Retro Real Estate

Retro Real Estate: Groovy 1960s Original

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 | 0 comments

Retro Real Estate: Groovy 1960s Original

It doesn’t look like this cool retro architecturally designed house has been touched in 50 years.  Set on about an acre in the Whanganui suburb of St Johns Hill, it was designed and built by architect Don Wilson in 1960 for his family to live in, and it has stayed in the family as this is the first time it has been on the market.  It must be notable as it is listed here on the architecture archive website (PDF).

Check out the original lino, the built-in cupboards and the decorative details on both the outside and inside of the house.  Very 60s!  It has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and covers 260m2.

The Don Wilson house in Whanganui

The dining room with plywood detail

Love that lino!

It’s rateable value is $375,000 and it is for sale by tender, see more about it here.






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Mid-Century Styles of Homes

Posted by on Jul 15, 2013 | 0 comments

Mid-Century Styles of Homes

If you are interested in mid-century architecture, this article Roots of Style: Midcentury Styles Respond to Modern Life on Houzz is a great read.

Remodeling, decorating, and more ∨

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We’ve been looking at these styles of homes and I didn’t really understand the difference in styles.  I knew I likes modernised split-level homes with their vaulted ceilings.  The only problem with them is that they were mass produced so you might see four of the same style of home on the same street!

A split-level home we were interested in buying.


The vaulted ceiling in the living space.

I thought I would love ranch houses – and I did like them, but they weren’t my favourite style I saw.  They are mostly clad in brick here, which might be the reason I wasn’t overwhelmed.  But they do have great picture windows and usually a pretty big floorplan and are on flat sites.  We saw quite a few with all the original details still intact, which would have been fun to work with.

A long, low brick ranch house

We are house-sitting at the moment in a tradition-style midcentury house, and it is surprisingly nice.  I can see house you could update it to become a nice family home (it’s a rental and has had nothing done to it).  They tend to be smaller houses but this one works well as it has a great layout.  I hadn’t really thought to buy one of these, but I can see the attraction now I’ve lived in one.

In the end we were most attracted to the midcentury modern houses – but in Seattle they tended to be on unusual sites – cliff-top, in amongst the trees – not in places that were great for bringing up children!  We finally found one we loved and I’ll write about that house and our search later on.

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Retro Real Estate: The One That Got Away

Posted by on Feb 28, 2013 | 0 comments

Retro Real Estate: The One That Got Away

Finally I have a few free moments to write.  In between moving and a toddler weaning off his day sleep, there haven’t been very many minutes to myself!

I spied this art deco tiny cottage for sale in the Saturday newspaper and it made me feel a bit nostalgic.  I used to part-own it, and in the middle of a messy breakup, was not able to keep it.  I always felt sad that I had to give it up.  And sure, I may not have kept it anyway being so tiny, but how else would I ever ever ever be able to own a house in Grey Lynn again?

Check her out here, she’s a cutie, although there aren’t many original features left. The listing price band they have her at is $700K+ though – I could have been rich!

My old tiny house

The new owners did a lovely job on the garden



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Retro Real Estate: Art Deco in Titirangi

Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 | 0 comments

Retro Real Estate: Art Deco in Titirangi

After a lot of hard work we finally got our house on the market, so if you know anyone looking for a house to buy out our way, send them along to our open home!  We have a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 living, and a kitchen-dining area.  We also have a wee sleepout/studio as well.   It’s been a great house to live in – I can’t believe I’ve owned it for 9 years!  It’s taken me from having flatmates, to having tenants, to having a family here.  And you can walk to the village, which is a big bonus!

When I got it, the style was a mish-mash of 70s and 80s decorating, so we cleaned it up and now it’s a perfect backdrop for someone with eclectic style.  Sadly I lost a couple of arches that were framing the carport (Dad took one out by accident!), but otherwise I’ve tried to keep all the arches in the house (well except the brick arch in the kitchen).  It’s bright, light and warm as fully insulated with gas heating and a wood burner.

Sadly it doesn’t come with all my wonderful retro prints!

It’s for sale by negotiation as I hate house auctions – too stressful – with a CV of $485,000.  Check it out here.

Our Art Deco house is for sale 

The kitchen/dining room – minus the brick arch!


The downstairs living room – can you spot my Lynch?

We’ll be sad to say good-bye

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Retro Real Estate: The Brake House

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 | 0 comments

Retro Real Estate: The Brake House

If you are moving into my area, you could do worse than pick up the Brake House.  Built in 1977, it was awarded an Enduring Architecture Award in 2001 – and wow what a house.  It is set on 12500m2 of bush, which is split into two sections.  The house is set into the bush, so you better like rainforest to live here!

The Brake House in Titirangi – over $2 million!


It was designed by Architect Ron Sang for photographer Brian Brake, from the architect’s website:

 It has been described as serene, harmonious and unobtrusive in its deep bush setting. The house is made up of rigid rectangular boxes set out in a straight line on concrete bridge spanning a gully.

You can read more about it here.

It is over 400m2 and has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.  And it has what I have always wanted – a tatami mat room!  It is gorgeous, so take a peek at the listing here, just to sigh over it.

The tatami mat room

The sellers are looking at offers over $2 million.


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Retro Real Estate: Classic Kiwi Bach and Mooring

Posted by on Nov 7, 2012 | 0 comments

Retro Real Estate: Classic Kiwi Bach and Mooring

This little darling bach is the Kiwi dream!  It is tiny but is right on the edge of the water and has its own mooring.  How fabulous!  I remember seeing it in House and Garden NZ a while back and it is tiny – just 70m2 – and the owners lived there full-time (I think they were setting up a business in Picton).  Imagine the commute to work – you could sail there!  You’d definitely be living the dream.  You don’t even need to decorate it, as it comes with all the fab retro furnishings.

Amazingly for such a small space, it has 3 bedrooms.  Actually I lived in an apartment in Tokyo that had 3 bedrooms and was only 60m2.  If the floor plan is clever enough, you can get away with a tiny space, especially if not much room is given to bathrooms and kitchens.  You also need lots of storage or not much stuff!  Time to downsize and live the dream?

They are only asking $345,000 as it is on leasehold land.  Even if you aren’t thinking about moving, the decor is very inspiring and worth checking out – you can read more about it here.

The cutest bach on the edge of the Marlborough Sounds

Wake up to this view every day.

Cute wee kitchen

Not much square footage wasted in this bathroom.

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