Project
BONN
Location
Meadowbank
Floor AreA
225 sqm

related articles

Project
BONN
Location
Meadowbank

Full Swing Ahead

These Box™ clients may have sacrificed the pool to keep this project on budget, but they’ve gained a putting lawn and, who knows, one of Karl and Briar Budge’s two young daughters might yet turn out to be the next Lydia Ko?
The couple came to be first-time builders when they kept missing out at auction. “We sold our bungalow in Royal Oak just after the first Covid lockdown – and thought we had won Lotto, but then the market went up so quickly,” recalls Briar. Disappointment after disappointment followed as the pair tried to buy something for their growing family. One such instance involved another Box™ house in Rawhitiroa Road which they really loved. “We got blown out of the water on that one, too,” says Briar. So, they decided to put two years of frustration behind them, take their fate into their own hands and build a house that suited them perfectly. When they found a 499-square-metre section not far away in Meadowbank they consulted Box™ to explore what they could do with it. An idea of an L-shaped home, wrapped around a pool, and oriented towards the sun was born.

Refining the Design

As it turns out, the pool was ultimately cut from the plan for budgetary reasons. The ‘eyebrows’ on the exterior windows met a similar fate. Karl took an unemotional approach to the build. “I negotiate with athletes for a living, so I’m always considering the best options. We had to decide what we were willing to give up. And we did get most of the things we needed.”
Because construction started around the time the pandemic was causing havoc with product supply, the couple asked Box™ what they could do to mitigate this and opted to pay a higher deposit upfront to lock in their materials. It proved a smart move. In fact, the building process was relatively drama free. “Our greatest challenge was getting council approval to build. That was painful: let’s just leave it at that,” says
Briar.

Celebrating the Wins

Instead, they choose to focus on what’s to celebrate. And that’s not insubstantial. Box™ design lead Sophie Bishop cleverly manipulated the plan to squeeze every iota of living into the compact urban-fringe site. Set over two levels, there are four bedrooms, two living areas, three bathrooms, an internal-access garage, kitchen with butler’s pantry and a separate laundry – all geared to making family living fun and functional.
With so much living space, there’s somewhere for everyone to retreat to. Karl, who runs his business from home, can work in the upstairs office while Ivy (6) and India (almost 3) festoon the family room with toys. “I never thought I’d be one of those mums with plastic Fisher Price everywhere – but there you go,” says Briar. Living centres on the kitchen which features smart benchtops and a splashback in Caesarstone Sleek Concrete and black cabinetry with a woodgrain finish. Designing this room was one of the highlights. Karl is a passionate cook and has every small appliance known to man (from a pressure cooker to a potato ricer). There are many drawers to accommodate these plus a special cubby for his myriad cookbooks, and a pantry to hide any food-prep mayhem.

Special Features

The Budges, who moved in March 2023, get plenty of opportunity to entertain. Sunday is ‘roast day’ – and everyone’s welcome. The 2.7-metre stud downstairs allows the volumes to feel airy and spacious, and floor-to-ceiling windows ensure visual connection to the deck and lawn. With the girls running in and out or bouncing on their trampoline, the adults keep an easy eye on them while settling in for a lazy afternoon. “Funnily enough the first week was filled with drama as one of our daughters broke her arm on about day four in the house. She didn’t get to enjoy the ginormous bath as I was so focused on keeping her cast dry for six weeks!” says Briar. One special feature of the dwelling is the under-stairs wine store. Encased in glass, the bottles are ever on display just beyond the entry, giving the home a gallery-like twist. “Karl has a substantial wine collection and it’s nice to be able to grab a special bottle for when guests come round,” says Briar. Now that they have settled in, they are pragmatic about the lack of a pool. “If we want to swim, we have family with pools we can visit,” says Karl. While they are happy with all the mod cons and the way the house wraps around their needs as a family, they admit to still being ‘villa people’. “Our passion lies with heritage homes,” says Briar who is growing star jasmine along the fence line. Perhaps one day they’ll build again with a nod to Victorian values but, for now, they’d like to take time to enjoy the results. And there’s plenty of putting practise to be getting on with.

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