We have admired the beautiful Isabelle Weston for some time and adore her home she resides in with her husband Tim and daughters Raphaela and Adaline. The stunning Britten Stables has a rich history and was built by her late father John Britten, the renowned inventor, designer and builder of the Britten V1000 motorcycle, which he built with a small team of friends in The Britten Stables garage.
Formerly a horse stables for the nearby Mona Vale Gardens and home to the Britten family for many years, Isabelle and Tim purchased the property off her mother Kirsteen in 2015. They then set to work renovating and rebuilding this beautiful home after it was destroyed in the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.
Kirsteen was home at the Stables teaching when the earthquake struck, she took refuge under an archway she knew wouldn't collapse. Luckily Kirsteen and her student were unharmed but the building sustained substantial damage. Thankfully the family managed to salvage many of the exquisite items designed and crafted by her father John, these are now featured throughout the home.
When I think of The Britten Stables I think of the double height atrium which sits at the centre of the home and is incased by a glass ceiling. Ferns and tropical plants grow within whilst a glorious mezzanine balcony wraps around with a marble staircase that cascades down to a swimming pool.
I asked Isabelle what features crafted by her father she loved most: "The staircase in our sitting room. It's white, concrete and has a sweeping curve - typical of most of his work. He was very fond of rounded natural lines visible everywhere in nature"
She also loves "Dad's lily led lights which hang in our girl's bedrooms. They make my heart sing when I look at them. It's such a pleasure having something so beautiful in your home, yet to have it created by our late father adds a whole magic layer to them".
With such a lovely rich family history she goes on to tell of some of her fond memories growing up at The Britten Stables, "We used to love summer as the plunge pool was solar heated and in summer time we got to really enjoy playing in the conservatory area. I have one memory of flying down the marble staircase on my buggy board (prepped with water and dishwashing liquid) and getting so much air that I crossed the pool. Needless to say, falling onto the marble hurt a little. It was memorable."
Isabelle and Tim now get to enjoy watching their own girls grow up at The Stables. They hope for a long future enjoying living in such a beautiful space with their family and hosting many guests to also enjoy the property. It's magic for Isabelle to have the fond childhood memories of the past and now being able to create new ones alongside Tim and her girls.
Isabelle envisages "That one day, hopefully in our life time the Britten Stables will be owned by the city, like other local landmark buildings, such like Riccarton House and Monavale. These unique buildings were the building blocks of Christchurch and should be preserved, shared and enjoyed. They have so many stories to be told and many people have enjoyed them over their lifetime. These buildings are far and few in Christchurch and now form part of who we are as a city and tell us about our ancestors and our cities past."