Fulfilling a Family Home’s Potential in Strathmore Park, Wellington

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Close to parks and schools this Wellington home looked ideal for any family. However, the inside was a different story and required a major renovation.

Looks can be deceiving. From the outside, this was the perfect Wellington family home, but inside, the kitchen, laundry and bathrooms needed a major overhaul.

Before After
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The Initial Consultation

Many homes built in the 1940s suffer from inadequate bracing, but not this Strathmore Park home. While the property was rock solid in foundation and structure, the layout and functionality left much to be desired. 
The first bathroom combined a shower and laundry but was serving neither purpose particularly well. Combining the two resulted in a cluttered space. The shower was being used as a storage closet, forcing the home’s other, more compact bathroom with its basin, toilet and shub (shower over bathtub) to be the main facility. Meanwhile, a poor layout made the kitchen feel cramped and failed to fully utilise the floor space available. 
With a new baby on the way, homeowner Courtney reached out to Refresh Renovations to make the necessary home improvements and create a comfortable environment for her growing family.  

Cost Estimation and Scope Variations

Local Wellington Renovation Consultant, Mark Morrison, chatted with Courtney about her renovation goals. She wanted to give the kitchen a full makeover and create two functioning bathrooms, but had no idea what that would cost.
Mark reviewed the scope of the project and provided an estimate of $80,000. Courtney was happy to spend extra to upgrade the tiling and go for a high-end finish which increased the cost to $110,000. With all the details finalised, Mark brought in his Project Manager, Jean de Lauwere, to oversee the day-to-day developments when work began.

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Kitchen Construction

After demolishing the existing layout, the crew installed extended cabinetry that wrapped around the corner of the kitchen, creating an L shape that takes better advantage of the space. The installation of a beautiful white stone benchtop and herringbone splashback, the result of Courtney’s decision to spend a little extra on selected features, elevated the design to the high-end finish she wanted.
Leaving the oven, fridge, and sink where they were avoided the need for costly plumbing and electrical work. The old gas stove was replaced with an oven and induction cooktop, and the sink and dishwasher were upgraded as well. Storage capacity increased with floor-to-ceiling cabinets taking up an entire wall. Once everything was in place, the crew salvaged the original timber floors by sanding and recoating them, making them look fresh and new. 

Building the Bathrooms

As with the kitchen, the builders stripped the bathrooms back to bare frames. Large sandy coloured tiles were installed in the shower along with a chrome rainfall showerhead. Directly across from the shower the team crafted a compact but well-appointed laundry area with a small basin, mirrored medicine cabinet with open shelving, a low-profile splashback, and a stone benchtop matching that of the kitchen.  
In the main bathroom, the crew replaced the shub with a built-in bathtub and covered the exposed bath face with white tiles that matched the splashback in the other bathroom. Next to go was the high-tank toilet, replaced by an Asher back-to-wall toilet. To complete the renovation, a small sink with a timber-faced drawer was installed between the toilet and bathtub. 

Final Thoughts

Courtney is thrilled with the outcome of this renovation. Even with the additional large storage units and ample bench space, the kitchen feels more spacious than before. The combined laundry and shower, and the powder room with bathtub, are both elegant and practical, providing exactly the functionality Courtney and her family need

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This project was completed in
November 2021
Project description
Looks can be deceiving. From the outside, this was the perfect Wellington family home, but inside, the kitchen, laundry and bathrooms needed a major overhaul.
New Zealand
Project duration
11 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Interesting aspects
Herringbone tile work
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Mark Morrison is Renovation Consultant of Morrison Enterprises 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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