A striking multi-living area transformation in Paremata, Wellington

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These homeowners knew they wanted to give their interior a functional facelift but had not the time nor the know-how to make it happen. But after engaging Refresh, their vision was made an impressive reality.

Before After
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Setting the scene

Kate and Josh’s Paremata bungalow was built in the 1960s. It was spacious and had unique design features, but they felt as though it wasn’t fulfilling its potential. The couple had discussed renovating the bathroom and laundry area in the basement to better suit their lifestyle but had no idea where to start. 
Although they were each busy with careers, Kate and Josh’s growing family needed more functional space within their beloved home, so they reached out to local Wellington Renovation Consultant Lia Boersma. Known for her bespoke transformations, often on a large scale, Lia was the perfect person to come on board and take the pressure off Kate and Josh with her expertise and fantastic project management.

Defining the scope

During their initial consultation, Kate and Josh explained in detail what they wanted; to convert their tired, impractical basement into a functional space with laundry, a high-end bathroom, and wine cellar. As their conversation progressed, they got to chatting about their kitchen with Lia as well. 
The kitchen was on the main living level with a cramped scullery. Kate and Josh had a European holiday planned during which time they wanted to schedule the renovation. Since they were going to be renovating the basement anyway, they opted to add the kitchen’s makeover to the project scope along with an additional powder room on the same level.
With the preliminary details sorted out, Lia brought her in-house designer, Tina Daisley, on board to work with Kate and Josh during the concept phase before getting into the nitty gritty costs. 

Designs and costing

Kate and Josh were design-led, meaning they prioritised achieving their vision over sticking to a specific budget. There were a lot of moving parts to consider — two levels, multiple rooms, and different purposes — so Tina worked closely with the couple to define each space on its own while ensuring the design remained cohesive throughout.
She guided them through the selection process of bath ware, appliances, paint and feature colours, lighting options, fixtures, and finishings. After wrapping up the design phase, Tina deferred back to Lia as it was time to talk money. Kate and Josh were realistic about what it may cost to bring their high-end vision to life, so they were comfortable with the $300,000 quote Lia provided them with.

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Challenges during construction

After the homeowners approved the costings and scope, Lia arranged for the appropriate building consents, ordered premium materials, and coordinated a skilled team to execute the renovation. The timeline was scheduled for 12 weeks, some of which Kate and Josh were able to vacate the property during their holiday. 
The build stayed to schedule and was completed on time, but not without a few challenges. Drainage issues were identified early on during construction. Kate and Josh’s Paremata property was close to the beach and fluctuating sea levels caused damage to some of the pipes. Unfortunately, this meant additional construction, labour, and costs. Lia worked with her team of contractors to get this sorted quickly and as cost-effectively as possible while relaying the progress to Kate and Josh.
Though on a smaller scale, there was another issue; the internal walls surrounding a proposed door were made of concrete and therefore limited the functionality. Tina and Lia worked together to provide a practical, and stylish, solution: a chic black-framed glass barn door.

A transformed home

After the projected 12 weeks, Kate and Josh’s renovation wrapped for $350,000 — the additional cost attributed to a few variations and the drainage remedy. Considering their busy lives and the challenges faced during the project, Kate and Josh partnered with the right team to get the job done. They were able to enjoy their European holiday, placing their confidence and trust in Lia’s capable hands. 
Upon returning home they were greeted with a spectacular new home filled with high-end design elements and features such as grand built-in bookshelves, a hidden but airy laundry room, an array of bespoke tiling throughout the different rooms, and a bold new high-contrast kitchen.

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This project was completed in
April 2023
Project description
Kitchen, bath, laundry, and basement renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
12 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Unexpected drainage issues
Interesting aspects
High-end finishings and a bespoke design
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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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