Hawthorne Home - Speargrass Flat, Queenstown :


This architectural home was designed as a long term residence that would grow with the family. Set in Dalefield, Queenstown, the project was managed by the owner, a professional project manager and interior designer. The stunning result is a timeless home that enjoys all day sun and gorgeous views out to the surrounding mountains.



Roz and Bruce Hamilton, Toby (5), Tom (1), Mickey the Jack Russell and six chooks. Roz is an interior designer for, and director of, Triple Star Management, and Bruce is an agribusiness & insurance consultant.


Family home, copper tap 

The Aim

To build a classic and timeless style family home with architectural bones that can easily be modernised as trends change (and I get itchy design feet).


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The Project

A 280 square metre cedar-clad home. The home features four bedrooms, four bathrooms, two living areas, an office and three car garaging.


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The Build Cost


 Living room, concrete wall, cedar, scillion roof, gable, soft curtains, wooden

The Section

'Hawthorne' is a one hectare flat site, north facing with views straight up to Coronet Peak. Bruce is a farmer, so our section is as close as we can get to having both lifestyles! This size section does come with extra commitment though and a lot of work to maintain. We enjoy spending time outdoors so it works for us. The larger area means we can enjoy more rural living and our boys have plenty of room to kick a rugby ball around.

This was the third piece of land we’d purchased in 5 years. We spent 2 years renting and waiting to find the right site to build our permanent family home on. What made it the right site? We made a plan 10 years ago of what we wanted from life and how we were going to get it. We knew we had to make our money work for us, and to do this we had to take stepping stones, each step with a little more risk based on what we had learnt from the step prior, but all the while not living outside our means. We purchased this section from our local trusted real estate agent who we have worked with on all our properties.


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The Design

As I work in the construction industry I had a clear vision of what I wanted our family home to be. With a flat large site the difficult part was ensuring we kept control on the size! We established the m2 rate we were prepared to spend and then the m2 we could go to for our budget. We locked that in and worked backwards. The most important part of planning a new home is understanding the costs are not just in construction, and project costs need to be real. To keep within budget, we recycled any materials where possible and returned materials when they weren’t used.


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The Inspiration

The concept plans were a collaboration between myself and Hamish Muir from Mason & Wales architects. Mason & Wales have 150 years of experience designing and detailing homes that are intended to outlive their owners. Their classic yet unique style as well as their ability to create a sense of space were important factors to the design. We didn't want a 'current style' we wanted a home that would grow with us over the next 40 years.


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The Build

Our home took eight months to complete. Because we spent so much time planning at the front end and confirming our budget and feasibility the process went smoothly. Triple Star Management employed direct labour and used the sub contractors I have worked with over the last 15 years in the Queenstown construction industry. They are all people I trust and know can deliver a project to the standard I expect and within parameters of program and budgets.


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copper basin, build me, interior design, ensuite, bathroom, building nz

Special Features

- Large open main gable living with skillion roof, steel, plaster and off the form concrete fire.

- North-facing window seat in the kitchen area

- 140mm framing for extra insulation (R4.0 walls and R5.0 ceiling)

- Underfloor heating (air-to-water heatpump) + woodburners

- Architectural joinery (2.4m high)

- Cedar cladding


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Staying on Track

Invest in the right people to help you, spend the time planning and the process doesn't have to be challenging. The only thing we changed was minor construction detailing to achieve a better outcome.


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Obstacles to Overcome

The biggest challenge was running this project simultaneously with two businesses, a 4 year old and a baby on the way! I managed site visits early mornings and late nights. It’s not easy and that is the truth of it. You have to be prepared to not handle it sometimes but know you come out the other side…. Eventually.



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What we Love

What we love most about the house is it’s warmth! The Den is perfect for locking away lego mess…. We love all the outdoor spaces and being able to open the house up on a wonderful clear Central Otago day. We also love blasting out music through our sound system - what doesn’t feel good about that!


 outside deck, build me, building nz


Tips for Build Me. Readers

- Get expert advice. If you want to stick to a budget and realize some real future value in your investment then you need the right experts/professionals to help you achieve that.

- Being a project manager and interior designer, I understand and encourage the value and merit a professional project manager or construction company with project management skills can add to your project. All I would say is money invested during the planning process is money saved at the end (and a lot of time and energy!) and it really depends on where ‘your’ time is best spent. If you aren’t in the industry then you truly are better to pay people who are to do it. This one I could go on all day about!


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 - Architect: Mason & Wales

- Engineer: Doug McConaughy

- Building Company: Triple Star Management Ltd

- Electrician: Frankton Electrical

- Plumber: Peak Plumbing

- Painter: Marcas Pringle

- Carpet and Flooring: Floor It

- Tiles / Tiler: Bella Casa

- Building Product Supplier: Placemakers Queenstown

- Kitchen: Formatt Bespoke Joinery

- Roofing: Extreme Roofing

- Window & Door Joinery: Ellisons Aluminium

- Landscaping: Big Easy Trees

- Interior Designer: Roz Hamilton

- Curtains & Blind: McKenzie & Willis

- Project Management: Triple Star Management Ltd