A Splash of Colour Gives Wellington Bungalow a Modern Feel

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To prepare their Wellington bungalow for rent, these homeowners chose to modernise their property's kitchen, bathroom, and living room.

To prepare their Wellington bungalow for rent, these homeowners chose to modernise their property's kitchen, bathroom, and living room, with a splash of colour throughout.

Before After
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New Zealand’s capital city is known for its windy weather, vibrant culture, and steep streets. And the latter is exactly what Lia Boersma and her renovation team encountered when tasked with the interior makeover of this 1950s bungalow in Karori, Wellington.
The bungalow owners were looking to move out of Wellington for a couple of years and wanted to rent out their property while away. Renovating wouldn’t only create a comfortable house for those renting but also give the owners a newly upgraded home to enjoy when later returning to Karori.
Although they knew what they wanted, the clients weren’t sure where to start, so they reached out to local Renovation Partner Lia Boersma for professional assistance with the entire process from design to build.

Creating the Design

Lia set out to understand what the homeowners wanted to achieve from the renovation. Their main focus was on renovating the kitchen and bathroom, though they also wanted to repaint the walls and refloor throughout.
“Our clients were budget-led, so we started with the dream design, as they wanted to understand the full renovation cost,” explains Lia. “We could then make some trade-off decisions to meet the budget expectation.”
Lia’s design consultant, Tina Daisley, was brought into the fold to tackle the interior design, and Nspire Architecture was engaged to carry out the structural design and building consent applications. And once the finer details were confirmed, construction was ready to begin.

Not Your Typical Driveway

Lia’s project management team took care of the detailed planning, scheduling and management of the build process. Having this specialist team undertake the renovation proved worthwhile, as the project wasn’t without its challenges. 
“The biggest challenge was accessing the property,” says Lia. “To get to the house, the team had to walk up 99 steep, narrow steps and then cross a 'swing' bridge to the house. This made the demolition work particularly challenging and required a crew of fit construction workers over a period of four days.” 
Bringing items such as bathware, tiles, kitchen cabinetry, benchtops, and large sheets of gib and framing into the house was challenging. But on the upside, the trades team will have reached their step goals for the day!

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Project Variations

As construction progressed, the team found that roofing work was required, and the drainage needed upgrading. These unexpected variations pushed the timeline out slightly along with the cost, which came in at $275,000. 
Lia worked diligently to ensure the construction schedule and costs were kept as close to the original plan as possible, allowing the homeowners to relax while all changes were taken care of.

Modern Design Shines Through

A modern interior design has given this bungalow a breath of fresh air. Made of crisp white walls, dark-toned flooring, and plush carpeting, the home feels brand new. However, its timber-framed windows and doors allow the property to retain the charm of its 50s build. 
The kitchen has been strategically designed to provide plentiful storage and makes the most of the space available with floor-to-ceiling cabinets. New appliances and generous bench space make the room highly functional. But the design is what makes the atmosphere so inviting.
Teal tiling and exposed timber cabinets/shelving in the kitchen create an eye-catching feature – a reflection of Tina’s design flair. It’s a coastal colour scheme that pairs well with the home’s surrounding nature. 
The same material combination of tiles and exposed timber can also be found in the bathroom, creating a cohesive design throughout the home. The upgraded bathroom features a large walk-in shower with dual shower heads, a circular basin with wall-mounted tapware, and a sleek vanity with deep drawers for maximum storage.
Materials used in this fantastic bungalow renovation include general building supplies from Placemakers and bathware from Robertson Bathware.

Beautiful Results and Happy Homeowners

The transformation of this 1950s bungalow is an excellent example of the value you gain from having a specialist renovation team on the job. The homeowners are thrilled with the results and found the renovation process a positive experience.
“We had a great experience with Lia and her team at Refresh,” say the homeowners. “We did a major reno, and they guided us through every step of the way, including getting through the lockdown challenges. We found they were good to communicate with, responsive, great with updates, and follow-up … We are very happy with the finished product. If you are looking for a project manager to take the stress out of a renovation, we would definitely recommend them.”

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This project was completed in
September 2021
Project description
Interior makeover
New Zealand
Project duration
109 days
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Access to the property, which entailed 99 narrow steps and a swing bridge to the house.
Interesting aspects
Charcoal feature walls and statement splashbacks.
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Lia Boersma is a Renovation Consultant of Silkworm Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Wellington.

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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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.

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