I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff, and I’ll Blow Your House In!

Except the iconic Kiwi 3 bed home in question wasn’t quite blown in but chopped in two and carted off on a lorry at 2am one morning last year.

Hidden behind an impressive retaining wall in Kohimarama, you’ll now find a recently completed Box™ house.

Imagine you’re Edmund in ‘The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe’, take a deep breath and push through the thick ply door to the side of the section. Look ahead and walk along a fabulous decked runway …until you finally find yourself at the front door. Where to now?

Once inside the entrance hall, you are greeted, thankfully, not by the White Witch of Narnia, but by a lovely lady called Georgina and a gorgeous model, displayed on a table, of the original house built in 1949.

This is where Georgina’s grandparents used to live. Their home was the first house to be built on the farmland that was the beginning of Kohimarama 65 years ago…

Tell me a bit about the history of the house…

This house was built by my grandparents in 1949. They moved in with their two sons, my Dad and my uncle. Their house was the first house in the valley and it was situated alongside a farm. It was built at a time when there were still restrictions in place from the war on how much materials (such as concrete) could be used.

How long did your grandparents live in the house and how did it come to be yours? 

My grandparents lived in this Kohimarama house very happily for over 60 years. In 2010 my grandfather passed away and then in 2011 my grandmother passed away. We returned from England and purchased the property. We then removed the house in March 2014 in order to rejuvenate the whole property.

How did you find Box™?

My brother-in-law works in the industry. He suggested looking at Box™ as he thought it would be a great fit for us.

So what happened next?

We looked up Box™ and I contacted Dan Heyworth by email. He was prompt in responding and the next day he rang me to firstly apologise that his children had been stealing lemons from our tree over the fence as they live at the back of our section! That was that and we hit it off straight away.

Did you have a clear picture in your mind of the house you wanted to build?

In terms of design, yes. We didn’t want to open out onto the street. We wanted something that was nice and quiet, private and sunny. Our aim was to create a modern home for our family that enables both our immediate and wider family to enjoy the property for another 60 years! The model house displayed in the entrance hall of the new house is a mechanism to link the new house back to the history of the property.

What part/s of the design do you think work well in the house?

It works well for all of our family. The whole house is a light, sunny and warm space to be in. The fact that David and I have our own space upstairs is really great too. Box™ designed us a house that has a different outlook from every room, every space works and flows well into the next.

Are there any features you particularly like?

The features I love are the built-in squabs and the marine ply. The three lampshades that hang above the kitchen bench were rescued from David’s family bach in Ohope. They were in the bach in the 1970s, the house was renovated a while ago and the lampshades were put in a back cupboard. With the helpful assistance of Box™, I got them paint stripped and powder coated and incorporated them into our house.

Having completed the process and are now living in your beautiful new home, would you have done anything differently?

I have to say we are so happy with the house. From our first concept plans, there were no extensive re-writes and we have ended up with the house we wanted. If I had one gripe it would be that I don’t have quite enough space for mops and brooms in the laundry cupboard but that’s it!