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This rural Timaru new-build oozes country cool

A young architect put his skills to the test to design and build his family’s dream home in rural Timaru. The results speak for themselves… 

Who lives here? 

Kate Perry (quotation administrator), Josh Newlove (director/architectural designer of Newlove Browning Architects), Leah, 6, Ella, 5, and Oliver, 1

Their story 

It definitely wasn’t love at first sight for Kate Perry when she saw the rural Timaru section her partner, architectural designer Josh Newlove, wanted to build a house on. “It was so steep we could barely get the car up the path,” recalls Kate. “I told Josh I didn’t even want to get out of the car.”

The couple, who met while studying in Dunedin, had recently completed a major renovation of their first home, a 1950s cottage in Timaru. But they were expecting their second child and Josh, who was born on the West Coast, wanted to ensure his kids had a country childhood.

Fast-forward a year and the same 10-acre section was still for sale. Realising it was half the price of land in town, Kate relented and Josh lost no time in channelling the architectural skills he uses to create other people’s dream homes into designing his own.

Tips for designing your own home

  • Before you meet with your architect, put together a clear brief of what you want your house to be and how you want to live in it, instead of focusing on size.
  • Be very clear about your budget and stick to it.
  • Select people for the project whom you get along with. There are thousands of decisions to be made when building a house and it’s a lot easier if you’re working with people and not against them.
  • Listen to your architect. They know what they’re talking about.
  • Embrace the process. From the architect to the builder to the subbies, they are all working to create your dream.

Words by: Sharon Stephenson. Photography by: Kate Claridge.

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