Beach Batch Beauty

With gold miners’ cottages a key part of Waihi heritage Kathy and Mike Bell chose to honour the past for their beach retreat. With time having taken its toll on the 1920s original, the best option was to re-create the quaint cottage. So successfully has this been done that from the outside it’s hard to tell this is a new build.

Traditional weather boards clad the exterior and the double-glazed aluminium windows are set in traditionally styled timber frames and sills. Inside matai flooring salvaged from the original cottage is a feature of the living area. What was the kitchen has become a modern bathroom and separate toilet, and a floor to ceiling custom storage unit of draws, shelves and cupboards maximises storage space in the hall between utility area and the two bedrooms.

In this part of the home the finish is true to the 1920s era, but the kitchen/living area which leads from it combines both traditional and new. Here is the heart of the home – a large, high stud open room filled with light, with a galley kitchen and a grand solid fuel stove, big enough to cook for a host of family and friends, and warm the home in winter.  Hot water is supplied by solar panels and the home is wired for sound too.

In designing this home, thought has been given to the now and the future. Currently it’s a wonderful holiday home for a teenage family and friends which will in the future be enjoyed by grandchildren too and eventually, become a cosy, comfortable and practical retirement haven.


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