A lifelong love affair with Tekapo was the inspiration behind this modern holiday home by High Country Carpentry.
Over the last 25 years, Phil has enjoyed many a family holiday and weekend retreat at his family’s bach in Lake Tekapo. And, although he and his wife Helen bought a plot of land there several years ago, it was only when Phil’s parents sold the family bach that they decided it was high time they put their own building plans into action.
Phil fondly reminisces how he and Helen would spend hours just gazing up at the clear night sky, spotting satellites and shooting stars. With boating in the summer, skiing in the winter, and fishing, hiking, mountain biking and stargazing all year round, this treasured spot has always had a special place in their hearts.
Long before their vision for the ultimate holiday home came to life, Phil and Helen recount that they would sit on the empty site eating ice creams, musing over how their dream would eventually take shape. And, once the decision to build had been made, the pair wasted no time in enlisting a team of professionals to execute their plans.
Intimately familiar with the area and its temperamental environment, Lain Hellmrich of High Country Carpentry instilled in the couple ‘absolute confidence’ that they would receive a home that was not only sympathetic to the surrounding environs, but that would also withstand the harsh weather conditions year in, year out.
Overseeing all aspects of the construction process, Lain managed the logistics and organised the various subcontractors, while keeping Phil and Helen updated every step of the way.
With ‘an amazing eye for detail’ and reverence for superior finishes and immaculate detailing, Lain says he was mindful to deliver above and beyond what Phil’s high expectations demanded.
Striving for perfection at every turn, Lain says he managed expectations by keeping Phil and Helen abreast of developments throughout the process, and relished the opportunity to make suggestions that would give the final result the impeccable finish they sought.
A proven high performance and lightweight render, Dulux AcraTex Exsulite EIFS Cladding System was used in conjunction with Dulux AcraTex Renderwall Float Finish, which produced beautiful ‘clean lines’, says Nathan Hurrell of Elite Plaster Coatings, a division of the Todd Mudie Group.
Having worked with High Country Carpentry on many occasions, Nathan says their mutual appreciation of high standards meant the process ran smoothly achieving the desired result. ‘Witnessing the transformation from the bare bones to the fully formed whole is a real buzz.’
Blending seamlessly into the landscape, Oturehua stone from the Ida Valley was selected for its beautiful range of colours, says Craig Holden of Mackenzie Stonecraft. From deep grey, through to rich browns with a tinge of green, the rustic, textural quality stands in stark contrast with the clean architectural lines. So that no mortar joins show, the stone has been laid in a ‘tight stack’, explains Craig.
Maximising the stunning vistas of Lake Tekapo and the mountains beyond was high on the pair’s list of priorities; and a number of rooms boast front-row seats to the ever-changing hues of the lake and surrounding flora and fauna.
Reflecting the surrounding landscape, and echoing the purity of the lake and the azure skies, an earthy palette is complemented by bright shots of blue throughout the home – from the bold blue front door, through to the accents in the bathroom and kitchen.
Working in close collaboration with the couple’s interior designer and the High Country Carpentry team, Trends Kitchens were proud to deliver an immaculately detailed result for all joinery elements throughout the home.
Chosen for its fingerprint-resistant matt surface, Soft Touch melamine panels were used on all kitchen island cabinetry. To complement these panels in Storm Grey, the remaining doors, drawers and panels were finished using the velvety Quarter Thorndon Cream.
As the kitchen’s centrepiece, the island sports a polished granite worktop, which offers tantalising views of the lake beyond, which ‘totally transforms the mundane task of washing up into a pleasurable experience’, explains Phil.
In accordance with the couple’s design brief, The Glass Room custom-made the bespoke glass splashback to mirror the vibrant greenish blue hues of Lake Tekapo. Bringing a high level of expertise to every project, The Glass Room takes great pride in offering homeowners superior quality architectural art glass; the unique textural finishes they produce elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary.
Using quality stopping products from leading brands, Platinum Interior Plastering takes great pride in the premium results they achieve, which pave the way for a perfect paint finish. And thanks to the quality workmanship of the carpenters on the building team, working with perfectly straight walls and flat surfaces makes for a smooth transition from one part of the job to the next.
The unique shape of the ceiling in the open-plan kitchen, dining and living room presented a unique challenge for Damon Smith Electrical, who were responsible for supplying and installing the lighting, as well as all electrical services, heat pumps, data networking and security systems.
Integrating the LED downlighting within the negative detailing on the ceiling, while ensuring perfect symmetry between the 1.8m lighting pendant suspended between the kitchen island and the ceiling above, required a savvy lighting plan. And, with Damon’s meticulous attention to the finest details, this architectural design feature has been illuminated to great effect.
Supplying tapware for the kitchen and laundry, as well as plumbing fittings and fixtures for the bathrooms, Oakleys Bathroom and Plumbing Supplies worked in close collaboration with Brymac Tiles to select the perfect tiles for the bathrooms, as well as the indoor and outdoor living areas.
Masia Blanco glazed ceramic tiles and S&T white gloss tiles form a sleek backdrop for the St Michel Lulu vanities, which have been used in all three bathrooms to create a sense of continuity throughout the home. Meanwhile, a customisable coloured melamine strip in Ocean Gloss was chosen to match the hue of Lake Tekapo’s turquoise waters.
The interior and exterior versions of Ariana Ceramica’s Futura Antracite ceramic tiles from Brymac Tiles were chosen for their beautiful pebbled texture – akin to Tekapo’s natural landscape. Used as a border around the living and media rooms, these exquisite Italian tiles create a seamless flow out to the polished concrete deck beyond.
For safety, shelter and privacy, toughened frameless glass balustrades, with a grey tint, were supplied and installed by Provista Balustrade Systems. In order to satisy the new safety regulations that call for top link rails or capping, the surrounding landscaped area was raised. For clean lines and minimal fixings, SingleDisc MB75 frameless glass was used to accomodate the narrow edge of the concrete slab, as it can be secured in place at a single fixing point.
Once the project reached completion, Lain says seeing Phil’s and Helen’s beaming faces was ‘a feeling like no other’, as ‘we realised we’d delivered just what they wanted – to the desired level of detail and finish.’
As the pair sit back and take stock of their journey, they look forward to making more memories with friends and family, and developing the love story that Tekapo has woven through their lives.
Words: Majka Kaiser Photography: Mick Stephenson Styling & production: BoConcept