Collector turns page on architectural retreat


54 Boscabel Drive, Ohauiti

For Rex Harkin life so far has been a sequence of diverse chapters with many a story to tell, however, it is this next one which is going to be a big page-turner as Rex closes the doors for the last time at his stunning home in Ohauiti.

It was in 2006 Rex turned a vision into a reality as he completed a spectacular architectural build with architect Dennis Pocock. Having already accomplished the building of a classical style home in Maungatapu the brief for this next project was contemporary/modern, and the result absolutely exemplifies this.

Situated in the residential-rural landscape of Ohauiti, this home is an architectural work of art, a home that has it all. No expenses were spared in creating this contemporary retreat which in every way is evidence that Rex Harkin does not do things by half. “No matter what it cost, we just paid it,” says Rex. “The front door alone cost $22,000. The glass on either side has a shattered effect which was achieved from an electrical current fired through the middle of three glass layers – it would be just about impossible to break.” You could say that this home exemplifies a man that appreciates the finer things in life.

Born and bred in Tauranga, this successful businessman is a life enthusiast with an unabated, lifelong passion for antiques and collectables. His extensive collection ranges from phonographs, pistols, music boxes to pottery jugs and much more. He now boasts a collection worthy of national if not international significance. He credits his parents for passing on the collecting gene. “I’m from a long line of collectors my grandparents collected and my parents too.”

It was Rex’s left-field interests in collecting that was of slight concern to his mother who tried to divert his curiosity by gifting him a Toby jug in his late teens. These have now multiplied over the years and have become a significant part of his collectables.

It is this expansive 378 sqm home that displays Rex’s collectables effortlessly. Not many houses could take on this type of collection in such a graceful and charming manner. Inbuilt shelving in the living area provides the much-needed vertical space for the mini record players and the spacious foyer with its high ceiling displays a selection of gramophones including the historic and very rare violano. Rex regards this as one of New Zealand’s great treasures. This electrically operated instrument plays the violin and piano and comes with a story dating back to an era spent residing in a storeroom under the London Bridge. This home boasts many a tale of ancient relics of the past and owes many a conversation; however, those are for another time.

Upon entering the property, it would have to be the inground heated lap pool, spa and one hundred and twenty square metres of north-facing decking that commands one’s attention. With Rex’s meticulous approach to detail, an automated pool cover keeps the pool in pristine condition. One can only imagine the entertaining that this area can accommodate. It already tells the story of a grand wedding held by way of a marquee on the poolside lawn – a space that looks to be made for this type of celebration. “We call it party capital”, says Rex. “We’ve had engagement parties and all sorts of birthday parties; you name it we’ve had them.”

Bifold doors from the two living areas and two of the bedrooms allow for a seamless transition between the interior and exterior living spaces allowing for great entertainment flow. Underfloor heating together with two gas fires, four heat pumps and a north-facing position make for winter comfort throughout the home.

Newly refurbished plush carpets and deluxe drapes over the last year have added to another level of luxury. Again, no expenses spared when choosing the highest quality soft furnishings.

Downstairs unquestionably is the ideal male retreat. Four car garaging with a 2.5-metre stud allows space to house a boat plus three other vehicles easily. A workshop with further storage galore means all toys and tools can have their place in this well-considered space.

This home is a sanctuary beautifully designed with mindful consideration for luxury living. At the heart of this home is a homeowner who has impeccably maintained the property to pass on to the next generation. As Rex Harkin embarks on a new stage of life, his desire is for the new owners to experience an equally rewarding lifestyle where memories are made, and history continues to unfold at 54 Boscabel Drive.

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