Moving 200m worth it

Clad in dark aluminium, this T-shaped Ocean View property has a back gate leading to the beach....
Clad in dark aluminium, this T-shaped Ocean View property has a back gate leading to the beach. PHOTOS: CRAIG BAXTER
Strip-lighting is incorporated into the living room ceiling.
Strip-lighting is incorporated into the living room ceiling.
The kitchen includes a dedicated coffee-making area.
The kitchen includes a dedicated coffee-making area.
Bright yellow tiles feature in the toilet and in the adjoining nook which includes a basin and...
Bright yellow tiles feature in the toilet and in the adjoining nook which includes a basin and coat hooks. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
All the rooms, including the en suite, have underfloor heating. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
All the rooms, including the en suite, have underfloor heating. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Kakapo dot the hand-printed wallpaper in the main bedroom.
Kakapo dot the hand-printed wallpaper in the main bedroom.

Moving just down the road proved to be a sea change for the owners of this coastal home south of Dunedin. Kim Dungey reports.

The owners of this house used to live only 200m away, in an area they loved, with a view of the water. So why did they move?

Stan and Heather Rivett with their dog, Trixie.
Stan and Heather Rivett with their dog, Trixie.
The Ocean View home was built in the 1970s, Heather and Stan Rivett say. Although it had been renovated, it was built with two storeys so whenever they wanted to go outside, they had to go up and down the stairs. Having a lovely view of the sea meant they were also exposed to the wind.

"Then this section came up. It was sheltered by the sandhills ... and had a lovely rural, Saddle Hill view. It was also an opportunity to build a house for the first time."

Having noted everything that annoyed them about their existing property, the couple set about planning their dream home with the help of Brent Alexander and Melissa Paterson at The Design Studio.

It would, of course, be single-storeyed. It had to be easy to move around and easy care, with no narrow halls to negotiate or awkward corners that were difficult to clean. They also wanted a large living area, indoor-outdoor flow, and a T-shape plan to ensure that natural light could enter from all sides.

Built by Spot On Building and managed by Otago Management and Construction, the build took longer than expected because of Covid-19. During the first lockdown, the house was not closed in and there was no roof.

But the Rivetts — internet service providers who work across the road from their property — are more than happy with their low-maintenance, three-bedroom home nestled into the sand dunes.

On the exterior, dark aluminium cladding is set off by a green square of grass and a bright yellow front door.

Inside, the open-plan living area has a tiled floor that can be easily swept of sand, and sliding doors on two sides open to hardwood decks.

An oak veneer ceiling incorporates strip lighting, with acoustic foam above to absorb noise. The dark kitchen has a dedicated area for a coffee machine and sparkling water tap, as well as an abundance of storage.

There is also plenty of pattern and colour. Sisal-style wallpaper shimmers in gold, four different tiles were used in the main bathroom, and a storage and basin area that their tiler dubbed the "Tuscan sunroom" features bright yellow tiles.

Saddle Hill can be seen from the living area. The garage blocks road noise and the view of other...
Saddle Hill can be seen from the living area. The garage blocks road noise and the view of other houses.
Extra wide eaves mean they can retreat from the sun in summer. Twenty-four solar panels on the garage and workshop roof run underfloor heating, which extends even to the garage itself: "It didn’t cost too much more to do, so we thought, ‘What the hey’."

Mr Rivett says they have never regretted moving to Ocean View with its "fantastic" beach and good climate. They regularly have lunch on their deck, even in winter, and walk on the beach every day.

"We have a gate to a path that leads through the dunes to the sea," Mrs Rivett explains. "You can hear the waves crashing and get a glorious view up and down the coast when you get to the top of the dunes."

For her, small details like the spice drawer in the kitchen and the display shelves built into one wall give as much joy as the pleasing proportions of their new home.

"It’s all come together pretty well," her husband adds. "It’s comfortable, working the way we wanted it to work, and it’s really easy to live in."

kim.dungey@odt.co.nz

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