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When a surfer builds a bach

When a surfer, in this case an All Black giant, builds a bach they want it to be chic, relaxed and low maintenance – this design, with key tile and flooring selections from The Tile Depot, delivers

When All Black Great John Kirwan and his wife Fiorella decided to rebuild their family bach in Waihi, they wanted an easy-care and stylish space that they could enjoy with family and friends. 

The result is an attractive and durable summer home with a distinctly relaxed coastal vibe and great indoor-outdoor flow. 

Low maintenance and hard-wearing floor coverings from The Tile Depot feature throughout the entire build, chosen for their aesthetics, ability to withstand the wet and sandy footsteps of a surfer’s lifestyle, and for the easy care demands of relaxed holiday living.

Featured on Choice TV in late 2020, ‘The Bach that JK Built’ followed the entire design, build and decision-making process – from the removal of the original bach built in 1991, to the construction of a new contemporary structure by Barrett Homes NZ.

Renowned architect Chris Tate worked closely with the Kirwans to design a simple and yet eye-catching bach that fulfilled their lifestyle and design objectives. 

Situated within a hop skip and a jump of the waves, where John Kirwan has surfed for much of his life, this home had to be able to withstand the coastal elements and meet the practical needs of a keen surfing family. 

The result is a stylish and contemporary holiday home, characterised by elegant and durable materials.

A key feature of the dwelling is the real blurring of lines between indoors and out. 


Both the front and rear of the home have large stacking doors that when fully retracted, open the entire width of the building, creating seamless flow to the outdoors.

The front of the bach opens directly from a large entertainer’s deck into the open-plan living and kitchen area. 

When the sliding doors are pulled back, the deck and interior areas essentially become one large space. 

Matching floor coverings further unite the indoor and outdoor area with wood-effect flooring and large porcelain tiles appearing to flow seamlessly from indoors to out.

Tracks Ash 600x600mm porcelain tiles from The Tile Depot have been laid continuously between the interior and exterior kitchen areas, both on the floors and end wall.

 They help create the appearance of one united kitchen space.

Where the wooden areas of the deck meet the stacking doors, they appear to flow seamlessly into the interior. 

Neptune Max Natural Oak flooring has all the appearance and texture of natural wood but is in fact a stone polymer composite (SPC) that is 100% waterproof, fadeproof and is easier to maintain than natural wood. 

This has been laid throughout the dining and living area and extends throughout all areas of the bach that aren’t tiled, including the bedrooms and hallway.

At the rear of the bach is the wet room, quite possibly every surfer’s dream room. 

Traversing the full width of the building, the entire room is waterproofed and tiled floor to ceiling in Timberland Gris 450x900mm porcelain tiles from The Tile Depot. 

This is a hugely practical space where you can walk in directly from the beach and head straight into a shower, storing your surfboard away as you go. 

The whole space is easily swept and wiped down and also functions as a laundry and utility space. 

It’s a very functional space with really hard-wearing tiles that won’t be abraded by sand or damaged by water.

With low maintenance and durable floor coverings that can be easily swept and wiped down, all the floors in the bach are either tiled or covered in Neptune flooring. 

The shower stalls continue the relaxed vibe of
The shower stalls continue the relaxed vibe of the rest of the home.

The Tracks Ash porcelain that was used in the kitchen and outdoor BBQ area is also used in the main bathroom and ensuite. 

The easy sense of flow that is captured throughout the bach, continues in the bathrooms with the consistent tile palette and seamless flow into the fully tiled shower areas.

While much of the tile and flooring selections is comprised a simple palette of neutral colours, in the kitchen, Fiorella’s Italian background comes to the fore.  

Decorative encaustic-style tiles from The Tile Depot’s Memory Mood collection were chosen to adorn the scullery wall and the main kitchen countertop. 

These add unique and striking pops of colour and pattern into the heart of the bach.

Seaside holidays are for chilling out and having fun with friends and family and no one wants to spend time cleaning or undertaking maintenance. 

By choosing to have durable porcelain tile and Neptune floor surfaces that are easily cleaned with very low maintenance needs, the Kirwan family can get on with the very serious business of relaxing and catching waves.

Credit list

Architectural design
Chris Tate Architecture
Tiles and Neptune Flooring
Builder
Barrett Homes NZ

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Courtesy of Choice TV for The Bach that JK Built, 2020

27 Feb, 2022

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