ADVICE FOR OTHER HOMEOWNERS: Get yourself the best architect and builder you can afford. When they work well as a team, amazing things happen.
I ALWAYS WANTED BLACK WALLS BUT THE DOWNSIDE IS: You can’t really avoid scuffing them. I’m often seen scurrying around with a damp cloth and a small paintbrush.
BEST BUDGET TIP: Don’t finish the build by using credit cards like I did. It’s like a second mortgage.
LEAST FAVOURITE HOUSEHOLD CHORE: Oiling the steel. It takes time, patience and effort.
FAVOURITE LOCAL SHOP: Green With Envy is a fantastic little discovery (greenwithenvy.co.nz). From linen bedding to beautiful objects, it’s all here.
BEST NEIGHBOURHOOD ATTRACTION: If you have kids, don’t miss Sheepworld – it’s a fun, old-fashioned way to spend half a day. And Pakiri beach is an unspoilt treasure.