The site of Cathie and Jono Staines’ home on the clifftop above Murray’s Bay, with its sweeping sea views across to Rangitoto and beyond, is so prized by the couple that, rather than move, they simply rebuild.
The 361sqm modern home of precast concrete and dark painted Accoya cladding is the third incarnation on the site they have called home for 27 years.
Living here so long meant they were the experts and could tell architect David Giles exactly where the best views were for this latest home in which they’ve now lived for two and a half years. “We knew exactly what would work,” says Cathie.
Jono loves nothing more than opening the Vantage sliding windows in Metropolis Coat Dust from the main bedroom to fully appreciate those vistas.
They’ve raised their five boys on the property and now look after their 11 grandchildren from here. “It’s a very family-friendly house. The grandchildren, aged from 18 months up to 11, are here most days,” explains Cathie of the four-bedroom home.
But it is the resort style of living that visitors to the house are quick to notice and Cathie can attest to, fondly recalling regular cocktails by the pool during the first lockdown.
This relaxed, resort feel is in large part down to the seamless flow from the open-plan interior living space to the expansive outside deck, fireplace, ample entertaining areas and, ultimately to the pool. When the couple open the APL Architectural Series cavity sliding doors standing three metres tall on two sides of the living space, inside really does become outside and vice versa, meaning the children can safely come and go as they please. “Once they’re open, indoors and outdoors really does become blurred.”
Cathie is a fan of modern interiors and the soft neutral tones of the home, furniture and impressive leathered granite kitchen island set off by dark stained oak cabinetry inset with brass hardware is a testament to this. “I love modern but not stark and it has to be child-friendly,” says the grandmother who installed coloured LED lighting in the media room because one of her granddaughters thought it would be fun.
Now that the couple have their version of paradise, the Staines are pretty sure they will not be building again, so have made it a smart home to be able to open blinds and curtains, control the music and alarm system remotely. They have also future-proofed the house by installing a lift, although the only ones to have used it so far are the grandchildren.