In Te Arai, New Zealand, a Fearon Hay designed beach house subtly adapts and moderates connections to the outside.

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Project Details


Set among sand dunes on a forested coast, Te Arai Beach House materializes as a simple, gabled structure. The monolithic timber building could be mistaken for a barn – and many dot the rural east coast. However, closer inspection reveals a house rich in nuance, invention and detailing. In response to the site and prevailing conditions, Fearon Hay has pulled windows and doors back behind a periphery of adjustable shutters, blurring distinctions between inside and out, allowing residents to moderate their experience of the outdoors.

Interior view from the living room into the kitchen

Project Type: Vacation home

Location: Te Arai, New Zealand

Architect: Fearon Hay

Photographer: Simon Wilson


“The kitchen is the center of the house. Isn't that life on holiday? If you're not outside then you're at that table; it's integral,” says interior designer Sonja Hawkins, who took a layered approach to complementing the simplicity and durability of the architecture. A long farmhouse-style table stands in for the typical kitchen island, reflecting the social role of the kitchen and providing a means to accommodate larger groups without losing the sense of intimacy. As cooking is one of the main activities at the house, the kitchen was required to meet dual high standards: performance and seamless integration.

Exterior view of Te Arai house looking in from the sand dunes.


Appliance selection and integration are essential to creating a kitchen that reads as a piece of furniture within an open-plan living space. Here, an integrated Column Refrigerator, Column Freezer and CoolDrawer™ provide an ample and flexible food care solution. Integrated DishDrawer™ dishwashers are also concealed within the cabinetry – one single, one double, to cater to the demands of a bustling holiday house. The Minimal style steam and convection ovens also disappear into the dark tones of the hand-painted cabinetry, so as not to distract from the stone and brushed-brass materiality.

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Minimal Induction Cooktop

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Integrated Column Refrigerator

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SingleDrawer Icon.

Integrated Single DishDrawer™

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