In a welcome departure from suburban convention, Candice and Scott Waller's family home has been masterfully constructed by LM Built in a way that every aspect has been thoughtfully considered and articulated.
Described by Scott as an urban sanctuary with a rural outlook, the home has a somewhat subtle presence from the street, then opens up to reveal clever and interesting spaces, each one with its own view and atmosphere.
Far from a happy accident, Scott says the uniqueness of the Westmorland home is the result of careful collaboration between ‘possibly the world’s fussiest client’, an awesome architect, and a fastidious and clever builder.
The Wallers are no strangers to building, and as an engineer Scott has house plans come across his desk daily. The library of ideas and wealth of experience he has developed over the years means he had a firm idea of what he wanted in his own family home.
‘I was extremely specific. The worst clients are engineers, I’m sure!’
No strangers to high-end architectural builds, LM Built, led by Leo Meredith, came highly recommended by Scott's ‘super fussy’ best mate.
Leo lived up to his stellar reputation and turned the Wallers’ dreams into reality with immaculate workmanship and meticulous attention to detail.
The Waller abode is a contemporary barn-style pavilion house. The high pitched roof is juxtaposed with flat sections joining the four pods. The jewel in the crown is the stunning courtyard – a beautifully sheltered and liveable private realm.
Leo kept a constant eye on the project and solved any issues that arose throughout the build. Leo’s skilled project management meant these were very few and the process was headache-free.
‘Teamwork is what sets us apart’, says Leo. ‘We are passionate about making the building process stress-free and enjoyable for our clients.’ Candice and Scott were able to liaise directly with Leo, so never felt out of control of the building process and were always kept informed of progress.
Some of the special features of the home are thanks to Leo’s innovative ideas. The stunning cedar entranceway was a collaboration of Leo, his site foreman and W2 Limited's architectural designer, Matt Wilkie. The floating bench in the ensuite is also a great example of Leo's ‘think outside the norm’ attitude towards building houses.
‘The couple listened to our ideas and trusted our judgment’, explains Leo. ‘Scott was very particular and knew exactly what he wanted. It was extremely satisfying for us to finish the build and have the Wallers completely satisfied.’
Leo says restricting the number of homes built each year ensures each project gets the attention it deserves. It also means Leo is able to oversee the design and construction quality on every home, ensuring every last detail is professionally evaluated before being handed over to the client.
The wow-factor of this home lies in its ingenious architecture. W2 Limited's architectural designer Matt Wilkie, with whom Scott had worked before, was responsible for the design of the substantial home. ‘Matt is awesome’, Scott says. ‘He’s clever and innovative, and quite out-there with ideas at times.’
Matt refined the design with particular focus on sun and outdoor living. He was also responsible for some of the clever detailing that makes this home special. ‘Simple ideas like recessing a sliding door track into the ceiling provides a seamless connection between spaces, adding height and simplicity to the interior’, Matt says.
To ensure there were no nasty financial surprises and overruns, which can happen without adequate building preparation, Focus Project Services took control of the quantity surveying. ‘A project’s success is largely determined by work that is done prior to the build even starting’, Darryn Crawford from Focus explains.
His team ensured the financial aspect of the Wallers’ project was complete and robust, based on the documentation provided. This set LM Built off on the right foot and ensured the Wallers had an accurate cost of the whole build.
At the heart of the design was engineering company Powell Fenwick, who provided structural, electrical, hydraulic, mechanical and sustainable design for the project. The desire to improve energy efficiency was important to the couple. Features like LED lighting, solar hot water, as well as High R-value insulation by Earthwool, argon filled glazing and a thermally broken glazing suite were all Powell Fenwick’s solutions to reduce energy costs.
An immaculate finish on the interior walls was delivered by GreyTone Painters & Decorators. In keeping with the crisp lines of the home, the team used white hues throughout from both the Resene and Dulux paint ranges. The only deviation was feature wallpaper, which adds an element of fun in the bedrooms.
A lot of time goes into preparing the walls and trims for a quality finish, says Tony Mckenzie from GreyTone. For extra durability the team used Resene oil based enamels on the trims, doors and skirtings. The result is perfection.
A perfect partner to high-end contemporary homes, Raylight Aluminium was in charge of the aluminium joinery. The team chose Allseasons Thermally Broken Suites from the Nulook windows and doors range, a firm favourite with builders and architects. The custom-made joinery is finished in matt black and complements the home’s architectural form. A special feature is the advanced thermal performance.
Specialists in their field, Metalcraft Roofing were contracted to supply and install Espan 470 Architectural Tray Roofing. Espan has a unique clip system which allows for a seamless finish, making it a favoured choice of builders and architects. The high ribs create strong defined showdown lines and, together with concealed fixings, provide for superior weather performance. The Wallers chose the colour Tempest, as supplied by New Zealand Steel, with the Endura paint finish. Tempest is a low-gloss version of Ebony, and helps reduce bright light reflection on sunny days and when the sun is at a low angle to the roof.
The icing on the cake of any house is the interior decor. Working closely with the clients, Lucy Wilkie and Ryan Twomey from Frobisher Interiors added their flair to create elegant, stylish spaces individually tailored to deliver the sort of living the family envisioned.
Drapes were used in the kitchen and living spaces to soften these spaces. Privacy wasn’t an issue on this secluded site and so they were able to use soft, unlined fabric which allows light to filter through. Shutters were also used to complement the clean lines of the architecture. The children’s bedrooms feature roman blinds, which worked with the Wallers’ choice of wallpaper.
Lucy also styled the home, mostly using pieces from international designer Kelly Hoppen, whose Retrospective Collection is available at Frobisher.
Scott and Candice and their two young children moved into their abode in autumn this year and the house immediately felt like home. Every space works perfectly, and the clever design and high-end workmanship on every aspect of its design and construction has paid off.
‘Returning at the end of the day feels like coming home to my own sanctuary’, Scott says. ‘It’s so private and I love its rural aspect. It’s perfect.’
Words: Krista Coupland Photography: Mick Stephenson Production & styling: Frobisher Interiors & Majka Kaiser