Mediterranean allure

This substantial family residence has solid masonry construction and modern, flowing interiors the show home was designed and built by Eden Homes

Exterior view of Eden Homes show home which building, elevation, estate, facade, home, house, mansion, outdoor structure, property, real estate, residential area, roof, suburb, villa
Exterior view of Eden Homes show home which features plaster cladding and tiled roof.

As every successful designer knows, creating a winning design is all about taking the best that there is and then improving on it. In terms of house building, this could well mean combining the good bones of a classic masonry design with the ergonomic pluses of open-plan interiors to create a fresh breed of residence.

This large 300m² house is a case in point. It was designed by Eden Homes, as a showcase for the company's broad range of upmarket family residences.

The four-bedroom, two-level house is built in the enduring style of a rural Italian villa, says Rob Dines, director of Eden Homes.

"The dense walls, deep window and door reveals, and old-fashioned, red barrel-tile roofs are all typical of century-old homes nestled in the Tuscan countryside. Similarly, features such as the wrought iron detailing, solid cedar front door and timber window shutters might once have graced one of these rustic structures."

These European-style houses have endured down the ages for two reasons: they have an attractive aesthetic that never seems to date, and they are always warm, snug and dry no matter what the weather or season.

However, if traditional appearance and durable performance are inherent in the design and construction of this house, the interiors are a far cry from the small rooms and passages of those picturesque Italian buildings.

"The floor plans as with the layouts of most of our designs cater to modern family living," says Dines. "The interiors are spacious and airy, with soaring ceilings, rooms that flow from one to another, and an abundance of natural light."

View of a patio area which features paved architecture, furniture, home, house, interior design, table, gray
View of a patio area which features paved floors, landscaping.

This sense of spaciousness is evident from first entering the residence. The double-height atrium, complete with a feature hand-made chandelier, rises a generous 5.4m high. From this entryway, the 5m x 5m living room is to the right, with the kitchen beyond and an elongated combined informal living and dining room running the rest of the length of the home.

"It's a huge space 11.6m x 5m and the country kitchen with solid oak cabinetry is at the heart of it, as both living areas open onto it."

Even this much freedom of space can be tamed, when required. A large pocket sliding door draws out to divide the formal living room from the kitchen, dining and informal living spaces, adding to the home's versatility.

The dividing wall means parents can be entertaining in one area, while the children are doing their own thing in another.

The house is designed to connect well with the outdoors. The living room alone has three sets of French doors opening to the landscaped grounds. Symmetry of line accentuates the indoor to outdoor connections.

"A large loggia or outdoor room extends beyond the living room. This is the same width as the living space, so with the two sets of bifold doors on this wall retracted, the living room and loggia become one large space," Dines says.

Upstairs, the master suite features a Juliet balcony, a large walk-in wardrobe and a clean-lined, contemporary bathroom, with the latest eco-friendly tapware and showerheads.

View of a hallway with tiled floors. apartment, architecture, ceiling, daylighting, estate, floor, flooring, hall, handrail, home, house, interior design, lobby, property, real estate, stairs, wall, wood flooring, gray
View of a hallway with tiled floors.

"While this house has its own personality, it is representative of all our homes in many ways," says Dines. "Chief among these is the solid masonry construction with concrete slab floors. This building method has several advantages, including honest aesthetics, durable, rot-proof design and low maintenance."

However, it is on the eco-friendly front that masonry block construction really shines. The dense thermal mass of the blockwork walls provides protection from extremes of heat and cold. In winter, walls absorb heat during the day, releasing it at night to create a warm, snug ambience. In summer, the houses are insulated from the heat and provide a comfortable, cooler ambient temperature indoors.

"In addition, these dense blocks provide effective control over acoustics, with no sound travelling in from the neighbours or from the next room," says Dines.

"Besides a protective family environment, the most important feature of an Eden Homes residence is its solid investment potential. The homes are structurally sound, never out of style, and as a consequence always in demand."

Eden Homes has tweaked and refined this particular masonry house design over the past 10 years. The company now offers an upscale six-bedroom, three-car garage version for larger rural properties.

For more details on Eden Homes show homes, phone (09) 274 8890. Web: www.edenhomes.co.nz

Credit list

Masonry and concrete
Windows and doors
NuLook by Windows 2000, phone 0508 800 755
Real Fires,
Floor and wall tiles
Heritage Tiles, phone (09) 270 7970
Jagas Paving,
Monier Bricks and Roofing, phone 0800 Monier (0800 666 437)
Interior linings
Gib by Winstone Wallboards, phone 0800 475 475
Kitchen, laundry, and bathroom cabinetry
Good Kitchens,
Downpipes and spouting
Continuous Spouting Auckland, phone 0800 501 993

Story by: Trendsideas

13 Jul, 2010

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