Monday, 2 December 2013

Grand Mansions in Auckland - Sneak Peek

Although I live in a small cottage, the suburb I reside in is fairly affluent and walking around the local streets sometimes feels like I am flicking through the pages of House and garden. There are some really beautiful homes in my neighbourhood and some have inspired and influenced me with my own home. Although my modest house cannot be compared, I realise the importance of 'Curb Appeal'. I believe ones exterior (house), should portray a little of your personality and what lies beyond your front entrance. A few weeks ago the front of my home far from fitted into this category but using ideas I have gleaned from the Internet and walking around my local suburb, my front exterior is currently receiving a makeover (to be shared on the blog). 

In the neighbouring suburb of Orakei, however, there is a street whose homes are definitely not in need of makeovers. In fact, listed as the most prestigious street in New Zealand, last week one of its mansions, sold for a whopping NZ$39 Million (not a typo!). I have never walked down this particular road but had heard about it, so recently my girlfriend and I donned our walking shoes, camera over shoulder and decided to head off to see what all the fuss was about. The street, which I will  not name to allow a little privacy, is located on a cliff top overlooking the harbour. Views to the city, Devonport and Rangitoto Island can be seen from the mansions who certainly don't need any help with their curb appeal. Grand iron gates, waterfalls, vast walls of travertine, stone pillars, immaculately landscaped gardens with pristine hedges and mass espalier surrounds. In an adjacent street were some smaller homes which I equally loved and although they might not have had the grand views and vast sections they were a little bit more manageable in my eyes and so I snapped away frantically in both streets to share a snapshot of the grand side of New Zealand.

The most stunning entrance I saw today

 The scent of Star Jasmine from the front of this grand stone home was unbelievable!

An amazing espalier

Symmetry works fabulously on exteriors and interiors

Although this wasn't the grandest home, I love its character

 A grand Tuscan home so large I could only photograph the entrance

A smaller home, I love the way the trees on either side have been tapered off at the top

An unusual colour but certainly a statement in architecture

Some of the sea views towards the city and marina below

I hope you have enjoyed looking at these homes, in a few weeks time I will be sharing the progress of the exterior of my own home which is currently undergoing a makeover. After the mansions, mine may be a little bit of a let down, however, I want to illustrate how a little landscaping can provide a lot of impact. My home is far from grand but I do love it and get great satisfaction as I complete each project. My makeover is minimum expenditure with maximum effect, the type of makeover I love and I hope you will enjoy. And, I noticed I do have one thing in common with the homes above, the abundant use of Star Jasmine and topiary which feature in my landscape plan.

Have a great week, its glorious sunshine here in Auckland and I hope it is where you are too.

Lee x

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