Out with the Old, in with the Bold: A Waiwhetu Home Renovation

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This Waiwhetu home had a solid foundation. It simply needed a stylish facelift.

This old home had a classic case of the “good bones” — solid foundation and plenty of potential. It simply needed a stylish facelift.

Before After
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Getting Acquainted

With an established garden and sunny orientation (a bonus in the Hutt Valley), this charming 1980s Waiwhetu townhouse was too good for homeowner Keren to pass up. Although, the interior needed some work. Keren dubbed it too “grannyish” for her taste.
Keen for an expert’s opinion, she reached out to Renovation Consultant Mark Morrison to modernise her home and bring it up to a standard she’d be happy with long term. 

Consultation to Concepts and Costing

Initially, Keren only wanted to update the home’s kitchen. But as she discussed the project with Mark, she took this opportunity to add a few things to the list; mainly, renovating the bathroom and separate toilet, upgrading the flooring throughout the house, and repainting the interior. 
She had budgeted $120,000 at first, but extending the project’s scope meant taking a second look at the costs. All in all, the final cost for renovating came in at $175,000, which was inclusive of the new plans. 

Getting Construction Underway

Before starting the project, the build plans needed council approval, namely the kitchen and bathroom updates. Megan, Mark’s Project Manager, took care of obtaining consent and carried out full management of the construction phase.
The most significant part of the project was restructuring the kitchen layout. By using the existing doorways to anchor the open-plan design, the new layout would create maximum flow between the lounge and kitchen. For this to happen, the obstructing walls had to go. So Megan brought in the demo team to create space for open-plan living. 
In addition, Megan organised and managed all other essential experts, including electricians, plumbers, roofers, and painters. For homeowners undertaking their own home renovations, scheduling such an array of professionals is often a headache at best. But with Megan at the helm, Keren could remain comfortably in the background, trusting that everything was under control. 

A Vibrant Kitchen Design

With a new open-plan layout, the home’s kitchen and lounge area is much more functional than before. By pivoting the orientation of the kitchen island and benches, sunlight can now pour in freely. The layout also provides a much more social atmosphere with better flow between the kitchen and lounge.
Along the sidewall, lime green cupboards line the entire length, offering plenty of storage – part of which has been used for a full laundry unit. Stainless steel benchtops are an excellent choice for their durability, but they also bring a hint of industrial style to the kitchen which ties into the silver handles on the eye-catching green cabinetry.
Just above the storage wall is a newly installed skylight which adds even more brightness to the already striking design. And when the sun goes down, there’s still plenty of light between the hanging LED bar over the island and the statement light in the lounge, which has been salvaged from the original design.

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Best of the Rest

Installing bamboo flooring in the kitchen and lounge area has created unity and flow and can also be found throughout the rest of Keren’s home in the bedrooms and office too. All the while, the main bathroom and separate toilet have been treated to light, concrete look floors that make them feel modern and airy. 
Slightly adjusting the position of the bathroom fixtures allowed room for a large bathtub. The new floating vanity now sits next to the shower, which is spacious and open, making the bathroom a pseudo-wetroom. A circular mirror above the vanity enhances the contemporary feel further, as do the modern upgrades in the separate toilet.

Final Thoughts

The bold colour choice in the kitchen paid off as it makes for an interesting focal point that announces the now modern home’s individual style. Though the scope of the project was extensive, Megan pulled this renovation off in a short 12 weeks, leaving Keren with a beautiful home to enjoy for years to come.

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This project was completed in
January 2022
Project description
This Waiwhetu home had a solid foundation. It simply needed a stylish facelift.
New Zealand
Project duration
12 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Interesting aspects
A bold colour scheme and bamboo flooring.
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Mark Morrison is Renovation Consultant of Morrison Enterprises Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Wellington

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