A stand out
In the Waitikiri subdivision, one house built by Premium Homes fits in – and yet stands out
With its striking combination of cladding materials and distinctive gables, its charming garden and convivial letterbox, Tonio and Laetitia Phaal’s home is commanding, inviting and full of personality.
After the Canterbury Earthquakes left their home severely damaged, Laetitia and Tonio made the decision to take what they loved of their original home, to move and then rebuild. As Tonio explains, ‘we loved what the designer had achieved with the previous home; so we asked him to draw up the plans’.
The couple also knew that they wanted to build with Premium Homes. As the owner of OPENZ Automatic Gates and Doors, Tonio had worked
with Managing Director, Kelly Wood, and knew of the company’s abiding commitment to involving clients throughout the process and doing right by them.
As Kelly explains, ‘whilst we weren’t involved directly with the design, we were able to hold the couple’s hands throughout the process – looking over the plans and commenting as we saw it’.
Which is something Tonio and Laetitia appreciated. ‘We were able to take the plans to the builder and get their take on it, and then they would talk with the designer to clarify things or talk through different options.’ For the couple, ‘getting input from a builder we trusted was a real plus. We felt comfortable talking with Premium Homes and our designer about what we wanted. Communication all-round was excellent.’
The result is a stunning 250-square-metre home comprising a large kitchen with walk-in pantry, generous living spaces, four bedrooms, a separate office and two bathrooms.
From the street, white plaster meets rusticated cedar panels, which have been stained black. The categorical crispness of its dual cladding makes for a striking exterior. As Operations Manager, Paul Hardy, remarks, ‘the combination is spot on’.
Meanwhile, a multi-peaked roofline, cuts a fine figure against a clear Canterbury sky. As Tonio explains, ‘in the subdivision you had to have a gabled roof. So we thought, “let’s have lots of gables!”’ – making this a home that fits in, yet stands out. ‘The roof is outstanding’, he remarks.
In the foreground, a cheery red letterbox speaks of the couple’s sense of fun, while creamy camellias and roses soften the overall effect, reflecting the love and assiduous care that has gone into creating this special home. ‘The garden looks really pretty when all the flowers are in bloom’, says Tonio; ‘we get lots of comments about it’. He is quick to credit his wife for the gorgeous garden, adding that it is his job to ‘look after the lawns’.
‘What impressed us most about Premium Homes was the way they dealt with any challenges that arose. They were right onto it – they sorted things immediately.’
Walking inside, it is clear that Laetitia has been the driving force behind the home’s elegant, modern and warm interior finish. And the space that she was most particular about was her kitchen. ‘She was quite determined about what she wanted, and she got it!’ says Tonio. An avid home chef and entertainer, the arrangement of the kitchen is masterful, with a large bespoke walk-in pantry, complete with sink and ample storage close at hand.
Laetitia’s touches can be seen throughout. ‘All I did’, laughs Tonio, ‘was have her on about “our white house”’. From the kitchen into the adjacent living spaces, this home has excellent flow – enhanced by an understated palette, which is animated by vivid splashes of blue.
Kelly comments on the ‘nice flowing layout and the large living areas’, but is quick to point out that ‘every part of this house is a plus – there is nothing letting it down’.
Hidden away where no-one can see, yet elemental to the warmth and ambience of the home is the clever electrical work and lighting completed by Mike Harrison and the team at Caltec Electrical and AV Ltd. As Mike explains, ‘a lot of thought went into the placement of power outlets, and LED lighting used throughout, to make the home cost effective, low maintenance, as well as bright and warm’.
‘With a good electrical job, everything is hidden’, he adds. And, ensuring an unobtrusive, streamlined finish, Pure White Vynco Fusion Switchgear was used to blend in with the colour of the walls. ‘This allows the lighting to play its part’, says Mike. In the ‘white’ house, the lighting plays with easy, elegant shapes and vibrant colour to create spaces that are aesthetically pleasing as well as refreshing and warm.
Tonio talks of a process that was satisfying and exciting, the momentum and energy never wavering. ‘What impressed us most about Premium Homes was the way they dealt with any challenges that arose. They were right onto it – they sorted things immediately.’
At Premium Homes, there isn’t just one key player responsible for ensuring clients are involved and feel satisfied: the whole team gets behind the project. From Directors Kelly Wood and Andrew Breward, involved in the early stages to get the project underway, to Operations Manager, Paul Hardy, who ensured all the details came together and that all quality-control procedures were followed, the couple felt supported at every step. And, Tonio adds, ‘Laetitia said that the support she received when she phoned the office was “absolutely amazing”’.
As Kelly says, ‘we want our clients to get every advantage of our experience and knowledge. We are determined to get it right for them.’
Which they did. This home is an unequivocal success. ‘Kelly and the team were able to work with the designer to make it all work’, says Tonio. ‘We love it!’
And whereas Laetitia loves her beautifully crafted and impeccably ordered walk-in pantry, Tonio enjoys spending time in his ‘man-cave’ in the attic – a space that is not so central and, one might wager, not so tidy.
Premium Homes | 0800 773 628 | premhomes.co.nz
Caltec Electrical and AV Ltd | 021 279 6080
Words: Kate Barber Photography: Mick Stephenson