Fairwood Home - LAD Architecture | ArchiPro

Fairwood Home

Crowned in 2019 as New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Large Town, Cambridge, in the Waipa District of the Waikato, has long been admired for its lush pastureland and tree-lined streets. Just one of the reasons why the town has been experiencing an increase in population for more than a decade as people are drawn to its bucolic surroundings.

“This beautiful rural home, set in idyllic horse country, has a sophisticated lodge aesthetic,” says Aaron Guerin, Director and Lead Designer of LAD Architecture. “The clients had a clear direction in regard to what they were hoping to achieve—a highly detailed, high-spec home with an effortless floor plan and indoor-outdoor flow—and were an absolute pleasure to work with.”

“The dining booth adjacent to the kitchen area was certainly a ‘big must have’, as was an elevated formal dining area with views over the landscaped pond and connection to the pool area. A ‘snug’ to escape to and enjoy some quiet time rounded out the living areas, while high on the list was a master suite—separated from the other bedrooms—that had its own access to the pool area and included an impressive walk-in robe and beautifully crafted ensuite. Externally, a covered walkway connecting the garage to the main house needed to be incorporated into the scheme.”

Situated on a level, two-acre section, bounded by mature London plane trees, Aaron says the only constraint was a minimum floor level. “This actually had a positive effect on the design as the house now sits elevated and proud within its surroundings.”

The house has been designed with a large, light and airy central living hub, which enjoys strong connections to numerous outdoor entertaining spaces including a morning breakfast patio adjacent to the kitchen and a covered out-door space adjacent to the formal dining area for al fresco dining.

The homeowners, who are originally from Wales, have an affinity for the Queenstown aesthetic as they visit this area regularly on skiing and tramping trips, so wanted to bring some of those elements back to Cambridge.

“They were very keen to incorporate stone and cedar into the material palette and I was only too happy to oblige as I love the juxtaposition the two materials bring to a design scheme. Coppery elements then round out the exterior material palette.

“Again, the clients had very clear ideas in regard to the interiors. It was important the property had a homely feel and this was driven by the use of the texture, colours and the use of extensive american oak timbers throughout. Layering of these elements was used to create interest and a homely, welcoming feel.

“The lighting scheme—all of the lights are LED—was pared back as much as possible to allow the material palette to come to the fore, with just a few statement pendants incorporated into the scheme for additional dramatic effect.”

“Another important aspect of the design was to make the home multigenerational,” says Aaron. “To this end, a fully serviced, one-bedroom unit was integrated into the garage pavilion, which could be used to accommodate parents in their later years and/or used as a teenager’s retreat in the meantime.

“There are so many stand out features to this property. The proportionality of the home just works, it has an understated grandeur and a completely timeless feel which we absolutely love. Individual elements such as the cedar weatherboards and bagged stone cladding, along with the dining booth and the raised formal dining area add distinctive touches to the scheme, contributing to the home’s undeniable presence.

“By working closely with the builder and client throughout the process—to ensure the home was completed within acceptable timeframes and to a very high standard—we feel the finished result speaks for itself.”

Words by Justin Foote
Photography by Locus Creative

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Set within idyllic Cambridge horse country, this rural home has a sophisticated lodge aesthetic with dark-stained cedar weatherboards and bagged stone to the exterior.
Visitors walk past the breakfast patio on their way to the front door.
A large picture window affords a view from the formal dining are onto the pond.
Diners get to look out over the pond and the groomed grounds towards the mature London plane trees.
A comfortable formal lounge made even more so with a large fire for those chilly Waikato winter evenings.
A large island bench separates the living area from the well-appointed kitchen.
Natural materials sit side-by-side with industrial elements creating a sophisticated cooking zone in the kitchen.
Off to one side, the preparation area allows mess to be kept to a minimum in the "public" area of the kitchen.
Adjacent to the kitchen is a dining nook, one of the must-have elements the homeowners wanted incorporated into the design.
A comfortable, casual eating area, the dining nook allows for informal day-to-day family meals and when eating outdoors is not an option.
A cosy snug provides a quiet spot to take time out from busy lives.
The formal dining area enjoys an elevated position with views over the pond through the large, plate glass window on one side and access to the external entertaining area on the other.
Natural timbers and bagged stone off set the otherwise neutral palette, creating a light, airy interior with elements of textural interest.
The theme of layering textural elements continues in the main ensuite.
Large-format porcelain tiles, along with timber floors and cabinetry are teamed with copper basins to form a material palette that echoes the exterior materials, exuding a soft yet durable aesthetic.
A covered outdoor entertaining area leads onto the swimming pool and further grounds.
No property in Cambridge would be complete with a horse, with stables at the top of the driveway.
Outdoor entertaining is a cinch, with multiple egress points leading onto decks and terraces, as well as the pool.
A welcoming sight at the end of a long day.

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