This Arthur's Point home is the result of much hard work and organisation by owners Sarena and Simon Glass. Black on the outside, and white on the inside, this stunning family home combines unique design features with classic country style. The home took shape over just 10 months from conception to completion, despite weddings, babies and a lot of DIY. We love the white open trusses and the feature concrete wall in the entrance.
Sarena (30), Simon (33) and Chloe (1) Glass. Sarena works for Sotheby’s Luxury Homes while Simon is the Business Development Director for Cook Brothers Construction.
A warm family home in keeping with the Alpine environment. A focus on using as many raw materials as possible such as concrete, oak, and cedar. We also wanted to ensure we captured the most sun and maximised the section.
216m2 Family home in Arthur's Point, located 5mins drive from central Queenstown. The home has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, open plan living and a double garage.
The section came up on Trademe privately and we bought it within a day. It was a great location and with Simon's business in construction and being able to do a lot ourselves the numbers worked. It was a very easy decision. The section is 1120m2 with frontage to Atley Road but access from Mathias Terrace. The site was sloping when we bought it but Simon levelled it up with a digger and together we built the retaining wall with the help of another friend to ensure we got a sizeable flat lawn. The site has views of the mountains and all day sun. We have lots of good friends in the area and with close proximity to central Queenstown, we knew this location would be perfect for us.
Simon and I basically designed the floor plan ourselves before giving it to the Designer to do the working drawings for building consent. We wanted to ensure we captured the most sun to the north as well as maximising the section and lawn space. Simon did this using the topography of the site and then levelling off the maximum amount without having to go through the Resource Consent process for moving 250 cubic metres of earth.
With my business in luxury rental homes and Simon's in construction we have both seen a lot of beautiful properties and knew what we liked and didn't like. Simon knew how to make things get the right look through more affordable alternatives where we could and then we knew where we wanted to invest more on. Pinterest was a big player with some of our design features but thankfully we both love the same things and the same taste. Simon is obsessed with natural raw materials but wanted to keep fitting with a warm family home in an alpine environment.
With Simon's experience, we decided to fix cost the labour and he project managed the rest himself. We tendered the labour and then negotiated with our preferred subbies - guys Simon had worked with previously, and the best prices.
The build went smoothly. The only change was the addition of more detailed drawings for the builder to build the entrance way, as this was quite technical. We added a heat pump towards the end. We already had an open fire place and underfloor heating but with a newborn baby I didn't want to have to get up in the morning and light the fire given we moved in in winter on a non-sunny day. Nor did we want to crank the underfloor heating as a primary heating source as that can be extremely costly.
- Feature stacked concrete bond wall that goes from external wall to internal in the entrance way.
- Exposed white timber trusses in living area.
- Polished concrete floors throughout except bedrooms which is carpet and bathrooms Italian tile.
- Black Cedar, Black joinery and Black roof. Broken up by the concrete block wall on entrance and natural coloured eaves.
We managed the project ourselves. This is Simon's game so he is very experienced on managing contractors and pushing them to a level that is reasonable. He lives and breathes this daily so it was an easy part of the job for him.
The biggest challenge we had was the fact we got married and had a baby all within the building timeline. Add in Christmas and New Year and we did have a few hold ups along the way. From start to finish it was about 6-7 months, however from settlement of the section to the move in day was 10 months. We still had the finishing touches which took the next 6 months also with landscaping, building the deck, adding the spa pool and staining etc.
Warm and cosy family home without sacrificing style. We love the privacy we have here and the location. We also are thrilled with how the stacked concrete wall has come up.
- Do your research
- Get fixed prices from your contractors
- Do as much as you can yourselves as it not only saves a lot of money but it gives you a great sense of achievement and on a nice day can be quite fun!
Building Company / Builder: Cook Brothers Construction Southern Lakes
Building Product Supplier: Carters
Curtains & Blinds: Trenzseater
Project Management: Ourselves
Photos by Marina Matthews and Kevin Wakeling