With turrets, grand entrances, expansive living areas and lofty studs you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a fairytale with these one-of-a-kind homes
Most of us opt for a fairly standard house design when choosing a home — Tudor, modernist, villa … and then there are those home owners who aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd. The cliché is that your home is your castle and some people take this literally and draw inspiration from this architectural tradition.
Turrets, grand entrances, expansive living areas, lofty studs … there are those who take the challenge to heart while others adopt just a few signature flourishes. Here’s our selection of homes that have a castle-like aesthetic. A few are replicas, and others are from another era where living was on a grand scale, but all are truly unusual and unique.
1. One of a kind
The circular feature turrets, white concrete construction and perfect views to the blue seas of Tawharanui Peninsula from most rooms of this striking Matakana house will have you imagining you’re relaxing near the Aegean sea.
Palms and an expansive water feature at the front of the home complete the picture. Enter via the dramatic turret with feature widows and be captivated by the unique architectural features of the circular rooms with curved windows.
There’s so many options for how to use the multiple living spaces and you’ll love entertaining in the stunning kitchen. There’s also the bonus of a separate two-storey barn. One of a kind.
2. French chateau
This Dairy Flat home inspired by French chateaus offers lots of business options too, from the facilities for breeding miniature donkeys to the wedding venue and events centre, with resource consent for further significant development.
A broad paved terrace leads to the front door set in a turret and once inside the foyer is dominated by a statement staircase and extravagant trompe-l’oeil domed ceiling.
The rooms in this sprawling home have an airy modern feeling and the main living area opens on two sides through sets of French doors onto the front terrace. Substantial grounds surround the home which give all the rooms pretty rural outlooks.
3. Captivating views
Built of limestone rock with a feature turret this Takaka home has a solidity that belies the fact it was built in 2002. The turret creates distinctive spaces on both storeys which are supplemented by sensational views over Golden Bay Valley to the Kill Devil Range.
There are some great facilities for relaxing with a spa and barbecue zone and wine buffs will love the rustic stone wine cellar which looks as if it’s from another century.
There’s plenty of room for chooks and a vegie garden, and you can even enjoy making avocado smash for breakfast with the fruit from your own trees. Lots of peace and privacy but only 10 minutes from Takaka.
4. English abbey
This expansive Sefton property with its arched feature windows and L-shaped design with walled courtyard has the feeling of an English abbey.
The crenellated tower entrance and surrounding walls lend a touch of Saxon castle, but inside there’s no mistaking the feeling of solidity with the soaring timber beamed ceilings in the main living areas.
There’s so much room for all the family here with flexible living spaces and five generous bedrooms. The swimming pool and flat, private site are perfect to transport you to another world.
5. Striking design
The striking entranceway to this Christchurch home sets the tone for a house where no expense has been spared.
The imposing Southland stone exterior is indicative of the striking living areas inside with an original floor plan that includes a circular foyer, hexagonal kitchen ceiling with high windows that flood the open plan room with light and a separate living room with a 4-metre high stud.
The kitchen and family area opens to a sensational indoor heated swimming pool and outdoor entertaining area. High-quality finishes lend a luxe vibe throughout.
6. Living in history
Drive through the cast iron gates of Warwick House and you’ll be transported to another era — this beautiful Historic Places Trust Category II listing in Nelson offers living on a grand scale.
It is currently operated as a bed and breakfast and there’s so much space that you could have a home of generous dimensions and still continue to run a business here.
Although the house has been upgraded, there are still so many character features, starting from the imposing entrance hallway with stained glass door, the massive central living area with deep bay windows, generous rooms with high studs and original fireplaces…there’s even a charming turret.
7. Unique treasure
This picture postcard perfect palatial Dunedin beauty will have you feeling as if you’re the lord of the manor. The stately wood paneled entry foyer with incredible sweeping ornate staircase sets the tone of grandeur that makes Bishopsgroveso special.
Built for the first Anglican Bishop of Dunedin it is listed as a Category I building by the Historic Places Trust. The bluestone home has magnificent living spaces with decorative wood paneled ceilings, dramatic window treatments and feature fireplaces.
A new kitchen extension has all the modern amenities but flows seamlessly from the original house. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with mature trees framing lawns and peaceful views. There’s even the original two-bedroom gatehouse at the entrance to make you really feel like you’re to the manor born. A unique treasure.
8. Palatial presence
The imposing façade of Patea’s former Post and Telegraph office built in 1923 has all the majesty of a palace. Inside there’s a lot of grunt work to be done but there is so much potential here to create a home of distinction.
The massive ground floor area has central pillars, a soaring stud and beautiful feature windows – bring your architect to see how you can make the most of this impressive space.
There are lots of original features that distinguish this building including beautiful feature doors and a striking staircase. Roll up your sleeves and let the fun begin.
Words by: Sarah Beresford.