The client wanted a home that “told a story”. Dan and Sarah of Design Builders North Auckland’s latest project is a great example of bringing an exciting concept to life and creating a home that has a strong sense of history. We pitched a few questions to their client, and to Dan and Sarah, to get their perspectives.

As the client, please tell us about your brief to Design Builders?
We had a very clear idea of what we wanted to achieve, but no idea how to do it, or necessarily how to communicate it, other than via Pinterest boards… that’s why we approached Design Builders. We wanted a bespoke home, one that was clearly different. We also wanted something that brought the outdoor landscape into the house. We had a lot of specific requirements for how we wanted to live in our home and the materials that we wanted to use. We are quite detail oriented but have no clue when it comes to building a house. The home that was built for us is perfectly suited to our family and fits well within the brief. We keep pinching ourselves that we live here, in this stunning home in our piece of paradise.

Design Builders’ slogan is “a home built around you”. What is it about your house that is unique to you?
Our house uses a lot of natural materials. We like wood and materials with history – something that tells a story. We have rimu flooring that was recycled from another building, and native timber vanities and river rock sinks in the bathrooms. Our cladding was made from old power poles. Our home had to be a certain shape to make the best use of the section while capturing the view as much as possible; we also wanted high ceilings and large windows to capture the view inside. We wanted a home that was elegantly modern, but comfortable and familiar, where you can walk in and instantly relax.

Dan, you’re the builder. From your point of view, what makes a good client/builder relationship, and is this one going to be one?
Open, clear communication. Yes, this was a great client/builder relationship. We had a clear understanding of the clients’ vision, which made it easy to execute the build onsite.

You gave your brief to Design Builders. How does it feel seeing your home take shape, and what are you most excited about seeing completed?
Seeing our home take shape was amazing. We visited the site each week, and as the rooms came together, we would get more and more excited. Nothing like seeing your Pinterest board come to life! We were most excited about the wooden floors and vanities, and our feature bar/wine area. It’s stunning. We get so many comments on it.

Sarah, Design Builders are known for creating original, one-off homes. What is different about this home for this client?
These clients wanted their brand-new home to feel well established, with both character and with a sense of history. To achieve this, they chose to work with recycled materials including a solid Rimu floor from an old house, and some feature timber cladding milled from old Australian tallowwood power poles.

As the client, what are you enjoying the most about the process?
Building a house isn’t easy. There are a million decisions to make about so many details, and with Covid we just never knew what would happen next. Trusting the people building your home is so important. We felt like we were in really safe hands with Dan and Sarah. They are just as detail oriented as we are and really understood what was important to us. Design Builders took such care in understanding our needs and building our home. We are so grateful to them for bringing our vision to life.

Enjoy a no-obligation chat with Sarah and Dan at Design Builders North Auckland about creating a home built around you. Get in touch with Sarah on 021 481 208 or

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View photographs here

Black house exterior with pool in the evening
Lounge area with a large fireplace