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Te Arai contemporary country home black exterior

Country chic

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What are the ingredients of an idyllic lifestyle block? Undoubtedly picturesque views are right up there on the list, along with easy access. However, a truffière or truffle farm is probably not a feature most of us would ever consider.

But a truffière is just one of the many points of difference at Te Arai Estate, a new gated subdivision just one hour ten minutes north of the Auckland CBD. Developed by Southpark Corporation, the lifestyle estate comprises 25 sites, ranging in size from 0.6ha to a massive 54ha.

The countryside features rolling hills, dotted with mature trees, including mature English oaks and hazelnuts, and is now producing truffles. But truffle farming is just one option – most sites have enough land to run livestock, or an olive farm or orchard.

Project manager James Sax says a residents' association is already in place, and there is a covenant requiring a minimum build cost of $500,000, which will maintain the exclusive nature of the subdivision.

Southpark Corporation has just completed the first house, which is open by appointment. Sax says the design, by Archimedia architect Lindsay Mackie, references traditional farm buildings, with the house comprising three linked gabled volumes. Most rooms open out to expansive terraces, all have sea views out to the Hen and Chicken Islands, and there is an alfresco living area beneath a large overhang.

The interior, by Melanie Sax Interior Design, is contemporary, with a country twist. The walls, ceiling and exposed beams in the large, open-plan living area are painted off white, and strong, textural elements have been introduced in the furnishings, logs and hearth.

At 264m2, the house is large – it includes a 40m2 loft space with tongue-and-groove ceiling.

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First published date: 31 December 2013

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