Wellington homeowner Paula Martin turned to Refresh Renovations specialist Steve Wang for her kitchen renovation.
What started as a simple plan to take out a half-wall turned into a modest yet clever makeover to open up and modernise the kitchen and dining area of a 100-year-old villa.
Dotted across Wellington’s suburb of Berhampore you’ll find many charming, old houses – built to last from native timbers. One such home is Paula Martin’s 100-year-old villa. It’s a beautiful home, but its living spaces were rather small and dark.
“A major objective was for us to remove the half-wall between the kitchen and dining room, and create a much more open living space,” says Paula. (See the different ways to create an open-plan space) “We also made several decisions along the way once the work had begun, which we were able to incorporate into the plans with no problems, for example extending the same flooring from the kitchen through to the dining area, installing a wine fridge, and renovating the downstairs toilet.”
Having lived in the house for 16 years, Paula had been thinking about creating a more open-plan space for years. While the old kitchen worked, it was cluttered and dated. When it got damaged in the earthquake it really did need to be redone, and it made sense to expand on the original concept. (Find out how to declutter your home with these storage tricks)
Paula turned to Refresh Renovations to oversee the renovation. They follow a proven process that takes clients from the initial consultation all the way through to the completed renovation. It was during the concept stage, that Paula decided to invest more and get it right in one go. Renovation specialist Steve Wang from Refresh Renovations in Wellington says: “Early on in the project it is easy to make changes, whereas later on during the build phase changes can become more costly. We were able to plan ahead and increase the scope of the project without it impacting on the overall cost of the project.”
In addition to the initial plan, the team was able to upgrade the flooring of the entire area, custom-build a credenza unit to match the new kitchen, and create a brand new laundry. The outcome makes a big difference to everyday life and improves the flow of the house. “It exceeded our expectations,” smiles Paula. “The kitchen island is a particular highlight!” The island benchtop is made from 30-millimetre-thick engineered stone, while other work surfaces in the laundry and kitchen areas are made from 18-millimetre Melteca. For the flooring, which flows all the way through the open plan space, the team used Moduleo Vinyl Planket.
Steve was fantastic – always available, nothing was too much trouble
The renovation included the demolition of the old space and the rebuild of internal walls, insulating, plastering, flooring, wiring, plumbing, and drainage, requiring a host of different trades. Paula says: “We were extremely pleased not to be locating and coordinating multiple tradespeople ourselves.Everything was extremely well organised and all the logistics, including dealing with the council, were taken care of for us. We felt there was a commitment to quality and pride in doing a good job.
With Refresh Renovations, Paula also had one point of contact who kept her informed at every stage of the process and was available to answer questions and manage any issues. “This was a major advantage of using Refresh. Steve was fantastic – always available, nothing was too much trouble and he always followed through on what he said he was going to do,” says Paula.
Having a project manager on board not only reduces stress, but it can also save you time and money. Steve explains that Refresh takes great care to streamline the renovation process and resolve any issues very quickly and cost-effectively. Most renovations have their challenges, and until the actual building work starts it can be hard to determine problems such as rotten boards or structural issues.
Paula explains: “As with any older house, various additional repair and building work was needed once the project started. But Steve kept surprises to a minimum and the additional work, including piles, beams et cetera, was within the contingency that had been estimated.”
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*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.