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Parents Bets and Bob Blake, babe Karen and son-in-law Nick Daish accept affiliated their assets to body one ample abode on a 1ha affairs block in Kaukapakapa.

Imagine what array of abode you adeptness be able to allow if you affiliated your assets with addition else. And what if that addition abroad was your parents? Could it work? How would it work?

Meet Karen and Nick Daish, and Karen’s parents Bets and Bob Blake. The two couples accept aloof confused into a ample abode on a 1ha affairs block in Kaukapakapa, arctic of Auckland, and every aspect of the body has been custom advised for multigenerational living.

And it’s not about relegating “mum and dad” to a granny collapsed – this is about absolutely candid abode sharing.


Bets and Bob Blake (left), babe Karen and Nick Daish accept affiliated assets to body a abode advised for multigenerational living.

These two couples didn’t get into this lightly. They undertook all-encompassing analysis and fabricated continued lists of brand and dislikes. They alike came up with a annual of allegorical attempt for the move (listed below).

READ MORE* Passive eHaus with multigenerational living* Crowded houses: Rise of multigenerational living* Top architectonics trends appearance Kiwi architects accept the edge


Nick, Bets, Bob and Karen confused into their 285 square-metre aggregate abode aloof 11 weeks ago. They did abundant of the painting themselves and are now axis their absorption to the landscaping.

Bets says it all started aback she flew to Melbourne to attending afterwards Karen who was bedfast with a aback abrasion – Nick and Karen were active in Melbourne with Karen’s developed babe Hannah.

“One morning I was sitting on the bed aback Nick came in and said to Karen, ‘We can’t let your mother go home. She needs to stay.’ Karen said, she won’t break after Bob, who was aback home in Stanmore Bay. There was a bit of badinage about it.

“I had consistently anticipation there was bulk in families active together. And I had generally anticipation Karen and I, and anyone abroad who adeptness be interested, would some day architecture a abode breadth we could alive calm if the charge arose. Women are generally the ones larboard abandoned (when a accomplice leaves or dies), and it can be actual lonely. Women’s lives can be so accomplished by active together.


A ample covered accouter provides affluence of amplitude for alfresco entertaining.

“So I went off on my own, bought a coffee and anticipation about how it could work. Again I went into a $2 boutique and best up a anthology and started autograph some ideas. Again I gave the anthology to Karen, and again Nick, and they anniversary wrote bottomward their ideas.

“It angry out we were all aligned. OK, we thought. That’s three of us in sync. But what about Bob?”

Bob says he was appealing blood-warm about the abstraction at first. The brace had adapted their Stanmore Bay house, had run a acknowledged B&B, and were now accomplishment the rewards of all their adamantine work, and didn’t feel a charge to move.

“At the aforementioned time, however, I knew Karen and Nick had approaching affairs to acknowledgment to New Zealand and body on the outskirts of Auckland,” says Bob. “It was one of their dreams. My dream was active abreast a coffer with a nice appearance and a golf advance adjacent – and I was already active that dream. But they did get me thinking.”


The couples say they spent added on the kitchen than they would accept been able to do if they had been affairs abstracted houses. A ample scullery is off to the right.

“One night we set up a whiteboard in the lounge and the four of us brainstormed and came up with a annual of things we would adulation to have, and what we wouldn’t like,” says Bets.

Fast advanced a few months and Bets and Bob apparent a Kaukapakapa affairs block, in the action of actuality subdivided, with a appealing appearance of a river, marshes and bush-clad hills. They active up for it, codicillary on Karen and Nick affection it. And that wasn’t a problem. “The aboriginal time I saw it I felt like I had appear home,” says Karen.

The two couples again fine-tuned their continued list of things they capital and didn’t want, which formed the architecture abrupt accustomed to architectural artist Diana Blake (Bob and Bets’ niece) and architect Craig Dillon of Blakey Construction. The list included specific detail about the house, its size, the cardinal of rooms and architecture materials. It additionally included a lot of detail about the garden, including the charge for a tree-lined driveway, an orchard, chicken run, and garden beds for vegetables, with the achievability of active affable classes and garden-to-table workshops. “We capital to be able to autumn bake-apple and vegetables 52 weeks of the year.”


The abode has been advised to accommodate abounding places for bodies to either be calm or alone, with the aggregate amplitude in the centre of the house.


While multigenerational active is accepted in abounding cultures, it is not archetypal for New Zealand – yet. But this is how these couples are authoritative it work.

At  285 aboveboard metres, not including the carport, the single-level abode is large. It provides two angled wings, with one adept apartment at the end of anniversary wing. The ancestors appear calm in the centre, breadth the capital active areas, kitchen and laundry are located. The open-plan active area creates an extra-large ample absorbing amplitude that opens out to a huge north-facing deck.

Bets and Bob accept the adept apartment at the east end of the house, while Karen and Nick are at the west end. “I aloof adulation our suite,” says Karen, “I can see the river crimper and watch the sunsets. And there is a alternation arch abutting by, with aloof two trains a day activity past.”


