Classic villa exterior meets contemporary interior in this large family home

New villa with traditional weatherboard exterior and verandah with contemporary, open-plan interior

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Grand affair – classic weatherboards, filigree detailing and a wrap-around verandah signal an historic house in this design by architect Paul Leuschke. However, the interiors tell a different story in this home executed by developer Andy Blyth.

With high ceilings, attractive timber detailing, and a classic use of materials, houses designed around 100 years ago had a lot going for them. That's apart from one important thing – due to small rooms, poor connections and limited light, they were unpleasant to actually live in.

This house, by Paul Leuschke of Leuschke Kahn Architects with residential developer and project manager Andy Blyth of InsideOut Ltd, achieves the best of both worlds – a grand traditional exterior with modern, open-plan interiors.

"First the existing single-level house was dispatched on the back of a truck," says Leuschke.

"Then, with the site clear, we followed Andy Blyth's brief for a large two-storey family house with classic street appeal – contrasted by an airy, light-filled interior with plenty of room to move."

Setting the new home over two levels created views to the city from the upstairs spaces. It also meant the home is on show to passers by. The original, low-set house had no street presence – only its roof was seen from the pavement.

With an old-school, wrap-around verandah, white weatherboards, a corrugated iron roof, dainty filigree trimming and turned rail posts on the verandah, the exterior has a classic face. The only clues to the home's contemporary nature from outside are its over-sized windows, to maximise views, and the deep verandah – old houses have slender wrap-around walkways.

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Grand affair – classic weatherboards, filigree detailing and a wrap-around verandah signal an historic house in this design by architect Paul Leuschke. However, the interiors tell a different story in this home executed by developer Andy Blyth.

Stepping in the front door and turning right, an entry hall with powder room gives way to the open-plan living, dining, kitchen and family rooms. The house is split level. Up some steps to the rear of the main living volume is the generous master bedroom, walk-in wardrobe and ensuite – looking to the rear of the property. The master bedroom has generous dormers on two walls, providing morning and afternoon sun.

Down a half level from the parental retreat there are two children's bedrooms and a second lounge which opens out onto an afternoon lawn area. Down another half level there are further bedrooms, a wine cellar, laundry and, tucked out of sight around the side, a two-car garage.

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The living spaces are airy and light filled in this new build. While an historic home might have had the high ceilings, it would have lacked the large wall openings and open layout that let occupants make the most of the natural light. Sliders and French doors open two sides of the room to the outdoors. Together with the interior woodwork detail, the filigree on the verandah forms part of the indoor aesthetic.

In terms of design, decor and finishes, the interiors are clean-lined and airy but with nods to the past. One of the main features that would have been in evidence in the 1900s are the high ceilings – here, they are a soaring 3.2m high.

"Elements like the panelled ceilings, a pressed tin backsplash and panelled island in the kitchen, the high toekicks and detailed fire surround are all loose interpretations of classic elements, meant to add the character of the past rather than replicate history," Leuschke says.

Everything looks pristine in traditional white, with the stained oak floors that run right through the home setting off the pale tones.

Despite the old-world exterior and classic detail nods on the interior, this is a modern home in terms of function, and day-to-day living.

Seen from the entry, a long, rectangular pool runs down the sunny side of the house, spelling summer fun and socialising in any century.

Sep 12, 2018

Credit list

Property Developer
Andy Blyth
Interior design
Andy Blyth and Simon Gill of Interior Concepts
Project manager
Andy Blyth
Corrugated iron
Kitchen pressed metal
Kitchen tapware
Retta Pos, Solo
Feature lighting
Plantation Shutters
Murano Plus
Bathroom tiles
Calacatta White Italian porcelain
Bath, heated towel rails, vanities
Universal Plumbing Plus
Garage doors
Doors 2000
Twining Valley Nurseries
Paul Leuschke, Leuschke Kahn Architects
Project engineer
Joshua Ng, JNG Engineers
Landscape design
Andy Blyth and Gordon Booth
KMD Kitchens
Benchtops in kitchen and scullery
Arabescato polished marble
Real Fires
Wood floors
American oak by Freedom Flooring
Carpet Mill
Villa decoration detail
Bungalow and Villa
Glass for shower/pool
Platinum Glass
Bathroom tapware
Wooden Gates Waiuku
Natural Pools and Rock
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Winner
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