Bathroom Renovation in a Century-old Villa in Pukehina, Bay of Plenty

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The bathroom of this 1920s beachfront villa has completely transformed with a new layout and oceanic design.

The bathroom of this 1920s beachfront villa has completely transformed with a new layout and oceanic design.

Before After
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The Renovation Goals

During New Zealand’s first COVID-19 lockdown, homeowners Eric and Heather decided there was no better time to renovate their 1920s beachfront villa. The beautiful house was often used to accommodate visiting family and Airbnb guests. But despite its charm, the bathroom was dated and needed modernising.
Getting started, the homeowners reached out to local Renovation Specialist Peter Jenkins for professional assistance. Their main objective was to integrate a shower into the bathroom layout. It wouldn’t be easy, as the bathroom had limited space. But Peter was thrilled to be given the challenge.
Alongside the bathroom, the homeowners wanted to create a new laundry area. It was important for this space to be hidden away, making it unnoticeable and keeping with the modern look.

Designing a Functional New Floor-plan

Peter utilised Zoom and BuilderTrend to communicate efficiently with Eric and Heather throughout the renovation project. Across the duration, not only was New Zealand working through periods of lockdowns, but the homeowners also lived out of town. So utilising effective communication tools was a major component in achieving a successful upgrade.
The existing bathroom was very compact and made of two rooms; one with a freestanding bath and toilet, and the other with a large vanity. Through strategic planning, Peter found the freestanding bath would be better off relocated in the other room with the vanity. The existing vanity would then be torn out to make way for a spacious area to relax while enjoying long soaks in the tub. After relocating the bath, the room where it initially stood would allow for a new shower and smaller vanity to be installed.
A degree of innovation was required to integrate the laundry area into the villa. The solution was to install the washing machine and dryer on top of each other in a new cabinet unit. 
Throughout the concept creation process, Peter worked closely with Eric and Heather to ensure the renovation would fit within their budget. They were happy with the final design, which totalled $49,000 as the initial costing estimate. However, by the end of the project, Peter managed to deliver the renovation at a much lower cost of $34,972.

Undertaking Construction

The project required building consent before Peter and his renovation team could get started. Acquiring approval wasn’t easy as they had applied around the Christmas period. But once they had consent, Peter and his renovation team worked diligently to undertake construction quickly and to the highest standard.
The ongoing impacts of COVID-19 also caused delays in the supply chain of building materials, including particular tiles which Eric and Heather had chosen. While Peter could not bring in the initially selected tiling, he worked with his wide network of suppliers to source a range of other beautiful options, which the homeowners were happy to pick from.
The build phase included replacing the bathroom’s flooring as it wasn’t level or square. Although it was thought to be hardwood floor throughout, once the existing vinyl was lifted, this wasn’t the case. In solution, the homeowners chose washed-grey vinyl flooring for its modern look to be used throughout the bathroom.
As the villa was actively operating as an Airbnb, the renovation needed to be carried out periodically in between dates booked out by guests. Having previously managed projects with similar requirements, Peter was able to coordinate tradespeople around the occupied dates with ease.

A Modern Bathroom with Coastal Hues

The renovated bathroom is spectacular. Featuring two rooms – one with the original freestanding bathtub and the other with a luxurious shower – the atmosphere is spacious and makes a unique bathroom experience.
In the far room, the new shower provides an easy option for anyone without the time for a long bath. While beige tiles blend perfectly with the villa’s neutrally painted interiors, herringbone tiles in a gorgeous muted blue create a feature wall behind the shower. This statement wall is the real star of the show and also features behind the bathtub in the adjoining room.
The shower’s glass sliding door keeps the spotlight on the blue tiling. Complete with matte black framing to match the dual shower head, this new installation really does give a stunning modern impression. And finally, tying everything together, the white floating vanity brings a touch of brightness to the room and continues the use of the black fittings.
As for the freestanding bathtub, it’s now positioned in a room all to itself, joined by a freestanding faucet and showerhead. The tub’s oval shaping and depth provides a truly luxurious experience that’s only enhanced by the coastal hues of the interior design. 
The laundry has found its new location in a cabinet unit. Disguised as a cupboard, both the washer and dryer are stacked to one side, leaving plenty of storage space to the right. With ample room in front of the cupboard doors, the laundry area is perfectly user-friendly. But most importantly, it’s easy to tuck away and remain unnoticed.

Final Thoughts

This renovation achieved exactly what homeowners Eric and Heather hoped it would; they have a beautiful new shower and a hidden laundry area. But the results of the bathroom feature much more than an additional shower.
The bathroom undertook a massive transformation that entirely changed the layout of the two rooms. The freestanding bath has a room to itself, as does the shower, and both are complemented by stunning feature walls made of muted-blue herringbone tiling. Coastal hues create a soothing atmosphere, and modern fixtures maintain a minimalistic style – a perfect blend for the beachside villa.
Coming in at $34,972, this renovation was achieved at a significantly lower cost than expected. Now, the century-old villa is ready to be enjoyed for many more years to come by both Eric and Heather, their family, and any travelling Airbnb guests.

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This project was completed in
July 2021
Project description
Bathroom and laundry renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
118 days (delayed with COVID lockdowns)
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Uneven flooring and Covid-19 delays
Interesting aspects
A black and white colour scheme and custom-built vanity
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Peter Jenkins is Renovation Consultant of Reconstruction Enterprises Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Tauranga.

Danielle Renèe is Renovation Consultant of Reconstruction Enterprises Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Tauranga.

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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