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A new wing optimises light and space with interiors by Kira Gray

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A new wing optimises light and space and adds to this home's grandeur

A new wing optimises light and space with interiors by Kira Gray Discover this article's resources 0


A substantial rethink of a large traditional home requires a fine design balance – extending the classic lines of the exterior is expected, but so, too, are the modern, day-to-day luxuries that turn a house into a comfortable family home.

Nestled in its own park-like surroundings, this grand 1920s villa is set back from a very busy street. For this project, the owners were expanding their young family and wanted to extend and open up their gracious residence, says designer Kira Gray, who worked on the project with architect John D'Anvers.

"Essentially, the couple wanted a new wing with garages, living spaces and guest bedrooms to house visiting friends and family," says Gray.

D'Anvers set the extension on an angle to the main body of the home to optimise sunlight penetration into the new living spaces. Exterior cladding, roofing and architectural detailing were seamlessly continued to ensure the house maintained its harmonious presence.

The new wing comprises three levels, with bedrooms, bathrooms and a guest kitchen on upper floors, and a ground floor living volume integrated into the existing living spaces.


"The original living areas were dark, formal and cluttered, so we created an additional, more relaxed, open-plan living volume that would be light, warm and airy with great indoor-outdoor flow," says the designer.

The new ground-floor layout includes a children's space and study, a large entertainer's kitchen and dining area, and an informal living area. This arrangement offers a degree of separation between adults and children and also ensures the kitchen has the central view to the pool and tennis court. Modern stacker doors with a classic look glide back to merge living spaces with the outdoors.

For continuity, the existing walnut floor was matched and carried through into the new living area. The children's and study areas include practical storage and shelving for books, toys and computers, and a pinboard for paintings and notices.

"Stained oak veneer in this area gives the spaces a sense of grandeur. The finish links with shelving by the fire in the family room, drawing the volume together visually," says Gray.

"The kitchen had to be both attractive and practical for when the family entertain, and it had to blend with the classic era of the home. I opted for a mix of light-toned, framed doors, turned posts, and polished granite counters to give the space a timeless feel. The scullery entrance is set in the middle of the back wall. We created a cavity slider with the look of a kitchen door to hide the entry, and added a pelmet to visually stretch the space.

"The family area is much lived in, and the owners are delighted with the new, light and bright heart of their home."

First published date: 18 December 2012

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Credit List

Architect John D'Anvers, John D'Anvers Architects (Auckland)
Designer and kitchen designer Kira Gray
Builder Dual Projects
Kitchen manufacturer Fyfe Kitchens
Soft furnishings Susan Stratford Interiors
Cladding Weatherboard and plaster
Roofing Tile
Windows and doors Nicks Joinery
Wall coverings Resene
Flooring Walnut from The Wooden Floor Company
Furniture David Shaw and existing
Audiovisual equipment Elite
Televisions Sony
Pool The Pool People
Fire The Fireplace
Kitchen cabinetry Urethane satin finish
Benchtops and backsplash Granite from Stone Warehouse
Oven, cooktop Bosch
Ventilation Ilve
Refrigeration Samsung
Waste disposal InSinkErator