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Northland home has the ‘wow’ factor

Northland home has the ‘wow’ factor
Vertical ship-lap cedar cladding on this Northland home impressed judges in this year’s House of the year awards.

Clad in richly-stained vertical ship lap cedar, a custom-designed Oakland Homes house set on an elevated site in Mangawhai cuts a striking presence against a blue sky on a fine Northland day.

The house impressed House of the Year judges sufficiently for it to be awarded Silver in the 2018 region Auckland/Northland Nulook New Home $700,000 to $1 million category.

Oakland Homes, based in Mangawhai about an hour’s drive south of Whangarei, is owned by Peter and Lynne Oakden. Peter is a fully qualified carpenter and Licensed Building Practitioner who brings to the company a wealth of knowledge gained from more than 40 years’ experience in the building industry.

The award winning house has panoramic views overlooking Mangawhai estuary and beyond to Little Barrier Island.

Both the Oakden’s and their client were “stoked” with the award, Peter says. “It’s recognition of the time and effort that we’ve put into the home.”

The client is so pleased with the house they felt it deserved the top award. “They love it. They’re really pleased with the way it’s all come together.”

Because of the house being on elevated site in a coastal area, outdoor shelter along the front deck was an important consideration in its design.

Consequently glass balustrades and a timber windbreak on the windward side of its deck have created a pleasant place to sit, even on breezy days.

The building’s strong presence and bach-like character is enhanced by timber beams supporting its soffit, extending over the deck and anchoring into the ground, while stone on parts of some walls adds contrast the cedar cladding.

The initial design was drawn by Peter, working with the client through the process, and completed by a contract draughtsman. Indoor/outdoor living, being able to take advantage of the views and maximising sunlight into the house were key aspects of the client’s brief.

“They liked the timber look so we worked with them for options and how we could bring it together.”

Inside, a spacious 11 x 7 metre central open-plan living space connects to two wings.

One area has a master bedroom with ensuite, walk-in wardrobe, and separate lounge; the other wing contains a guest room with ensuite, two double bedrooms, bathroom and powder room, with the home’s double garage and utility room below.

The interior living space features a poplar ply ceiling with negative detailing and a polished floor of Victorian ash timber.

This is beautifully contrasted by dark stained Spotted Gum timber beams which, combined with a stone fireplace, add a lot of character to the living area which has large corner sliders opening out to the deck. The kitchen, painted white, adds a contemporary design twist and features a waterfall shaped island.

While the glazing makes the most of the winter sun, in summer the 1.5 metre soffit screens out overhead rays during the heat of the day.

Peter believes the overall design and look of the house is a good example of smart use of a variety of materials without adding significantly to the cost of the house, while the client’s input and preferences also contributed to the final outcome, he says.

As well as offering a design and build service, Oakland Homes has an inspirational range of existing plans to choose from, with the option of adapting them to suit individual requirements.

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