1960s two-storey house renovation in Ngaio, Wellington

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1960s two-storey house renovation in Ngaio, Wellington

Situated in the friendly Ngaio suburb, renowned for its character homes, this 1960s property was ready for a full renovation that would revitalise its original beauty.

Before After
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Ann and Matt, the owners of the house, had firstly taken their vision and goals to an architect who soon invited Mark, their local Renovations Specialist, to join in on the project.
With a particular style in mind, the homeowners personally engaged a number of suppliers directly throughout the planning phase. Involving a range of businesses gave Mark the chance to collaborate with a variety of talented experts ranging from cabinetmakers to interior designers. But with that collective also came the need to coordinate with multiple parties.

A Growing Project

Starting out with a 99 day construction timeline, the project eventually ballooned into a large 226 day renovation. It was quite the contrast from the initial plan. Reasons for the extended deadline came down to the discovery of rotting timber in the study and a growing list of client-requested variations. 
Although these additions meant an increase in budget and timeline, Ann and Mark were happy to extend, where needed, in order to get the dream renovation they desired.
The comprehensive and quickly-adapting nature of this project made for an exciting challenge that Mark’s team was eager to complete. A handful of the additions to the project scope included electrical rewiring, reinforcing the timber joists, installing window flashings, door replacements, reputtying the windows and rebuilding the staircase.
Stepping back to look at the bigger picture, the project was a complete home renovation with extensive internal changes and an external repaint. But despite the enormous changes made across the property, it was the ensuite, a smaller part of the overall renovation, which stole the show.

The Custom Bathroom

Working with the existing space within the bedroom, the renovation team established the ensuite by building a curved wall to create the internal room. This task had its challenges. Firstly, the builders needed to steam the skirtings and timber in order to accommodate the curve. Then followed a new difficulty of bending the GIB and installing the custom-built timber vanity.
As they finalised the bathroom, it was clearly the star - and not only due to the structural work. The interior designer had a particular desire to use bold colours. Unafraid to make a statement, the homeowners went ahead with the suggested colour palate which ended up beautifully displayed in the ensuite. Dark blue hexagonal tiling, yellow grout, and brass gold fixtures… they combined for a truly elegant atmosphere.

Creating a Bold Kitchen

The kitchen also became an excellent canvas to showcase these colours. The bottom floor was demolished with timber flooring installed, the window was moved to bring in more light and the walls were painted yellow to contrast against the dark blue cabinetry. Now bright, open, and inviting, the kitchen provides the perfect place to entertain or simply enjoy the art of cooking. 

Revitalising the House

The rest of the house also underwent a great amount of improvements. The builders stripped out the flooring and demolished the old bathroom, upstairs rooms, and balustrade; all making space to modernise with upgraded features. These additions included new plumbing, insulation, flooring, and textured plastering on the walls.
Without going so far as removing the classic character of the house, the bedrooms were lightly freshened up with new carpet and painted walls. The second bathroom, however, was designed to create a more contemporary experience. This was done by installing double-glazed windows, trendy tiling, a recessed shower, new bathtub, modern vanity, and round-edged rectangular mirror. For the cherry on top, the homeowners opted for black tapware which tied the space together.
This project was certainly a beautiful tale of a 1960s cement render, two-story house meeting the pace of 2020. Mark notes that the key learnings of this project were to make bold choices - both in colour and structure. Because at the end of the day these statement features, built by his skilled team of renovation experts, were what transformed the house into a bespoke gem.
When asked what her favourite features are, Ann says:
“I love all of it! Too many favourites to narrow it done...Mark was good to work with when we first met him. I liked how they would take care of all the tradies. [They were] a great, friendly team to work with. Very responsive to changes and questions. Good communication.”

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This project was completed in
November 2020
Project description
Complete Two-Storey Renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
7 1/2 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
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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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