to work and called me at 7:30 am saying ‘The frames have arrived.’ By 11:00 am, it felt like half of our house was already standing. In the evenings, we’d come with the kids and walk around and visualise things. It was pretty cool. The building crew were really approachable and happy to answer questions. I probably held them up, to be honest. We’d all have beers on a Friday. They were a great bunch.

“Every house needs a window seat that you can lie on and chill.”

Were you kept informed as things progressed?
Yes. Great communication. I would say ‘I’ve seen the Design Builders house in Waikato, and I love the colour of the stain on that seat. Can you find out for me what colour it is?’ And sure enough, they would. Just all the little things, all the advice.

Did you make any changes at this point?
During building, I stood in the lounge area and thought it needed to be a metre wider. I knew that if we didn’t change it, it just wasn’t going to be right, and I would forever have to live with it. It was a major, but they made it happen. It’s only an extra metre, but it made a real difference.

Tell us about some of your favourite design features.
Well, I wanted the stairwell and its ceiling to be black because I was putting a David Trubridge light there and I wanted it to stand out and reflect on the black. The painters said, ‘Are you sure? Because it’s really hard to change back.’ And I stood there going, ‘Oh my God, just do it.’ It looks awesome. Also the window seat… Honestly, we love it. It’s such a peaceful spot. Every house needs a window seat that you can lie on and chill.

New for 2022, Inspired Edition 02.

Inspired is our latest e-book. Enjoy a close-up look at original homes we created for our clients.

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