Napier Villa


PHOTO: FLORENCE CHARVIN/NZ HOUSE & GARDEN The property runs between two roads so has dual access and there are two “front” doors; this one is at the back; the weatherboards are Resene Mischka.

As Rachael Horton walks across her floor she warns it “may make you seasick”.  She points out the ornate front door set with beautiful leadlight, which is never knocked on and in fact gazes straight into the back garden. There’s a powder room tucked under the stairs and on the top floor there’s a narrow little loo under the eaves complete with its own lobby. A lobby for a lavatory. None of it makes much sense, Rachael concedes, but she loves her home, sitting proudly and slightly haphazardly on Napier’s Bluff Hill.

A villa was not what she’d had in mind when, in 2016, the Wellington emigre arrived for a change of pace and a challenging new work role. Low maintenance appealed. Practicality. Something sturdy and within her set budget.