Yvonne and Phil

“Having lost our home in the Christchurch earthquake, and having lived in our “interim” house for nine years, we realised that the only way we would find the house of our dreams, that would suit us for the rest of our lives, would be to build it, and find the right architect to design it.

We had seen some of Craig’s designs, and we liked that they stood out as being interesting, all in individual ways.

Looking back at the brief we gave Craig at the very beginning of our project with him, it is clear that he has fulfilled every wish we had. Our wishes were about how the house should look and feel to us in an emotional way; more timeless than trendy, more understated than ostentatious, more intriguing than impressive. We wanted a house of connected spaces or pavilions rather than a monolithic structure, that would soar or float rather than squat heavily. We wanted surprises and hints and unexpected views both into the house and out into the garden.

From my side, I had a wish that came from my Dutch heritage and upbringing. I wanted the house to be “gezellig”. This was a new one for Craig, so I had to give him a quick lesson in a concept that is quintessentially Dutch. “Gezelligheit” can be described as cozy, convivial, fun, a nice atmosphere, or the general togetherness that gives a warm feeling. Crucially, this can apply to the two of us enjoying an evening together, or to a large group gathering. Not being entertainers, but having a large family group that regularly get together, having a house that suited both purposes was important to us.

How these wishes were to be achieved we left up to Craig’s skills, and now living in the finished product, we feel he has achieved all of this beyond our hopes and expectations.

As well, it has been a great journey working with Craig. He has been an excellent communicator throughout, making us feel as though we were his only clients. He has always responded promptly to any queries, consulting and informing us fully, helping us engage builders, engineers, landscape and lighting professionals and collaborating with them, and managing the whole project together with his own excellent design staff.

Now that we have moved in and enjoying every day the results of our journey together, we can say with no exaggeration that our dreams have been fulfilled.”

Published on Thursday, December 10th, 2020, under


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