Wow factor is something that Michael and Rosie Horton’s Remuera home has in spades, and part of its appeal is in getting the details right. From the plush velveteen cushions, silky drapes and chandelier in the expansive dining room to the duck-egg blue décor and manchester in the master bedroom, their abode oozes class.
The Hortons’ home of the past 21 years has three bedrooms, a study, a convertible study/bedroom and four bathrooms.
The property is built on a section of land that has special significance to Michael — he was born in a house that used to stand there.
“It works really well for us,” says Rosie. “I like the view and the openness, and I love the outlook. I think it’s soft and gentle, and so beautiful in spring. You see all the leaves come out on all the trees.”
Some properties can look a little like show homes, but Rosie and Michael’s residence has a lived-in, yet sophisticated, look.
Books and photo frames are placed on nearly every available table top, walls are filled with art and fine china is dotted here and there in the home.
“I’d like to repaint the house, but I don’t know if I’ll be allowed to,” smiles Rosie. “I think I’d like to have it lighter and bring some yellow in.”
If given the go-ahead to redecorate from Michael, Rosie will call in the reinforcements — her interior designer Paula McIntosh.
After working with the Hortons for many years, Paula has their taste in décor down to a fine art.
“It works brilliantly,” says Rosie. “Everything she shows me I usually like. We make the decisions, but Paula puts it all together. That’s how I prefer to decorate my house.”
A beautiful rose and gold patterned lounge suite is an eye-catching addition to the sitting room, and a cream-coloured chair with a delicate floral pattern tones in well beside it.
One of the spare bedrooms has a bright pink bedspread and curtains, while drapes and a duvet cover in another is a soft yellow — one of Rosie’s favourite colours.
Leading on from the kitchen is the family room, a “handy room” that gets a lot of use in the Horton home. Laid with natural-fibre flooring, it’s a relaxed room that opens up onto a spacious balcony.
A luxurious throw covers part of a sofa set, which is a mixture of different styles and fabrics, and a flat-screen television occupies a space that was previously a cubby hole for books.
Some of the furniture has been handed down by family, some has been sourced locally and others picked up on overseas trips. Despite being well-travelled, Rosie admits she’s no great collector of souvenirs.
“We’ve bought a couple of paintings, but I don’t travel with Persian rugs under my arm. I might buy things in London and get them shipped home, but it’s not very often.”
A landscape painting of Michael at his computer desk is on the wall near the top of the stairs. “I love this painting,” says Rosie.
October is Breast Cancer Action Month, and as a patron of the Pink Ribbon Appeal, Rosie has a lot on her plate.
It’s a role the grandmother-of-five takes seriously, and in the week leading up to collection day she told Our Homes TODAY she was looking forward to mucking in with the appeal.
“Extensive money needs to be spent on the idea of women looking after themselves. The mother is such a pivotal part of the family. It’s a family responsibility.”
Rosie’s mother died from breast cancer at the age of 50, just three weeks after she was diagnosed.
“That is why I feel so passionate about it. As soon as mammograms came into existence I started having annual ones. Because my mother died, I wanted to ensure I was as well-protected as possible for my family.
If I achieve anything, it’s to entice women to be breast aware.”