Tall and spacious despite a tricky riverside site, and with New York loft-inspired, crafted interiors, this dramatic home by Design Builders Waikato celebrates strong, rugged materials for a smart, semi-industrial aesthetic

Designed by Design Builders Waikato

From the designers:

This beautifully designed two-storey home in the Hamilton suburb of Flagstaff enjoys spectacular views of the Waikato River almost in touching distance below.

The showhome sits on a tricky sloping site with only 400m² of the 906m² site available for the home itself. Why build a showhome on such a unique site?

Well the glorious views of the river are one great reason, but the other is that while showhome visitors may not have the exact situation of this home, their own site might well be equally tricky.

And in its intelligent site response alone the four-bedroom, two-bathroom house more than delivers, with a design that makes the most of everything from the northern sun to intimate views of the river.

Then there is the character design of the house itself.

The two-level family/entertainer’s home has an appealing semi-industrial aesthetic with black standing seam cladding, ruby red, reused brick and gleaming golden-toned wood floors.

Given the home’s giant expanses of glazing, the wood floors are also seen at a glance from outside – visually completing the simple, yet highly effective palette of black, red and gold.

And this palette one of the beautiful aspects of the home. While the contemporary cladding is crisp and strong in shining black, the in-keeping red recycled brick brings the sense of a more lived-in character and also a balancing warmth. Of course the wood floors also add to the home’s sense of warmth and welcome.

The windows distinguish themselves by more than their scale, too. Instead of huge impersonal sheets of glass, the glazing is segmented – giving them a more human scale while again drawing on the semi-industrial feel.

Entering through the recycled brick entrance, the generous house has a living area on each floor, an office space in brilliant position on the second level, and even a play nook for the children under the stairs.

A timber bulkhead ceiling in the central kitchen adds texture and warmth to the in-keeping black and white cabinetry and island bench, and connects with a relaxed dining booth. 

The fully equipped kitchen includes a large scullery, drinks fridge and masses of storage – entertaining in this home will be a breeze.

The upper level of the home has the office, a second lounge and secondary bedrooms, with the master suite on the ground floor – future proofing the home should the elegant wood-tread open stairs prove difficult for the owners further down the track.

However, the upper floor stops short of the downstairs entertainment spaces, giving them a soaring ground floor-to-upstairs ceiling presence.

The feeling looking over the high upstairs glass bannister must be a little like a captain on the bridge of his or her ship, with the sprawling living spaces all under his or her gaze.

The house also has an easy indoor-outdoor flow – from the double-height dining area you step out onto the large patio.

This enclosed area comes complete with a fireplace that doubles as a pizza oven, so this sheltered outdoor room/patio can be enjoyed comfortably all year-round.

Everything has been taken care of in this showhome, right down to the styling – inspired by the classic New York loft. This is abundantly clear in the kitchen, alcove dining space and black and white bathroom that even has New York subway tiles.

Credit list

Kitchen designer and interior designer
Paula Waterhouse
Landscape designer/installer
Landscape Concepts by Richard
Trimrib Colorsteel Endura
Main floors
Floorboards – Nature Oak in engineered timber
Bathroom tiles
Tiles on Devon
General heating
Ducted Air Con; under-floor water pipes
Feature light fittings
Mr Ralf
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Home – Winner
Design Builders
Kitchen manufacturer
Huntly Joinery
Vertical Colorsteel (Eurostyle snaplock 365mm pan); Horizontal Abodo Shiplap Weatherboard; recycled brick
Window/door joinery
Rylock Aluminium
Bedroom flooring
Van Dyks Flooring Xtra; Foss Wool Carpet on 11mm high density foam underlay; Kaikoura SDN Carpet on 11mm high density foam underlay
Resene Half Merino; Resene Ebony
Warmington SN900 Fireplace
Torrington Stairways

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Amanda Aitken Photography

06 Dec, 2020

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