An award-winning home by Gregg Builders delivers style and comfort for one couple returning to Christchurch for good.
Just one week after setting foot on home turf after three years living in New South Wales, Coral and Stuart Brander wasted no time in setting plans in motion to build themselves a brand new home.
When the couple first set off for the sunny shores of Australia’s East Coast, they had no plans of returning home any time soon, and so sold their home – a home built by Gregg Builders. Although Coral says they had never met Colin Gregg before, they had been so impressed with his high level of workmanship and the ‘timelessness and understated elegance’ of their previous home, that he was the obvious choice for their new endeavour.
Favouring an architecturally designed home – as they had before – with clean, contemporary lines, the couple had a clear vision and quickly arranged their first meeting with Gregg Builders and their chosen architect.
While building your home may be considered one of life’s more stressful experiences, Coral insists the process was an incredibly joyful one. ‘Having a strong idea of the design from the outset, and working with a building company with such transparent processes, it was smooth sailing from the start.’
With a concise project plan, laid out by Gregg Builders’ Project Manager Craig Wilson, which outlined strict budgets for each aspect of the build, nothing was left to chance and expectations were easily managed with the utmost professionalism.
Monthly meetings were put in place to review any deviations from the original plans and budget – which always helps keep expectations in check and unnecessary stress at bay. And fortnightly onsite meetings with Colin ensured the couple were aware of any decisions they needed to make along the way.
‘Every step was carefully managed so we were fully aware at any one time where the build was at, what the next step was, and how the budget was tracking’, says Coral.
Credit to the solid relationship Colin and Katey Gregg have developed with their numerous suppliers and subcontractors over the years, the build was completed just two weeks over their ten-month timeline. To bring a project of this nature to fruition on time and within budget, without ever compromising on quality, made this building experience a genuine pleasure for Coral and Stuart from start to finish.
The home’s instant curb appeal is achieved with a striking juxtaposition of slick white plaster facade and natural schist chimneys. Using Resene Construction Systems Rockcote Integra, together with a coat of mineral Tasman Texture Finish in Resene Triple White Pointer, Glenn Munro of Properly Plastered supplied and installed the facade with uncompromising precision.
Resene Tasman Texture Finish creates a polished look which achieves a great first impression. Favoured by builders and plasterers alike for the longevity of the substrate and render, Glenn adds that the product is easily workable during the winter months – an extremely useful feature when keeping to specific timeframes.
From the cavity to the lightweight concrete substrate and flashings, right through to the finishing Resene colours, Rockcote offers the complete supply and install system for all home exteriors. In addition to its aesthetic and durable qualities, it also provides thermal and acoustic benefits to homeowners compared with alternative lightweight facades.
From the home’s stately entrance, to the functional outdoor living spaces at the rear of the property, MacRae Landscape Design has created seamless flow. Designing soft and hardscaping, as well as functional utility spaces, the outdoor living and entertaining areas are beautifully enhanced with a variety of plants that offer height, structure, definition and movement. Sharp edges have been softened with a mix of Sorbus lutescens groves, underplanted with Star Jasmine ground cover and Hornbeam hedges that will develop to enclose the spaces within a lush green walled garden in the summertime.
On entering, to the left of the foyer is a guest wing. Comprising three guest bedrooms and one bathroom, this wing can be completely shut off from the rest of the house when not in use, making it economical to heat. The home office is also situated in this wing: complete with his and hers workstations, it has external access and can be closed off from the rest of the wing by a concealed sliding door.
To the right of the entrance, a contemporary staircase winds its way up to the couple’s private oasis, which spans the entire first floor. Comprising a generously proportioned dressing room and bathroom, the boudoir offers stunning panoramic views across the Southern Alps and Port Hills.
The home’s instant curb appeal is achieved with a striking juxtaposition of slick white plaster facade and natural schist chimneys.
In the luxurious hotel-like bathroom upstairs, and guest bathroom downstairs, Ascot Busker ceramic tiles in charcoal have been used on floors, and on the internal walls that cleverly hide showers and toilets. Décor Tiling relishes the challenge of working with rectified edges, as this particular tile demands meticulous execution in order to achieve a perfectly flush finish.
Downstairs, past the powder room and down the hall, the hub of the home is revealed with stunning effect. Spacious and flooded with natural light – thanks to large expanses of glazing – the open-plan kitchen, dining and living areas are a joy to behold.
First to catch the eye is the striking Black Forest granite island that takes centre stage in the generous entertainer’s kitchen, designed by Angelique Armstrong of Armstrong Interiors. Complemented by Rotpunkt kitchen joinery, manufactured in Germany to exacting detail, the custom-made island stands proud against a backdrop of linear mosaic tiles, installed by Décor Tiling. Extending from the kitchen through to the adjacent scullery, the horizontal lines are further accentuated by an LED lighting strip above the kitchen island.
Fit for the die-hard gourmand, the kitchen is fully equipped with an array of high-end European appliances that includes a Miele pyrolytic oven, combination microwave oven, induction cooktop, warming drawer, and integrated dishwasher. Meanwhile, the scullery contains two refrigerated beverage and wine cellars, in addition to a black gloss French door refrigerator.
Coral’s innate flair for style and colour is apparent from her fashion sense alone, yet she says she couldn’t have achieved the stunning interiors without the expert eye of Ben Lewis from Trenzseater – who she credits as the ‘mastermind’ behind the choice of furnishings throughout this award-winning home.
Careful not to overwhelm, but rather complement, the architectural design of the building, and to promote an air of effortless sophistication, Ben says relaxed linens were used in combination with buttery soft new leathers alongside well-loved vintage ones.
Layering of different textures gives interest to the interior scheme, Ben points out. Cosy faux fur throws have been draped over vintage Chesterfield sofas, paired with rugs that define different areas, and combined with exquisite tactile European wallpapers, while sumptuous drapery and Venetian blinds are used to filter natural light.
Bevelled mirrors have been carefully positioned to reflect all available light, and when dusk draws in table lamps provide ambient lighting, while sculptural pendants above the dining table and in the stairwell create a heightened sense of drama.
Accessible both from the hallway, and through concealed sliding doors to the dining area, the media room is Stuart’s favourite spot in their new home. Complete with surround sound, a drop down projector and 110-inch screen, the Escea gas fire nestled into a sparkling black granite hearth makes this cosy nook the ultimate retreat from the world. Emulating a luxury boutique movie theatre, the all-black cavernous room can be totally blacked out with motorised blinds in the middle of the day for the ultimate cinematic experience.
Keen collectors of original New Zealand art, crisp white walls provide the couple with a gallery-like backdrop. With a wealth of experience spanning three decades, Newman Decorators are well placed to deliver a perfect paint finish on both new builds and renovations. Major players in award-winning homes just like this one, their long-standing 25-year relationship with Gregg Builders is most certainly indicative of their professionalism and quality workmanship.
Beautifully designed and meticulously built, Fairview Architectural frames have been used to create contemporary clean lines throughout the home. Recessed sliding frames with flush tracks were chosen for the master bedroom’s panoramic windows; as well as the sliding doors on the home’s north-west facing corner where all three floor-to-ceiling doors slide away – for easy access between the interior and exterior living spaces and an uninterrupted connection with nature.
Scooping two accolades in the 2015 Registered Master Builders House of the Year Awards is testament to the prowess and professionalism of Gregg Builders. But the opinions that really matter are those of the homeowners – the ones who have the incredible good fortune to wake up in this home every morning for the rest of their lives.
Words & styling: Majka Kaiser Photography: Mick Stephenson & Jamie Armstrong