All in the family

Pack a snack for a tour of Kym and Mike’s impressive, modern house in Stratford, Taranaki. Not only does the home span 500m2, but it also contains multiple custom features that you will need time to digest.

The couple sketched out a plan for the house, then entrusted husband and wife team Erin and Aaron Young from Planit Dezign to devise architectural drawings. The couple’s requirements: a U-shaped home to capture all-day sun and views of Mount Taranaki; a step-down lounge; full-length windows; and 17 skylights. “We have the house we love with plenty of light,” says Kym.

The homeowner was involved with every facet of the build and did not have to look far for a professional builder, choosing her nephew, Glen Law. “My son also helped with the build. By the time we were ready for this house, Glen had proven himself. I like to look around and know a family member built it. That’s special.”

Kym’s attention to detail ensured her home would be unique. Living area ceilings are nearly six metres high. The sunken lounge includes a steel balustrade, and the pantry can be shut off from the kitchen with an enormous sliding door built to look like a shipping container. The movie room’s aluminium doors were custom-made. For the giant fireplace, Kym decided rather than use paint to make it look like rusted metal, she would create the real thing. “We laid out sheets of steel on homemade trestle tables and let the rain pour down on them.”

Crafting the distinctive cedar ceiling in the lounge required setting up a false scaffold floor. “Getting beams and 5.8m walls lined up takes a bit of effort. Everything has to be dead straight and plumb,” says Glen. The easy part was collaborating with Kym. “It was humbling to walk around with Kym because she has a flair for interior design, and knew what was happening every step of the way. It’s an amazing build.”

Timber, steel, and other commercially inspired elements communicate a solid, natural theme throughout the house. The main bathroom features concrete basins and a matching bathtub, which tips the scales at 380kg. “It was not fun for the guys to carry in, but the grandkids love it,” says Kym.

Her mission accomplished, Kym is proud to give house tours before cozying up in the movie room. “When we have family gatherings, we never have to worry about having enough space. Everybody brings snacks and we can all fit in.”

Builder: Glen Law Building Limited

Location: Stratford | Taranaki

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