Railway cottage gets a new lease of life
By Bookabach staff. Photos by Nicola Edwards.
Lemon Tree Cottage began life as a railway cottage in the early 1900s.
Its second lease of life is more recent. When Nicola Edwards and her partner Bill were working on yachts in the Caribbean, they started talking about one day owning a homestay.
Their dream started with a piece of land. Over four years working in the Caribbean, they saved their tip money, and eventually bought land in Martinborough on a visit home.
“Our vision was to put a cottage on it,” Nicola says, “and we knew we wanted to call it Lemon Tree Cottage.
“We had all these ideas in our heads. We’d spent a good year or so drawing pictures of what we wanted it to look like. We looked at buying a kitset old-style home but it didn’t fit the picture and was really expensive.”
When Nicola was pregnant with their daughter, who’s now three, they returned to New Zealand for good and set about turning their vision into a reality.
When they saw a dilapidated little railway cottage in Upper Hutt, they knew it was it. They had it trucked to Martinborough and spent half a year doing it up.
Some major rearranging of the house was necessary, so that was left that to a builder – along with the repiling work.
Nicola and Bill did the rest. They wanted to retain the feel of an old cottage, but with modern touches – they’ve kept the old floor boards, and a cast iron fireplace but there’s a lot more luxury than you’d expect in a railway cottage, like a deep bath that fits two people.
It’s a small house, so they’ve kept it simple, relying on reorganising the room layout to make it an ideal weekender.
And the result? “More or less exactly what our vision was,” according to Nicola.