Country living a stone’s throw from the city 

The design for this home was originally conceived by the owners, on a serviette, over a bottle of wine. With the exception of two small amendments, the original pencil sketch has been entirely replicated in this fabulous country estate.


  • O’Neil Architecture


  • Finalists in the 2014 Designing with Glass Category of the Prestigious Glass Industry NZ Awards

When Kelly & John bought 10 acres of a former market garden, they knew exactly the work and home environment they wanted on the site; a single storey home, with three wings around a courtyard and seperate office complex to accommodate their dairy farming business. At the time, they were operating the business from their existing home, close to the land they had purchased.

“We were living in a home constructed by Daryl and the team. We were impressed by the standard of the construction and the flow of our home. DJ Hewitt has a good name in the industry. We asked Darren O’Neil of O’Neil Architecture to translate our drawing into working plans. Daryl’s company was the only building company we approached,” Kelly says. 

Given this was a first-time building project for Kelly and John, it was an ambitious undertaking. The completed project includes a 520 square metre home, a 110 square metre office complex and a 60 square metre pool house overlooking a pool inlaid in a central courtyard. 

“I wanted a home seperated from the office; a family friendly environment with a heart, built around the hub of the kitchen,” Kelly says. Although she knew exactly what she wanted, finding the ideal finishes, fixtures and furnishings to realise her vision was made a whole lot easier with the invaluable assistance of Daryl’s wife, Tara. “Tara was so much help. We would go out together and pick out samples for me to bring home. I knew what I wanted but not how to do it. Tara, and Melissa Merrin from Lume Interiors, were just great,” Kelly says. 

As one of the first projects to be undertaken post-quake, changes to the building code and engineering requirements could have easily derailed the timeline for completion. Daryl’s experience proved invaluable in getting their project to meet stringent compliance codes. “We never had an issue. It was totally seamless build and a really positive experience,” Kelly says. 

The office, complete with a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom and rooms with sliding doors opening out to the garden, could readily be used as a self-contained apartment. Across a lush lawn, the home clad in schist, black linea and Rockcote plaster made to resemble concrete, is perfectly proportioned on the site. The ‘u’ shaped home has two wings on either side of the central entry foyer and living, dining and kitchen areas. In the farmhouse-inspired kitchen and dining space there is an over height stud and extensive glass overlooking the pool and pool house beyond. Established plantings around the home create interest and outdoor ‘rooms’. A leafy shelter belt on the boundary provides privacy and wind protection. “Originally it was a house in a paddock, but now it’s a living and work environment perfectly suited to our lifestyle,” Kelly says. 

The pool house was a national finalist in the 2014 designing with glass category of the prestigious Glass Industry NZ awards. Extensive retractable glass doors can be pulled back to give the illusion the roof is suspended from an oversized shimney and fire place structure. Inside, a Teppanyaki grill, wall mounted ovens, generous couches and a table, flanked by bench seating, provide a superb outdoor living and party venue.

Fastidious workmanship is evident in every detail from the custom designed joinery, recessed doors that slide seamlessly back to reveal superbly decorated rooms and concealed reveals that hide light features and window treatments.

Kelly and John are delighted with the outcome. “It was a dream build. Site foreman AJ and the rest of the team were fantastic. They got us into the home within a year and I can honestly say we did not have one issue,” Kelly says. 

“DJ Hewitt provide a turnkey solution service and the have access to the best suppliers. We just knew they would take us through the whole process, and they did. They are at the top of their game.”

Daryl Hewitt

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