A transformative renovation for a dated bathroom in Bunnythorpe, Manawatu

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This 1970s Bunnythorpe property boasted the well-known Lockwood name for decades. However, the homeowners were ready to make some changes, particularly to the dark and dated bathroom.

Before After
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Out of love with Lockwood

Easily identified by the abundant presence of radiata pine, Lockwood homes gained popularity throughout Aotearoa from the mid-1950s. The interior mirrors the exterior through the use of interlocked solid pine planks, creating a distinctive timbered look which, today, isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. At least, that was the case for these Bunnythorpe homeowners.
After undertaking one interior painting project, the homeowners knew that DIY on their Lockwood wasn’t for them. So they reached out to Refresh Renovations for a professionally managed renovation of the bathroom in their home. Considering its age, the bathroom was in immaculate condition but its wooden walls and ceiling made the space feel confined, dark, and dated. The homeowners wanted to modernise the bathroom but keep the original layout which optimised the space. Local Manawatu Renovation Consultant Wayne Gordon visited the Bunnythorpe property to get a good understanding of what the homeowners wanted to achieve.  

Defining the project scope

During their initial consultation with Wayne, the homeowners identified their goals: install new floors and lighting, address an odd and hard-to-clean gap within the layout, and give the bathroom and toilet a more modern look. They didn’t have a set budget and were primarily more concerned with achieving their desired result. So the homeowners were happy with Wayne’s estimate of just under $39,000 which, at their request, included the flooring update being extended into the laundry, hallway, and kitchen.

Overcoming challenges 

Ready to move on to the construction phase, Wayne engaged his in-house project manager Zoe Blease to come on board. Zoe worked closely with the team on site, liaising with tradespeople and addressing any issues that came up. The vinyl flooring was selected on a recommendation from the supplier but when it was delivered, the crew soon discovered its incompatibility with the existing flooring. Wayne and Zoe were quick to relay this information to the homeowners and worked to rectify the situation rapidly by removing the flawed product and installing the proper material.
Throughout the rest of the five-week project, the crew charged ahead, installing a spacious capsule shower, building a partial dividing wall between the new shower and tub, and painting the entire space. Given the homeowners’ less than enjoyable experience with paint brushes, choosing to engage professionals this time around proved to be invaluable since achieving a smooth finish in a Lockwood home is a highly skilled task. 
Wayne enlisted the help of a master painter who worked meticulously to ensure a premium result. The tricky Lockwood interior required several coats and careful attention to detail, especially when coating the gaps between each timber panel.

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A charming new space

The result is a fantastic departure from the original timber bathroom. Utilising a bright, monochromatic colour scheme makes the space seem so much larger, most notably in the separate toilet, despite no extension being made. The wall separating the shower and the luxurious built-in bathtub has enabled wall-mounted open shelving that serves both a functional and aesthetically pleasing purpose. 
Another design feature serving double duty as form and function is the streamlined batten lighting overhead. It blends in seamlessly with the timber beam and drenches the space with ambient light, something the previous spotlights failed to do.
Wayne, his team, and the homeowners are all thrilled with the results. Seemingly small but impactful details, such as the built-in shelf eliminating the hard-to-clean gap, show how Wayne’s thoughtful oversight has enhanced the homeowners’ enjoyment of their updated bathroom and toilet.

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This project was completed in
January 2023
Project description
Small bathroom renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
5 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Hiccups with flooring materials.
Interesting aspects
A monochromatic colour scheme and batten lighting.
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Wayne Gordon is Director, Operations Manager & Renovation Consultant of Radian Group Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Manawatu.

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