A Home with Heart - Benchmark Homes

A Home with Heart

Despite only being 189 square metres in size, this earthquake rebuild ticks all the boxes for its vibrant owners.

THE AGE-OLD SAYING, ‘BIGGER ISN’T always better’ has never been more true than in the home of Nicky Stanaway and Noel Pinn. Facing a rebuild of their four bedroom imposing Art Deco family home, they opted for a concise yet intimate floor plan that has been achieved with wow factor.

Prior to the house crumbling around them in the wake of the Canterbury quakes, Nicky’s mother had built a small single level ‘flat’ on the section, allowing her to be close enough to family should she need, yet independent in her own right. A two-bedroom home, which became the inspiration for Nicky and Noel’s rebuild.

“We knew we wanted to rebuild on the same section and we wanted it to be in keeping with next door, as we share a driveway,” recalls Nicky, “and we couldn’t be happier with the result.” Having selected their builder from their insurance company’s short list, Noel and Nicky met with Benchmark Homes architect Desmond Prisk and set to work crafting their new modern design. “Taking inspiration from next door in the shape, roof line and cladding, Desmond then offered his own thoughts, which were great,” describes Noel. “Such as pulling the front door back from the road which really adds to the sense of privacy. And gives an added presence to the house as you are able to really experience the design as you walk up to it.”

Stepping inside the vibrant red door, you are welcomed into a private and quiet haven, a far cry from the bustling Merivale road on which the property is found.

Welcomed into an open-plan kitchen/living/dining that beautifully connects to a private courtyard for seamless indoor-outdoor flow, it is
immediately apparent this is a home designed, and built, for living. Passionate about cooking, the kitchen is Noel’s domain. Despite its open-plan nature the design ensures mess is easily able to be hidden from sight with sliding doors keeping the pantry, and kitchen sink, from view. “It’s very much Noel’s kitchen,” laughs Nicky.

“He was the one who lead the design in this area of the house, and as we are big entertainers he wanted the ease and convenience of being able to shut everything away – which is perfect.” Beyond the open-plan living space, the two bedroom, two bathroom home capitalises on every inch of its 189 square metres, achieving a sense of space that isn’t there. “Where Mum has a separate laundry, we have one tucked away in the hall cupboard, allowing us to achieve more space elsewhere, like in the walk-in-robe,” continues Nicky with a smile.

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