Tim and Amy McKenzie wanted an extreme makeover of their 1930s bungalow.
WORDS Joanna Mathers
The home was a reasonable size for the family of four (Tim and Amy plus their two daughters Eve and Sarah) but the configuration wasted precious living space. The central area of the three-bedroom home was taken up by an expansive entry hall and one large bathroom that coupled as an access way to the back of the house.
A cramped space living space was situated at the rear. Here the kitchen and small living area were located in a lean to, which wasn’t conducive to either entertaining or the daily demands of family life. While the living room had a “reasonable flow” to the dining space (according to Georgetti) the kitchen was completely isolated from the dining room. Modern kitchens are the heart of any entertaining area and this configuration left whoever was on dinner duty languishing in solitude.
Planning the house renovation
Georgetti says that the key objective in the renovation was to open up the interiors and make the home more modern and livable. To this end the kitchen and living spaces would be opened up and better flow created between inside and outside. “We also added an en suite for the master bedroom,” he says. While the owners decided against increasing the footprint of the home, clever design was used to breath new life into the existing space. “The renovation focused heavily on design,” Georgetti explains. “High-end finishes have been used to create a compact but perfectly formed home.”
Work on the interiors began with an almost complete demolition of the internal walls. Such was the extent of the renovation that there was nothing left of the interiors after this first stage and the family vacated the house at the beginning of the project. The second stage involved rebuilding the interiors with the new wall configurations, as well as rewiring, re-plumbing, reinsulating and installing skylights in the home. “The back wall was also opened up for new windows and huge doors out to the garden, and the front veranda had to also be rebuilt,” Georgetti explains. The final stage saw the deck at the back of the home rebuilt – stairs to a newly landscaped garden were also installed at this time.
Renovation challenges and the final result
As with any renovation project there were a few major challenges. The builders discovered that there was asbestos in the old flooring, which had to be professionally (and very carefully) removed. Additionally, inclement weather meant that landscaping at the back of the house was slowed – the flow-on effect was a delay in deck installation as the building team needed the new ground levels to complete deck and stairs.
While the project only took around ten weeks from start to finish, the interiors took a bit longer than expected as the clients managed a great deal of the finishing themselves. The owners’ input coupled with the expertise of the Refresh team has created a home that has their own distinct signature style.
You might be interested in reading this Refresh case study: Retirement renovation in Wellington.
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