With ANZ, Homes to Love is exploring the ways we live now, under the theme of ‘Simplicity’ – and how this trend allows us to live and build today.
As our lives become more hectic, we often yearn for a simpler way of living. Designs that embrace a pared-back approach are becoming increasingly sought after as a way of achieving this sense of simplicity.
For New York dweller and Kiwi expat Debbi Gibbs, a contemporary lakeside house in New Jersey offered the perfect weekend escape from the frantic grind of Manhattan. Designed by Resolution: 4 Architecture, the house is all about simplicity, with open-planned spaces, a shed-like form and large windows to soak up sun and offer a view to the broader landscape. For Debbi, the house has become a way of life, and she makes a point to get away there whenever she can. “I don’t know if I’d have stayed this long [in Manhattan] if I didn’t have this, to be honest,” she says.
Like Debbi’s New Jersey getaway, Davor and Abbe Popadich’s house on Auckland’s North Shore embraces simplicity as demonstrated by HOME New Zealand editor, Jeremy Hansen and Eva Nash of Rogan Nash Architects.
The Popadich house is a study in how to build a family home from the ground up, while working within the limitations of a small budget. From its shed-like form to a plywood interior lining, the home is an exercise in minimalism.
With a budget of just $250,000, every detail of the house had to be carefully considered. Plywood was chosen in place of plasterboard as a way of saving on plastering and painting. Other materials were also kept simple: concrete, steel and second-grade French oak floorboards filled with resin.
Inside the house a double-height ceiling, large windows and an open plan living room-dining room-kitchen create an immediate sense of spaciousness. A mezzanine bedroom looks down onto the living area and draws on this light and space. Next to the bedroom is a nursery for the couple’s young son August, and a bathroom with a bath and shower.
It is a simple structure, but one that works surprisingly well. In the process of designing and building the house, the couple had to be scrupulous in figuring out what they could compromise on for the benefit of budget, and what were necessities. A built-in window seat from where they now enjoy sunny morning coffees was one of the few small luxuries they made room for.
For Abbe and Davor, building their own house gave them an opportunity to create home that reflects the way they want to live. The Popadich house is one that shows limitations can result in happy outcomes, and that, sometimes, simplicity is the greatest luxury.