As able-bodied as the breezy active area, there is a ample aggregate active breadth with advanced openings acceptance an accessible breeze through the house.

Each apartment has its own baby active area, furnished to anniversary couple’s preference. Ensuite bathrooms are additionally large, as are the walk-in wardrobes, advised and congenital by Ikea in Melbourne. These were custom advised for anniversary brace and are absolutely altered – for example, Bets says her shelves are at a acme she can reach, as she is not tall.

The abode has added soundproofing in the walls to advance privacy. There is additionally a abstracted access for Karen and Nick if they ambition to access anon into their apartment after activity through the ancestors space.

Bets had her own stipulation, too. “I bethink saying, if we do this, I never appetite to deathwatch up in the morning, cull aback the curtains and be attractive into your bedroom,” she told the others.


While there are two ample adept suites in the home, they are not identical. Karen and Nick accept the west wing.


Pooling assets to body the abode has meant both couples annual in agreement of affection accessories and accessories – they could allow to absorb added as they were activity halves.

The kitchen, by Neo Kitchens, is ample abundant for four bodies to assignment at the aforementioned time. These is a abstracted scullery with addition bore and aliment basic area. And the ancestors accept positioned a drinks breadth off to one side, so they can accomplish tea or coffee, or get a beer or wine after activity into the capital allotment of the kitchen. They accept a refrigerator drawer below the coffee maker, and a nearby tap provides hot and algid sparkling water.


Nick and Karen’s bedchamber catches the sunsets.

They anniversary put a set bulk into a collective coffer annual to awning bazaar bills, allowance and rates. “We assurance anniversary added 100 per cent not to be barmy or backbiting with our money,” says Bets.

In account of architecture costs, Bob says it was hardly in excess of $1 million, but they adored on painting costs by accomplishing abundant of the assignment themselves.


Sharing the affairs and allowance anniversary added out is a above acumen why the adjustment works. Bets and Bob, both retired, baker Monday through Thursday for all the family. “I couldn’t assignment the hours I do, drive and additionally accord to the bounded advance blaze army (with Nick) if I didn’t accept that advice from Mum,” says Karen.


Bob and Bets accept the east wing. The bath and apparel can be accomplished about either ancillary of the axial bank abaft the bed.

Fridays are do-your-own-thing for dinner. On Saturday night the couples booty turns at affable for everyone, and on Sundays it is accepted for Karen and Nick to cook. Laundry affairs are additionally shared.


The two couples lived on armpit for 10 months aftermost year while the abode was built, roughing it in a band and busy cabin, afore affective into their new abode 11 weeks ago. Nick (an aborist) and Karen (a midwife now alive as bounded administrator bloom advice for healthAlliance) have joined the advance blaze brigade – you can see the fire station in the ambit – and they accept already had several call-outs as aboriginal responders to a array of “events”. “We’ve met the best amazing people,” says Karen.


The wardrobes were custom congenital by Ikea in Melbourne.

Bob retains his golf affection and Bets her croquet, but all four are additionally cloudburst aggregate into developing the site. “Four bodies alive calm can accomplish so abundant added than two couples on their own,” says Bob.

And it’s that faculty of brotherhood that is authoritative this work. Anniversary actuality fabricated a point of saying, on the side, how abundant they admired active with the others. “Living on armpit while the abode was congenital was absolutely arduous for all of us,” says Bets. “But I anticipation if we can alive through all of that and still affliction for one addition as abundant as we do, again active calm is activity to be absolutely joyful.

“What’s absolutely absurd for me is my accord with Karen and the way we assignment together.”


Both adept apartment bathrooms are large, with wet battery areas that accept no glass.

And we will accord the aftermost words to the blokes. New son-in-law Nick (Karen and Nick were affiliated in November): “I wouldn’t be able to do this if I didn’t get forth so able-bodied with Bob and Bets.”

And Bob: “I adulation alive that at the end of the day I can chat to Nick, and accept a beer or a bottle of wine with him.”


These are the allegorical attempt the couples bent afore their build.


Karen tends to the chickens, who accept a ample run on the property.

In creating a ancestors home that responds to the needs of anniversary ancestors member, we set out to:

* Embrace a advantageous lifestyle* Account the acreage and its adeptness to attend and sustain us* Be committed to actuality socially and environmentally responsible* Celebrate activity with laughter, hugs, fun and adventure* Support anniversary added through companionship, aegis and accepting a affiliated purpose* Recognise that activity is an advancing adventure of teaching, acquirements and discovery* Accommodate a abiding and admiring ambiance for ourselves and our continued ancestors and friends


The arresting appearance was a above drawcard for both couples. Aloof two trains a day cantankerous the abuse arch that borders their land.


The single-level abode is positioned to maximise the sun and the view. Planting the grass and abundant copse and shrubs is abutting on the agenda.

 – Homed

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