A Future-proofed Apartment

Downsizing is often a favourable move for couples with an empty nest. Usually the meaning is literal, but in the case of Linda and Charles Wilkinson, the only thing they’ve truly bid goodbye is a whole lot of home maintenance.

For the Taranaki couple, moving into a brand new home without lawns or gardens has in many ways been act of expansion.


Their move in 2014 has seen them enjoy a more urban way of living, and presented new ways to interpret and enjoy their possessions and pastimes, such as gardening and spending time with their pet.

When the Wilkinsons decided to downsize, they not only needed a home with less maintenance, but one that would suit their pet.

The Wilkinson’s stylish apartment overlooking the New Plymouth’s coastal boardwalk is more townhouse than teeny space and is comprised of two levels joined by a lift.


The home combines the best of natural beauty, abstract forms and heritage antiques.

“The top floor you can actually live independently of the bottom floor,” said Linda.

“The master bedroom, ensuite, dressing room, living room, dining, decks and kitchen are all on that one level. So if you got really elderly, you could live quite happily on that top level and just go up and down in the lift.”

The Wilkinson’s home enjoys an almost bird’s eye view of the waves crashing on the shore.

“It’s a little bit like living in a resort,” said Charles.

“Your typical big garden, big lawns, swimming pool, that type of thing,” said Linda.

“My husband had had some health issues and we just took a look at our life and decided that we probably didn’t want the maintenance. He was the one who was probably responsible for more of it than I was.”

So with health in mind, it was decided that a lock up and leave property may better suit their future needs. They hadn’t plan to move in a hurry, but when they saw the coastal apartment topping New Plymouth’s boardwalk, they knew they had to act.

Blessed with a 180 degree view of the Taranaki coastline, the Wilkinsons fell in love and bought the property from developer Patrick Schrider as it was approaching completion. Downsizing Taranaki couple in future-proofed apartment | Stuff.co.nz