High exposure

All the character of an alpine chalet is captured in the design and materials of this country house

The master bathroom of this magnificant home architecture, bathroom, ceiling, estate, interior design, room, gray, brown
The master bathroom of this magnificant home

One of the most exciting aspects of building a house is being able to choose your preferred architectural style and materials. Adapting them to suit a particular site isn't always straightforward, but the result is often a home that not only has a unique character, but also fulfils the owners' requirements.

Such was the case with the house featured on these pages. The owners loved the look of alpine lodges and chalets in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. They also loved the Central Otago district and the natural stone and cedar houses that are a feature of this landscape.

"We wanted to capture some of that high-country, outdoors feeling," they say.

Typical lodge-style features they wanted to incorporate in their new home included high, raked ceilings, and plenty of wood and stone on the interior. They also wanted to maximise the 270° views across the countryside, says architect Jacques Buitendijk.

View of the dining & living area of ceiling, dining room, function hall, home, interior design, real estate, restaurant, room, table, orange, red
View of the dining & living area of the house

"The building site was large but steep, and subjected to southwesterly winds. The shape of the house was largely determined by the slope of the land and the need to provide protection from the wind, while capturing the views," he says.

For these reasons, the house soars to a high apex on the northwest side, with a wing that accommodates a great room. With its large, schist chimney, raked timber ceilings and exposed rafters, this room has all the elements of a traditional mountain lodge.

"We wanted to bring the outdoors inside, and use only natural materials throughout, hence the South Island schist, the rimu ceilings and the matai wood flooring" say the owners. "The sheer size of the room could have been intimidating, but the extensive use of wood keeps its appearance warm and friendly."

The owners say the great room fits their requirement for one large space for entertaining. Separate seating areas within the room are clearly defined. One seating area, for example, nestles beneath large schist walls. The end of one of these walls resembles a pillar, to reinforce a look of substance and permanence.

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View of the entrance to a country house. Schist and cedar cladding define the entrance

Beneath a dropped ceiling, another corner of the room houses the kitchen. Here, the flooring is slate, inlaid with matai boards. Rimu cabinetry is offset with dark granite countertops and a bronze-coloured glass splashback.

Warm, earthy tones are also a feature of the bedroom wing. The master bedroom suite on the top floor incorporates a gallery and a study, and has a mezzanine balcony that overlooks the great room. Raked ceilings are a feature of all these rooms, too.

"As in the great room, floor-to-ceiling windows maximise the outlook and sun, and follow the roof line for added visual interest," says Buitendijk.

Even the master bathroom ceiling rises to an apex, adding a sense of drama.

Credit list

Bathroom designer
Leonie Von Sturmer
Kitchen designer
Judith Marks, Fyfe Kitchens
Hotmix from Dunsmun Contractors
Asphalt shingles from Elk Premium Roofing
Matai and kauri from Counties Joinery
Matai sourced by owners; slate from Slate & Stone Centre
Warm Up Heating Systems
Resene, painted by Tint and Tone
Oven, cooktop, rangehood and microwave
Kahlua granite from Stone Warehouse
Caroma Leda Vasque from Mico Wakefield
Kaldewei from Franklin Plumbing
Main contractor
Bob Wilmshurst
Kitchen manufacturer
Fyfe Kitchens
RJ Mulholland
Cedar from Cedarcorp and Otago schist from Otago Natural Stone
Windows and door hardware
Knobs N Knockers
Jetmaster from The Fireplace Ltd
Alpha Lighting
Kitchen cabinetry
Heart rimu
Colour-backed glass from Graphic Glass
Bedroom furniture
Kevens Department Store
Paini Cox from Italdesign
SCE Stone & Design
14 May, 2004

Fyfe Kitchens Limited is a New Zealand owned and operated business. Based in Auckland, we design and manufacture complete cabinet solutions backed by over 40 years of experience.

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