Signature Homes: Tell us about the area and community surrounding the home.
Roanne Crone: The home has been built on a family farm where I grew up. It is actually on the site of a playhouse my Dad built my sister and I when we were little girls. Our family have been on the farm for 123 years.
SH: What aspects of the section did the design of the new home have to take into account?
RC: The home had to make maximum use of the views, and fit easily into the landscape. These included views of the harbour, the nearby ranges and an olive grove behind the home. Also, because the home overlooks the harbour, council restrictions had to be adhered to.
SH: What is the main purpose of the new home?
RC: We wanted a 'forever' home…with a guest wing. The aim was to build a home essentially for a couple, but spacious enough for both Denholm and I to have our own areas. These areas also needed to be adaptable in order to accommodate extra guests when required.
SH: What was the inspiration behind the design for your new home, and what did you want to achieve with it visually?
RC: The overall look is in the style of Cape Cod, but with a strong New Zealand interpretation. The intention was not to be a slave to this style, but merely to embody the general principles of the genre. In keeping with the sea and harbour views we aimed for an overall light, airy, casual, seaside feel to both the exterior and interior of the home. We wanted the home to instill a general feeling of ease, fun and of being on holiday.
SH: Did the home draw on any of Signature's existing designs, or was it designed from scratch?
RC: From scratch. We presented Signature Homes with our self-drawn design which they then turned into working drawings. Early in the process, we all sat down around a table and tweaked a few aspects of the plan. Whilst providing expert advice and guidance, Signature essentially worked with our design, and they did not attempt to alter it unduly.
SH: What wall cladding was used on your home and why did you choose it?
RC: Elderside cedar. We believe that this was the first time the Signature Homes office we engaged had used this particular product; we were looking for a cladding that offered a wide weatherboard look that would successfully take a dark paint.
SH: What did you think of the Signature Homes design service?
RC: Their Architectural Designer was great, and their on-the-spot troubleshooting and advice showed their expertise. I also took up the offer of engaging their Interior Designer, who was fantastic. We clicked instantly, discovering we had similar (if not the same) tastes. She had a wealth of knowledge and knew the right shops to go to and the right people to talk to. Without her energy and support it would have taken me a lot longer to make the correct choices.
SH: Tell us about any unique or unusual design features of the home.
SH: What did you think of the quality of Signature Homes' workmanship?
SH: What did you think of Signature Homes overall?
RC: Wonderful – the supporting legal documents (contracts, insurance, costings etc.) had all aspects of the build covered.
SH: Now that the home is complete, what are the four aspects of it that you enjoy the most?
RC: Light – air – peace – space. It is a serene house to live in.
SH: What is your favourite room in the home?
RC: Our bedroom, it's so calm and tranquil. Hold on, maybe my 'Hers' bathroom. No wait, our 4.5m x 2m wardrobe. No, the main living area. Then there's the wonderful scullery. Oh gosh - all of them!
SH: What have your friends and family said about the home?
RC: People come to stay - and most sleep all day!
SH: Do you have any advice to others that are thinking of building?
RC: Collect pictures from magazines of homes, furnishings and colours you like – what you collect doesn't have to be anything in particular, except that you like it. Compile a scrapbook; you will soon see trends developing. I think this is a very good way to start to learn about your own personal style. Write up a wish list of everything you think you may want. Even if a lot of those wishes get binned, you will know why. It's better than never giving them a chance to happen.
SH: Is there anything else you would like to comment on in relation to your new home?
RC: Without exception, the Signature Homes team were professional and skilled people. We were kept well informed throughout the whole build and were never 'surprised'. Go Signature Homes!