This story appeared in Your Home in Garden. Text by Bea Taylor.
Tucked into the side of a hill in the quiet community of Takahoa Bay in Kaiwaka, Deb and Tony Wilson's home cuts a striking form.
The Wilsons spend their week in Auckland where they both work as hairdressers at their salon, Raven Haircutters. But come the weekend, they make the hour-and-a-half drive up to their "good place".
"We love the serenity," says Deb. "Auckland has become work and the Kaipara has become the relaxing part of our life."
Their luxurious weekend retreat boasts panoramic views and, with just one neighbour on the hill behind them and another hidden down in front, there's a feeling of total isolation.
The couple knew exactly what they wanted for the build; space for their big family to come and visit, but a home that didn't feel empty when it was just the two of them.
The answer was to break the home up into pods. There's a bedroom pod, a kitchen and dining pod and a guest wing. These pods, or boxes, create hubs in the house, but also frame the decks and provide breaks from the weather. Therefore, no matter which way the wind is blowing, there is always an outdoor area to relax, dine and observe the view from.
"We wanted to have a view from every room in the house," says Deb. "We basically wanted a big glass box." In fact, there aren't many solid walls in the house at all. Instead, Deb and Tony installed high-performance sliding doors in Matt Black by Vantage Windows & Doors in every room. These square-edged, floor-to-ceiling doors sit flush and provide a seamless transition from the inside to the outside.
In the living and dining room, the sliding doors frame views on both sides "so you can see right through," says Deb. "We love that we can just open everything up."
"We cop the wind a lot," adds Tony. "So the joinery had to be highly wind rated. It's got a beautiful solidity about it, and works with the boxiness of the house. And the fact we could get it in Matt Black was a decider, too."
Frequent visitors to Bali, Deb and Tony had the relaxed, luxury resort aesthetic of Balinese villas in mind when designing their home's interior. "Contemporary but earthy," says Deb. "Which is a really hard combination." A palette of matte black textures and neutral colours create that relaxing resort feel for the Wilsons. "We tried to get everything as low-sheen as we could," says Tony.
Because a luxurious outdoor bath wasn't possible on their windy hill, Deb and Tony compromised by installing a full-height sliding glass door in their bathroom. The door can be pushed back completely to create that outdoor feeling, or kept closed while still allowing a seamless view of the landscape.
One day, this house will become Deb and Tony's permanent home after they retire. But for now, it's their weekend getaway, a place where they can put away their phones and settle in for a relaxing 48 hours far from the hustle and bustle of city life - no matter the weather.
"Call us weird, but we love it as much in the winter as we do in the summer," says Deb. " Especially when there's a storm brewing, because we can put on the fire, snuggle down and watch it roll in."