Methven Manor

Set on two and a half acres, this month’s feature home at 42 Dolma Street, will be remembered by many locals as Methven Manor, one of the town’s early homes which has been lovingly restored.

Over the years, the home has undergone a number of reincarnations. Originally built as a family home, for some years it was used as an aged care facility, and also operated as a successful B&B, before eventually it reverted to use as a private home, and remains so today.

Owners Amy and Rob Markillie, their children Lucy (9) and Elliot (8), McCaw the Cat and Fox –  the 5-month-old Fox Terrier, say they instantly fell in love with the five-bedroom villa. “Everything just aligned at the right time, and we knew we had to have it.” The couple seized the opportunity to give this lovely home space and grace.

They moved in in March 2015, and although the previous owners had already renovated, they wanted to put their own touch on the property and could see the need for more space, and light. A guest bedroom was sacrificed in favour of more dining/living space, and the whole area is now flooded in natural light, thanks to two fabulous skylights. One of which channels light down what used to be a double chimney, the other in the expansive country style kitchen, above the large granite benchtop. Wooden bi-fold doors open the living-dining area onto new decking connecting to the original verandah, extending their living space even more.

Windows have been double-glazed throughout, original timber flooring and joinery has been retained and enhanced, the bathrooms and ensuites were remodelled, and the elegant and loved pressed tin ceilings preserved. Where possible, they have re-used and revamped. Bricks from the fireplace they removed now surround the new fireplace; the ornate wooden fire surround from the original guest bedroom has been re-sited in the new guest bedroom, and an impressive set of leadlight detailed sliding doors, create flow into the children’s playroom.  These were recovered from a heritage home in Christchurch after the earthquakes, along with another set, which open into the children’s wing. The new doors tying in perfectly with the original leadlight windows, which are another gorgeous feature of the home, along with numerous pendant and chandelier light fittings. Throughout the home, traditional and modern elements are cleverly blended.

Finally, an extension to the children’s wing has been added, carefully recreating the fifth bedroom, featuring replica leadlight windows, to match in with the originals, cleverly re-created by Tash Sim. In addition, a new set of beautifully crafted timber framed windows finish off this room looking out onto the front verandah.

Amy’s creative flair is evident at every turn, with designer furnishings and favourite finds sitting comfortably together. It’s a home with a warm, welcoming vibe.

Outside, the well laid-out grounds include a tennis court, indoor pool, outdoor spa and expansive lawns and garden.

“Our goal was to add light and to create more flow, and we feel we have achieved that. We love the blend of old and new, and the wonderfully relaxed feel of our home. It is an amazing family space and an entertainers dream.  “We always love coming home again, often reluctant to go away. We feel incredibly lucky to live here.”

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Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.