ARTICLE Erin Reilly IMAGES Scott Espie 

When Wade and Bex Kimpton purchased a villa in Auckland’s Herne Bay, the intention was to rent it out.

But in 2014, after years of travelling the world for work and with their first child on the way, they decided to kick their tenants out, transform their tired three-bedroom, two-bathroom dwelling into a modern family-friendly home, and settle down long-term. But the Kimptons didn’t want a standard villa renovation. They wanted something special.

An overview of living room and kitchen

“Villa renovations often revolve around creating something new that looks old, so it fits seamlessly with the original house,” says Wade. “We loved the history of our home and wanted to save as much as possible, but we also wanted something that was new and a bit ‘yin and yang’ – something that was a bit more ‘us’.

“And we think Phil from Matz Architects  has helped us create something really special.” 

The result is a stunning amalgamation of old and new, white and black, and light and dark, an effect that saw it take home a gold medal at the 2016 Registered Master Builders House of Year awards. Because their part of town has strict regulations around historical buildings, the Kimptons were limited when it came to their street front, so traditional villa styling was maintained – right down to the white picket fence.

The extension at the back of the property, though, is in complete contrast . Vertical cedar cladding is painted in bold black while the pool is encased in glass and concrete, and the garden has been carefully crafted to fit with the family’s no-fuss lifestyle.

A lightening kitchen

Step inside and the ‘yin’ of their traditional villa has been beautifully restored. Visitors are met by restored stained glass at the front door, while a reclaimed window from the original kitchen is in pride of place in the ensuite. The original flooring has been retained in the front half of the house and painted white, then matched in the extension. Old copper piping from under the house has been repurposed in the bathroom, and the concrete fireplace surround in the lounge features the imprints of original timber floorboards.

Meander down the hallway, and the ‘yang’ of this beautiful home materialises. The back of the house has been completely flattened and a contemporary industrial-style open-plan kitchen and living area erected in its place. This light and airy space offers plenty of room for family time during the day and entertainment when the kids have gone to bed, and the functional butler’s pantry allows the young family to “close the door to hide the chaos.” Huge double sliding doors open to the pool which was made smaller and shallower for the kids, and features an overhanging deck where mum and dad can enjoy cocktails in the fading afternoon sun.

The walk-in-wardrobe is Bex’s favourite part of the house. “She absolutely adores it,” Wade laughs. “She even shed a few tears when she first saw it!”

A modern bathroom with tiles decoration

The main bathroom includes a big bath perfect for a young family, and a fourth bedroom means Grandma can visit and the kids can sleep apart – “which gives us a bit more sleep too, because two under two is never conducive to an eight-hour sleep!” 

Villas are often short on space, so the Kimptons built a huge storage locker under the house that’s easily accessible from inside. They also installed lots of secret cupboard spaces that keep life clutter-free but functional.

Keepsakes from all over the world have been incorporated into the couple’s home. “Our rugs are from Morocco, a light fitting in the lounge is from Turkey, and a lot of the furniture throughout the house is from Bali. Bex also inherited a 10-person dining table from her late father – it’s one of her most prized possessions – so we designed the dining area around the table to make sure it fit.”

An outdoor swimming pool

“Our kids (Jagger, two and Wilder, nine months) are very young, so we needed to create a home that could take a good beating from them – and our dog (Louis),” says Wade. “It’s perfect for our family and our stage of life, and it will grow and change as we grow and change. 

“We wanted to be able to come home from work and really relax and live in the moment with our family. And this house lets us do exactly that. It has truly changed our lives.”  

Key details 

Location: Herne Bay, Auckland

Project budget: $500,000 NZD

Timeframe: Two years

Client brief: Create a functional family-friendly home that combines the old with the new, utilises the northerly aspect and the large pool, is great for entertaining, and includes plenty of storage.

Have a look at our Refresh Auckland case study The upside of maximising space.

 
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This article by Erin Reilly featured on page 62 in Issue 021 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page. This is not a Refresh Renovations case study. 

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