A Serene Escape to Call Home in Hataitai

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A Serene Escape to Call Home in Hataitai

This retired one-bedroom rental property got promoted to a primary residence by its owners upon their return to Wellington. But first, it needed a full creative makeover.

Before After

An Exciting Welcome Home

Built in the late 1960s, this one-bedroom unit in Hataitai is on a flat section which, if you’re from Wellington you’ll know, is a hot commodity. It’s also ideally located on one of this inner city suburb’s most desirable streets. 
When owners Julie and Karen decided to return to New Zealand, they wanted to come back to this property. But, after years of tenants moving in and out, they knew it was in desperate need of an update. 
Limited by space and budget, but not short on ideas, Julie and Karen wanted an expert who could provide creative solutions while taking their vision on board. Enter Renovation Consultant Lia Boersma
Lia connected virtually with the homeowners before Christmas as the rental would become vacant in January and they wanted work to commence as soon as possible. When Julie and Karen finally arrived in Hataitai, Lia met them on-site to get down to business in person. 

Costing and Feasibility

The couple’s main objective was renovating the kitchen and bathroom; they also wanted to freshen up the entire unit with new flooring, paint, insulation, and lighting. They’d allotted $100,000 for the project but through the costing process, Lia determined that was inadequate for the desired scope of the project. 
Knowing they were investing in what would become their home for the foreseeable future, Julie and Karen accepted Lia’s $135,000 estimate to ensure they could get everything on their list.  

Booking in the experts

Julie and Karen didn’t impose any strict timelines, but they couldn’t live in the property while renovations were underway. With time of the essence - they were aiming to finish the full renovation in 8 weeks - Lia brought in her Design Consultant, Tina, to map out the plan of attack. 
A large team of talented contractors was necessary for this job and Lia’s assembled crew of trusted associates including builders, gasfitters, tilers, plumbers, painters and electricians, certainly fit the bill. The construction phase ran smoothly until near the end of the project when some of the products received were problematic.
Yet, even with these issues, Julie and Karen moved in at the end of April, just two weeks behind schedule. This was a testament to Lia’s project manager Danielle, as the difficulties could have snowballed. Julie and Karen commented: “Dani’s attention to detail, outstanding communication, and coordination of numerous trades was truly impressive.”

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A Sublime Design

Tina worked closely with Julie and Karen when deciding on the home’s interior design. The colour scheme, soft seafoam greens and turquoise blue, evokes Haitaitai’s proximity to Wellington’s inner harbour. These colours can be seen most vividly in the bathroom’s tiling. A beautiful feature wall in the bedroom also showcases maritime hues, as does the kitchen’s splashback. 
To complement the aquatic tones, much of the kitchen cabinetry is a warm, sandy timber and the floors are a striated wood grain as well. The rest of the palette consists of neutral tones – the perfect backdrop for Julie and Karen’s art collection.
Although the property is relatively small, it doesn’t feel cramped thanks to Tina’s resourceful use of space-saving sliding doors in the bedroom, and a clever mix of concealed and open storage in the kitchen. These additions were especially appreciated by Julie and Karen: “Tina’s expertise and flair for design used the very limited space available in clever and creative ways.”

Functional Upgrades

The renovations also included essential upgrades. Modern insulation throughout, together with a new heat pump in the lounge, ensures comfortability all year round. Electrical updates, modern lighting, and new plumbing complete the functional enhancements to Julie and Karen’s fully renovated home.  

Parting Words

For such a compact dwelling, it took a mighty effort to get this renovation across the finish line. With Lia leading the charge and Tina and Danielle right behind her, Julie and Karen had a talented team working hard to give them a beautiful place to call home — a commitment they fully appreciated. 
“The team adopted a problem-solving approach to any obstacles and the work was finished within budget and timeframes. Most importantly, everyone was professional, friendly and so easy to deal with. We would highly recommend them.” Julie and Karen

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Project description
This retired one-bedroom rental property got promoted to a primary residence by its owners upon their return to Wellington. But first, it needed a full creative makeover.
Location
Wellington
New Zealand
Client
Time
November 2021
Project duration
10 weeks
Cost estimate
$135,000 NZD
Actual cost
$135,000 NZD
Challenges
Supply chain issues
Interesting aspects
Statement tiling
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Lia Boersma is a Renovation Consultant of Silkworm Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Wellington.

Costs are accurate at the time of publication. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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