On moving day just before Christmas five years ago, Kelly Watson had only one box on her priority unpacking list. Forget the kettle, coffee, house keys and the valuables.

This was all about her Christmas tree. So far so good, except she had no idea where she would put up the tree because she'd never seen through the house.

Welcome to the house that her husband Rohan bought the day he went to an auction to buy a different home. He saw this property on the auction list and recognised it from his days in the carpet business.

"I saw it and thought, 'That's the house'," says Rohan, now an industrial machinery sales specialist. He promptly dropped the other place off his radar and turned his hand to bid for this property with its private, right-of-way location and harbour backdrop.


On the day they moved in here, Kelly saw the resort-style pool with swim jets, waterfalls, mermaid pool and adjacent spa pool that she'd only seen in a photo and thought, "Oh, yes!"

Then she walked straight through the mid-level front door, not stopping till she found the lounge at the top of the open tread timber stairs. She walked straight in and announced "That's it, right there!"

Her tree had found its new home and every Christmas since, it has owned the corner by the rear deck, with everyone gathering around their Christmas table to take in the festive vibe.

"The only thing I thought about was putting up that tree. This was a really big deal for me and nothing else mattered," says Kelly, a designer and co-owner of the fashion/homewares label Salasai.

Built in the 1990s and extended to include the pool in the early 2000s, this three-level home has been the complete deal for all of them.

Sleeping quarters are on the entry level, with west-facing views to West Harbour and the Waitakere Ranges.

The two boys Jasper (12) and Tiger (10) and daughter Miller (6) have a central study area and separate TV lounge off their bedrooms.

Their bathroom opens off the discreet, open-plan laundry opposite the doors to the pool and garden.

Along the hallway, their parents' bedroom wing includes a small deck designed to maximise the angular site.

Downstairs, Kelly's workroom can do duty as a second bedroom, near a separate bathroom and the exterior door to the private courtyard and driveway.

The top level takes in the entire formal and informal living area and their dramatically different views.

"You can see the weather roll in from the west here and every day is a new view. It's probably my favourite part of this house," says Kelly of their conservatory window seat that is the main focal point of their open plan kitchen.

From their lounge, the purple hues of the harbour and the pink colours of the night sky are another outlook that never grows dull.

For visitors staying in the one-bedroom guest house up rock-slab steps at the end of the driveway, the views across Upper Harbour to Hobsonville Point are another bonus.

Within the main house, the harbour views on one side and the falling waters of the pool visible from the upper levels of the house on the opposite side draw everyone into the spirit of this place.

Come summer, this palm-fringed poolside entertainment area sees large-scale get-togethers and legendary pool bombing competitions.

This family has used every part of this property from cricket in the U-shaped driveway to their pool. Now, Rohan and Kelly are turning their focus to business development opportunities.

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