Bali Hai (your own special island)

This Balinese inspired sanctuary offers a haven of peace and quiet while fitting effortlessly with the existing property – creating a new home within a home

Design renovation by Sam McCabe, Creative Arch

From the building designer:

Inspired by memories of family holidays in Bali, the owners' brief was to turn an under utilised area of the site into a peaceful sanctuary complete with a new garage, guest house and pool area.

While the existing house had been architecturally designed ten years ago, the front of the site was under used. 

The new owner’s brief was to follow through on their vision, but at the same time to ensure it honoured the original design in materiality and form.

What transpired is just that – an ode to the original house, but a design that holds its own with unique and clever design solutions.

The newly levelled driveway flows up towards the guest house, which seems to float above the garage, its striking cedar cladding mirroring the main house. 

Cedar screens provide privacy, and allow light to filter in, casting patterned shadows. 

The self-contained guest house has its own kitchenette and bathroom, ideal for the now grown-up children, or friends who’ve come to stay.

The lush greenery of Bali is recreated for the New Zealand context, with native plants sheltering the space and framing views of the ocean beyond. 

Within the sanctuary, the real hero is the infinity pool, designed so that the water level and the timber decking are exactly level, creating a seamless transition.

It’s this sort of attention to detail that elevates the space, making it seem both effortless and entrenched, as if this little slice of private paradise has always been here.

Entering the site, the new addition rises to meet the sightline, a first look of the property. 

The paramount challenge was how to design seamless flow up towards the main house while bringing an air of mystery and privacy to the sanctuary.

Complex design solutions achieve seamless transitions on large and small scales. 

Height in relation to boundary rules dictated the height and finished floor level of the new guest house – a starting point to the challenge.

Originally straight, the driveway has been contoured into a gentle curve and lined with lush plantings, creating a more subtle approach. 

From the driveway, the cedar screens of the guest and main house rise upwards like a forest canopy, and native trees obscure what lies beyond. 

Wandering up the carefully designed levels, through the greenery, the sanctuary reveals itself suddenly, framed by the ocean beyond. 

Platforms reach out towards the pool’s wet edge at the same level, a striking and seamless transition from timber to water.

A beautifully layered landscape design by Shafer Design shelters the sanctuary with carefully curated plants, from native wharawhara to fragrant star jasmine.

Louvres shelter spaces for lounging around the pool, while inside the guest house has been designed with careful consideration of material sizes to minimise waste.

Standing alone, this Balinese inspired sanctuary epitomises a haven of peace and quiet, but the genius of its design is in its ability to fit effortlessly on the existing property, a new home within a home.

Credit list

Renovating building designer
Collab Engineering
Pool designer
Sam McCabe, Creative Arch
Window/door joinery
Metro Series Aluminum Joinery
Senior Construction
Landscape designer
Shafer Design
Louvre system
Manson Engineering
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Renovation – Finalist

Designed by: Sam McCabe, Creative Arch

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Mark Scowen

27 Aug, 2023

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