Every last detail
Mark and Kate Tomkies of Tomkies Construction brought meticulous planning and attention to detail to every aspect of the ambitious project to build their own dream home. The result is a stunning, award-winning residence the family plans to enjoy for many years.
Approaching Mark and Kate Tomkies' North Canterbury home from the street, you are greeted by an automatic gate that opens in a curved arc, flowing through to the driveway where a perfect circle of ground polished concrete with moonstone highlights takes centre stage. At the entranceway, decking is arranged in a sunrise pattern, adding a unique design element to the kwila walkway. It's the many fine details like these that reflect the level of precision and care that was poured into each step of this substantial project by its owners, directors of North Canterbury-based residential build specialists, Tomkies Construction.
Mark has 17 years' building experience, and over their six years in business, Tomkies Construction has built a reputation not only for high-quality workmanship but for bringing the personal touch to work. “We built our neighbours' house, and like many of our clients, they have become friends of ours. I don't like our clients to be stressed by the process, building a house should be enjoyable,” says Mark.
To make the most of the expansive section, the couples' brief to Leigh of Leigh Adams Architecture, was to design a one-off family home with the ‘wow' factor. Leigh's design included a low-pitch roof, so that the roofline is not visible, and a 350mm fascia, moulded into one piece for a seamless effect to enhance the strong lines of the home. A standout feature of the eye-catching exterior is the schist cladding which carries through into the striking double-height entranceway. In the entry-foyer, the oak flooring is reflected in the stairway by an oak beam which Mark designed and had manufactured for the space. As a safety feature for the couple's three-year-old, Mark also designed a series of 21mm floor-to-ceiling toughened laminate glass panels for the top of the stairs. The result is stunning.
With the build underway, soakhole construction and drainage pipework were carried out by Raika Drainage, who are trusted with all the drainage work for Tomkies projects as a preferred partner. Emmanual Raika of Raika Drainage was pleased to be able to contribute to the success of the Tomkies' own home.
As Mark and Kate are long-time loyal customers of Precut Construction, the company was excited to play an instrumental role in their build project. Precut was responsible for the practical construction design, structural integrity and fabrication of timber frames and trusses. Brad Miller, Precut's senior designer, is responsible for bringing the customers' ideas and the architect's design to life. Brad says, "Now that it's completed, we could not be happier for Mark and Kate that their home has won several awards. It is a testament to Mark and his builders for their professionalism and craftsmanship.”
With 140mm stud framing, Mark and Kate were able to have Precut install Knauf premium grade insulation with the highest possible R-values for both walls and ceiling. Their ability to reach such high R-values were instrumental in their bid to create a warm, energy-efficient home for their family.
Downstairs, the floor plan comprises two living areas joined by the sleek kitchen and butler's pantry fitted with joinery designed and manufactured by Misco Joinery. The oversized kitchen island features a stunning Prime Stone Babylon benchtop with waterfall edges. The handleless cabinetry is Melteca Acrylic Soft Touch in Metallic Coal which is designed not to show any fingerprints, perfect for families with young children. Penny Abell from Misco Joinery says, "The kitchen is the heart of the home and with the products and materials used it has a warm, inviting and stylish look.”
Misco Joinery also worked with Mark and Kate to produce the outstanding joinery for the laundry, wardrobes and all the storage areas throughout the house, including the garage. A playroom hidden by a large cavity slider features floor to ceiling shelving and desk, enabling them to hide away all the toys at the end of the day. "Misco's were excellent,” says Kate.
Upstairs, there are five bedrooms, including the master suite with expansive walk-in wardrobe and stunning bathroom with twin shower and vanities. The tranquil space features textured tiles and a monochrome palette with touches of rose gold. The negative detailing around the mirrors is a design feature that's repeated throughout the home.
There are two full bathrooms and two separate WCs plus an enviably large laundry room. Trusted subcontractor to Tomkies Construction, Darren Chatwin of The Plumber Limited, was contracted to install all of the plumbing throughout the home. Based in Christchurch, the professional team from The Plumber Limited specialises in residential and commercial plumbing work. Mark and Kate chose the tapware and fittings, with all the plumbing materials supplied by specialist plumbing supplier, Plumbing World.
While Mark had definite ideas about creating the architectural build, Kate felt it was her job to make the house feel like a home. So, she recruited interior designer Paula Bennie-Steel of interiors supplier Nextdore to help achieve the look she wanted. Paula says, "For Mark and Kate we were trying to find a balance between beauty and practicality. We chose easy maintenance hard-wearing products that will keep their appearance and be easy to look after for many years while creating a comfortable living environment.”
Nextdore supplied all of the flooring, tiles, wallpaper, rugs and soft furnishings throughout the home, creating an elegant, cohesive scheme that also functions beautifully for the busy family.
Central to the concept of this home is the openness of the living areas and the effortless flow to the outdoor living, facilitated by four sets of lay-back bifold doors which are held back by custom-made pop-up doorstops designed by Mark and made by Tomkies. Mark and his team completed the expanses of softly curving kwila decking, which offsets the angles of the architecture. The deck includes two main areas; a central dining space that hosts a large table and hanging egg chairs, and a second spa and casual seating zone tucked in next to the schist feature wall and featuring a polished concrete bar leaner. This fabulous space, perfect for a casual get-together, can be enjoyed in all weather, thanks to the Stratco Allure Louvre system that was manufactured to fit within the roof and wall structure over the outdoor entertainment area.
Giving a seamless look to the louvres, the motor system is completely hidden from view and operated via remote control. And, in case of rain, the system includes an Italian designed rain sensor, which will close the louvres automatically if there's a change of weather. Dave Allingham of Stratco says, "Stratco enjoys a positive relationship with Tomkies Construction to achieve the very best design outcome for homeowners' outdoor entertaining areas.”
Kate and Mark say the outdoor areas are a highlight of living in their new home and a superb fort, built for their son by Mark, takes pride of place in the garden. The couples' efforts to create the perfect space to entertain friends and family, and enjoy the sun and fresh air, was recently rewarded with the Regional Lifestyle Award for Outdoor Living at the 2019 Registered Master Builders House of the Year Awards. Alongside this honour, their home has also been awarded a Gold Award and the Regional Category Award, plus the coveted Gold Reserve Status, putting them in the top 100 properties nationwide.
Mark sets exceptionally high standards for himself, and his team, on all of their projects, and in their own home they have an excellent example of these qualities, showcasing that attention to detail to perfection. The couple now has a fabulous new home to enjoy and the accolades from this years' awards are the icing on the cake, giving Mark, Kate and the Tomkies team plenty of reasons to celebrate.
Involved in this project
Tomkies Construction Limited
027 465 7286
Leigh Adams Architecture
021 1631 680
03 366 9400
03 383 4384
03 338 2829
The Plumber Limited
021 58 50 58
03 366 7252
Framing and trusses
Precut Construction Ltd
03 323 7687
021 221 0032
Words Anna Scaife Photography Mick Stephenson