Improving the functionality and style of a 1960s home in Invercargill

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To improve the interiors of their 1960s home, these homeowners embarked on restructuring their property's layout to create an open-plan flow

To improve the interiors of their 1960s home, these homeowners embarked on restructuring their property's layout to create an open-plan flow and update the interior design.

Before After
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Time to Maximise Space 

Before the renovation, this property’s kitchen was cramped into a U shape, heavily restricting space and isolating the area from the rest of the house. The home also had two bathrooms next to each other, which resulted in one getting no use. 
The homeowners wanted to improve the functionality and style of their property’s interiors and recognised it would likely require structural change and a design upgrade. For professional assistance, they got in touch with local Renovation Partner Mathew Hartigan who could guide them through the project from design to build.

Creating the Concept

Mathew worked closely with the homeowners to hatch a renovation plan that would better utilise the floor area and bring the interiors into the 21st century. The homeowners wanted to do things once and complete them properly, so they made decisions carefully during the planning stage. To make the process easier, Mathew provided 3D drawings of the concepts so the homeowners could have a clear picture of their finished home.   
Originally the homeowners only wanted a kitchen, living room, and dining room renovation; this was estimated at $80,000. However, they later expanded the project’s scope to include converting a bedroom into a second living room and repositioning the door to the lesser-used bathroom’s to transform it into an en-suite. 
These additions moved the estimate up to $160,000. However, after creating the working drawings, costs came in cheaper to a total of $130,000. And with this significant cost reduction, the homeowners chose to expand the scope further to reline all walls in the main living areas and master bedroom. This final variation brought the complete renovation to $149,000. 

Obtaining Council Consent

Mathew handled all the council consent applications necessary to approve changes to the internal structural wall and new plumbing fixtures. The homeowners didn’t have to worry about any paperwork; Mathew had everything under control. 
After council approval, it was smooth sailing. Altogether the project took three months to complete, and the results are fantastic.

The Perfect Open-plan Kitchen

Opening up the kitchen has transformed it into a more sociable space, allowing the room to become the heart of the home. The large kitchen island plays a large role in creating this welcoming environment. Illuminated by modern pendant lighting, the bench takes centre stage and invites you to pull up a seat at the breakfast bar.
The minimalist colour palette of white with black accents does a brilliant job of brightening up the kitchen – but it doesn’t feel cold, not with the light-toned flooring that keeps warmth in the atmosphere.
The subway-tiled splashback, plentiful cabinetry, and new appliances contribute significantly to improving the kitchen’s functionality. Noteworthy features include the sleek double dishwasher, induction stovetop, and matching fridge and rangehood.

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Spacious Living Areas

With the new open-plan layout, the kitchen isn't the only space that feels bigger; the living and dining rooms do too. The walls have been relined and brightened up with fresh paint from Resene, and the flooring has been upgraded too. The continuation of timber in the dining room is particularly beautiful, making a seamless transition from the kitchen. 
Taupe, semi-sheer curtains make beautiful new additions to frame the large windows and slider doors. The neutral colour perfectly complements the natural tones from the home’s timber furnishings, flooring, and new carpet, gently tying the interiors together.
The second living area was cleverly converted from an existing bedroom, achieving the homeowners’ ambition to maximise the use of their property’s floor plan. Featuring a sliding door that connects to the dining room, the new living area can be easily closed off from the rest of the home or opened up to enhance flow between spaces. 

A New Ensuite

The previously unused bathroom has been cleverly transformed into an ensuite. This was achieved by repositioning the bathroom’s door from the hallway to inside the adjoining bedroom. It proved to be an ingenious plan, as the bathroom now gets much more use. And to complete the modification, the bathroom received an upgrade with modern fixtures from Robertson Bathware.

A Transformation for Optimal Functionality

This renovation has completely changed the functionality and design of the property’s interiors, and the homeowners are thrilled with the results. 
Renovation Partner Matthew Hartigan ensured they felt supported every step of the way, from conception to completion. And with the hard work of his renovation team, the transformation turned out precisely as the homeowners planned. 
Previously cramped and dark, the main living areas have become significantly brighter and more spacious thanks to the new open-plan layout. The home now boasts a second living area and a stunning kitchen, featuring all-new appliances, ample storage, and a contemporary design. Altogether, the improvements have indeed brought this 1960s property into the 21st century. 

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This project was completed in
August 2021
Project description
Kitchen and living room renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
3 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Interesting aspects
White marble tiling, freestanding bath, and circular basins.
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Mathew Hartigan is Renovation Consultant of M & H Hartigan Limited, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Invercargill.

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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