"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.”
“We’d always dreamed of a property like this one. We used to throw our gumboots in the car and head out to look at sections. One day we were traipsing around someone’s land when a real estate agent spotted us. We told him we were only dreaming but he guided us to this lot and from there, it all started to come together”.
Building after being burnt before
”We were cautious about building because we’ve built before. Our previous experience was a nightmare and there was just no trust in our builder. But building with Classic Builders, was a completely different story.”
“Right at the start, they said they’d do the right thing by us. If we discussed something we wanted, they’d make it happen - we had complete faith.
Many assume Classic Builders, will only work within certain areas of New Zealand. With this notion in mind, Matt and Celeste weren’t sure their independently designed home, in an ‘off the grid’ location, would be a consideration. It came as a pleasant surprise, to know Classic Builders were able to lead the project.
“Providing plans from an architect outside of Classic’s, made the job harder for our project manager Craig - we really appreciated this. He knew our situation and recognised certain aspects, which could be altered slightly, to better suit our lifestyle. He knew what we were after, while really respecting our limits throughout the entire process. His commitment, time, effort and honesty reiterated Classics Builder’s credibility.”
“If we had questions, or wanted to look at possible variations throughout the build, these were openly discussed. It was reassuring to be involved in the process.”
The expansive 331.97sqm home, includes five bedrooms plus an office. Matt and Celeste jokingly refer to the master bedroom as the West Wing but it’s the open plan kitchen, dining and large living space which tops everyone’s ‘favourites’ list.
Creating space for everyone
“We put in a large slider to divide off an area for the kids. It’s a great option when everyone wants to be together, while still allowing a little of our own space. And that’s the best bit – the space. We can now cater for visitors and our families when we all come together.”
The kitchen splashback might lead you to believe this is a farming family. They’re not. Celeste is a fan of Cambridge artist Chrissy Taylor. Celeste worked with Chrissy to arrange a selection of boldly painted farm animals, framing the culinary workspace.
“I wanted something bright and a bit different, but block colour wouldn’t have looked right. I’ve always admired Chrissy’s pieces, and loved the idea of having a bit of a barnyard theme.”
Outside, the abundance of green offers a blank canvas to create memorable family moments for years to come.
“We haven’t really decided what we are going to do out there, but with winter now behind us, we’re likely to give it a bit more focus. The land size is really just for the kids - our last house had a big deck area but no grass, so this time, we had to have grass.”“This is our home. We designed it to be our home - and it works.”