Clever design and high-end finishes effect dramatic changes inside this 1970s Auckland villa
Situated in the quiet North Shore suburb of Birkenhead, this attractive four-bedroom home built in 1979 hadn’t aged gracefully in the owner’s eyes. The bathroom, kitchen, and laundry areas were all in serious need of an update.
Homeowner Sue had long dreamt of renovating these spaces but had no idea what to do or where to start. So, contacting Refresh Renovation Consultant Jack Nguyen was the first – and most crucial – step to achieving her goals.
Using the tried and true Refresh Renovation process, Jack established the full scope of Sue’s vision during their initial consultation. The wish list was substantial: re-design and fit out a new kitchen, renovate three bathrooms, add a new laundry area, and upgrade the toilet. Some skilled layout reconfiguration was also going to be required to meet Sue’s request for a new music room at basement level.
After Sue confirmed the designs and scope of the renovation she desired, Jack coordinated his team of expert tradespeople to tackle the full gamut of work required. For a novice renovator, the list would have been daunting, if not overwhelming.
To bring Sue’s vision to life, Jack needed carpenters to change the kitchen layout, electricians for rewiring work, plumbers and drainage experts to upgrade three key functional areas of the home, as well as tradespeople equipped to complete interior lining, install underfloor heating, and tile the bathroom. Plasterers, painters, and decorators were also required to complete the transformation.
A challenging aspect of the project was drilling into the home’s concrete ceiling and walls to accommodate new suspended framing for the bathroom and ceiling boxing for plumbing and drain pipes. But, through the Refresh process and hiss project management experience, Jack was able to ensure the project proceeded smoothly.
Auckland’s three-month Covid-19 lockdown was the only setback, but Jack’s full and open communication with Sue meant good relationships were maintained throughout a difficult situation beyond anyone’s control.
The transformation to an open plan kitchen and dining area is dramatic. Gone is the dividing wall and its archway through which Sue and her family entered their old kitchen. Natural light now fills the entire area while the white cabinetry, benchtops, and breakfast bar create a sense of spaciousness.
Storage and work areas have been markedly increased, with both recessed and feature lighting ensuring the now highly functional kitchen can be utilised 24/7.
The mustard tones so reminiscent of the 1970s have disappeared completely from the bathrooms. In their place are elegant white fixtures and gleaming glass shower screens which give no hint of the renovation challenges posed by concrete ceilings and walls. All drill holes and anchor bolts are fully concealed, along with the underfloor heating. The feature walls of burgundy-toned herringbone tiling are exquisite and in striking contrast to the stylish white tiling used throughout all the wet areas.
With the separate toilet renovated to match with the main bathroom’s modern design and the laundry beautifully renovated with strip lighting, above and below cabinetry, and contemporary fittings, Sue and her family have relished the transformation effected in their home. Moreover, they can now sound their pleasure at full volume, in the large new music room created in the basement by the removal of dividing walls and the addition of support beams.
Having such a successful outcome to this renovation project, Covid-19 setbacks notwithstanding, is a source of satisfaction and pleasure to both Sue and Jack and is a testament to the skill and professionalism of the tradespeople involved in the project.
Sue and her family now have a modern home with upgrades to the central rooms of the house, all of which not only add value to the property but to the family’s lifestyle.
Jack Nguyen is Renovation Consultant of Initiative Builders Limited and Pro Fixing Limited, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise LtdLtd, doing business in North Shore Auckland Central.
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Brighton & Worthing
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