This year the charity NZ House & Garden house tour centres on the North Shore. It takes place on March 29, with all proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, and tickets are already selling fast.
The tours have been a popular event for 11 years, and traditionally feature eight to 12 beautiful homes of all styles. Homeowners open their homes to tour-goers, and tickets regularly sell out well in advance.
This year the tour is in the Takapuna/Devonport/Bays area. It is the first time for five years that the Auckland tour has been on the North Shore, and NZ House & Garden editor Sally Duggan (who lives on the Shore herself) says the homes reflect "all the best things about living here: beachside locations and sea views, lush plantings, great outdoor spaces”.
Sally’s team has lined up seven stunning tour homes so far, and they will finalise the final few over the next few weeks. The tour includes an award-winning architectural home at Castor Bay; two adjoining Takapuna beachfront properties; a couple of cleverly renovated villas and an immaculately restored James Chapman-Taylor heritage house that is home to Great Kiwi Bake Off judge and chef Sue Fleischl and her partner.
One of the villas belongs to artist Greer Clayton, whom Sally describes as a “genius” with interior colour.
"Her home is all greys, blues and greens: the same sort of tones she often uses in her art. She uses punchy colours at times (there's a really strong green in one of the kids' rooms, for example), but the overall effect is very cohesive. The colours just flow. It's a lovely, calming home."
The Castor Bay home is a New Zealand Institute of Architects award-winner that also features in the magazine’s February issue.
Sitting on the slope above Castor Bay beach, the black and yellow cedar-clad house, designed by Strachan Group Architects, has a double-storey atrium and a beautiful rock and grass fringed pool which the family use as a spa.
Walls reveal themselves as sliding doors: one even has an embedded television. The home has been future proofed with a cavity built into the shower able to hold a lift if the owners need it – which is possible since they swear they never want to move.
On Takapuna Beach, two homes sit side by side. One is designed by architect Pete Bossley, with a front door that opens to reveal dramatic curved cedar ceilings that lead to a 180 degree view of the sea. The neighbouring home has plenty of interesting angles created by glass and steel, and an amazing revamped outdoor area.
“We’re putting the final stages to the tour now, but I can already tell it’s going to be a really strong one,” Sally says. “Anyone who is interested in home design or decor, or who is looking for ideas for their own home will love it.”
Tickets: $85 per person at nzhouseandgardentours.co.nz.