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"We see this home as an investment - it's an opportunity to set us up long term."
Sensible words from banker, Matt Armstrong. He, along with wife Celeste and three children, recently moved into their new home. Spanning over 34 meters end to end, it sits on a generously proportioned lifestyle block, just south of Auckland.
“We want four children, so finding something big enough, in the right area and at the right price that we actually liked… Well, it wasn’t possible - buying just wasn’t an option. This way, we get to choose what we want, how we want it and with plenty of space.”
“Everything we owned was either well-worn or had come to us as hand-me-downs. When I told my husband that I wasn’t taking anything with us when we moved, he looked a bit worried!”
But husband BJ needn’t fret. Buying new doesn’t necessarily come with a hefty price tag. Rachel’s systematically savvy approach offers a harmonious balance, between on-trend interior design and incredible comfort; combining splurge investment pieces with savvy décor items. The finished result showcases Rachels's naturally creative flair and is testament to what can be achieved with a blank canvas.
"It's pretty clear that I love the colour mustard. Even my wardrobe is full of it!" says Rachel. Living room whites are dressed in soft furnishings of semi-burnt dusky yellow hues, offset perfectly with contrasting charcoals.
Each of the children’s bedrooms has been thoughtfully put together, tailored by Mum to suit their personalities. A large mirror hangs on a feature wall in daughter Tanieka’s and is framed by draping’s of ivy – all of which came from Kmart. The boys share a sleeping area and thanks to cleverly configured storage, there’s still plenty of space for play.
The master bedroom with ensuite and walk-in wardrobe is more sanctuary than it is boudoir. Although beautifully organised and incredibly inviting, it’s not Rachel’s favourite room - that title belongs entirely to the kitchen.
The culinary hub is the only spot within the home to receive tweaks in design, and the slightly altered layout creates unity between kitchen, living, and dining. Metro subway tiles replace the standard splashback and offer modern, charming charisma. “It’s something we had to spend a little more money on, but it was worth it. It works so perfectly for us this way”.
With warmer months looming, the Ratana’s plan to add some final touches to the deck with outdoor furniture, large pots and citrus trees. They say a builder’s house is never finished, but husband BJ has done an outstanding job in completing the home with this alfresco gem. Shrouded in privacy by a neighbouring shelterbelt, it’s an open invitation for summer soirees.
“We are all looking forward to our first summer here, and I can already picture this as the spot where we’ll be spending a lot of quality time together. I’ll likely be in the kitchen of course, but thanks to the sliding window, I’ll still be included in the giggles happening outside.”
It's a picture-perfect scenario, resulting from a lot of hard work – but Rachel and BJ are grateful to have had Classic Builders at their side. “Throughout the process, we kept thinking it was all too easy - the progression from one stage to the next was seamless. Honestly? We were trying to be realistic and aware that something might crop up. But it never did”.
And as for Kaimai Views? The neighbourly vibe is enough to give Ramsay Street a run for its money.
“We’ve already had a few street parties, themed dinner nights and barbecues. There’s a nice feeling here - it’s safe, it’s old school, and it’s the way it should be.”
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