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Hamilton - vibrant heart of the mighty waikato; home to sprawling farmland, persistent fog and one very infamous river. The university too, is a worldwide drawcard - luring students from all corners of the globe. Many return home after graduation, but every now and then, one or two remain. As bewitching as it is, it’s not always the land of the long white cloud, with which they fall in love.
Gabriela Budin Daniel is from Sao Paulo, Brazil. She first came to New Zealand during her last year of high school.
“I came here on an exchange programme and loved it so much, I decided to return for university”.
To finance her student lifestyle, Gabriela took a job at the local cinema. It’s here, she met and fell in love with Hamilton born and raised, Charlotte. Together, they have built their first home with Classic Builders.
“We’d always dreamed of a property like this one. We used to throw our gumboots in the car and head out to look at sections. One day we were traipsing around someone’s land when a real estate agent spotted us. We told him we were only dreaming but he guided us to this lot and from there, it all started to come together”.
”We were cautious about building because we’ve built before. Our previous experience was a nightmare and there was just no trust in our builder. But building with Classic Builders, was a completely different story.”
“Right at the start, they said they’d do the right thing by us. If we discussed something we wanted, they’d make it happen - we had complete faith.
Many assume Classic Builders, will only work within certain areas of New Zealand. With this notion in mind, Matt and Celeste weren’t sure their independently designed home, in an ‘off the grid’ location, would be a consideration. It came as a pleasant surprise, to know Classic Builders were able to lead the project.
“Providing plans from an architect outside of Classic’s, made the job harder for our project manager Craig - we really appreciated this. He knew our situation and recognised certain aspects, which could be altered slightly, to better suit our lifestyle. He knew what we were after, while really respecting our limits throughout the entire process. His commitment, time, effort and honesty reiterated Classics Builder’s credibility.”
“If we had questions, or wanted to look at possible variations throughout the build, these were openly discussed. It was reassuring to be involved in the process.”
The expansive 331.97sqm home, includes five bedrooms plus an office. Matt and Celeste jokingly refer to the master bedroom as the West Wing but it’s the open plan kitchen, dining and large living space which tops everyone’s ‘favourites’ list.
“We put in a large slider to divide off an area for the kids. It’s a great option when everyone wants to be together, while still allowing a little of our own space. And that’s the best bit – the space. We can now cater for visitors and our families when we all come together.”
The kitchen splashback might lead you to believe this is a farming family. They’re not. Celeste is a fan of Cambridge artist Chrissy Taylor. Celeste worked with Chrissy to arrange a selection of boldly painted farm animals, framing the culinary workspace.
“I wanted something bright and a bit different, but block colour wouldn’t have looked right. I’ve always admired Chrissy’s pieces, and loved the idea of having a bit of a barnyard theme.”
Outside, the abundance of green offers a blank canvas to create memorable family moments for years to come.
“We haven’t really decided what we are going to do out there, but with winter now behind us, we’re likely to give it a bit more focus. The land size is really just for the kids - our last house had a big deck area but no grass, so this time, we had to have grass. This is our home. We designed it to be our home - and it works.”
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