This DIY Home in New Zealand Doubles as a Coffee Spot and Art Gallery

By Candace Jackson
A budget-savvy, well-caffeinated couple get their hands dirty building a house, art gallery, and coffee kiosk on New Zealand’s North Island.

When Karen Jack, an elementary school teacher, and her artist husband, Grant, were looking for a home in Cambridge, New Zealand, they knew they wanted to replicate the walkable village lifestyle they’d enjoyed living in Britain several years before. So it felt appropriate to enlist their friend and roommate from that time, Christopher Beer, an architect who had also moved to Cambridge, to help. The Jacks spent about $600,000 on the project, including the land, saving money by building parts of the interior themselves. The result is a 1,710-square-foot three-courtyard home with an art gallery and coffee kiosk—smack in the middle of town. Shortly before the business opened, the Jacks recounted how their busy little home came to be.

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