A light-filled home renovation in Johnsonville, Wellington

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kitchen with wooden floor and baby blue cabinets

This 1960s weatherboard home in Johnsonville felt dated, cramped, and lacked the open plan living the owners wanted. A full renovation transformed the space from top to bottom, ensuring it was exactly what the owners wanted for long-term living and enjoyment.

Before After
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Time for Change

When you decide a house should be your forever home, it’s worth investing in the changes that will make it a space you will love for years to come. Tony and Yuki had a small 1960s weatherboard house in Johnsonville, Wellington they knew would be their home for the foreseeable future. They wanted to transform it into a bright and open space that was tailored to their needs and lifestyle and had some ideas: an open plan kitchen and living design, a modern refresh, and a bigger bathroom. However, Tony and Yuki were unsure about the process, so they contacted their local Refresh Renovation Consultant Lia Boersma to seek some advice.

Expert Advice and Planning

Lia arranged a free consultation with Tony and Yuki to discuss their renovation goals and to answer any questions they had about the Refresh process. The couple wanted to retain the simple bach-like feel of their home, but still wanted to modernise, insulate against the wild Wellington winds, extend if possible, and create a more functional and open layout. As a Refresh Consultant, Lia had dozens of successful renovations under her belt, so she was the ideal person to deliver Tony and Yuki’s project on time and on budget.

Lia’s design team worked within the set budget to deliver a concept that ticked all the boxes for Tony and Yuki. Open plan living would be a priority to create a more spacious feel. A new kitchen, bathroom, and laundry would be installed. The master bedroom would have a new yoga space adjoining it, and throughout the house, new insulation, plaster and paint, would create a fresh new look while honouring the home’s simplicity. Tony and Yuki were thrilled with the concept, and once they were happy with the working plans and budget, it was time to start the transformation.

Demolition and Build Begins

Lia assembled an amazing team of professionals to transform Tony and Yuki’s home. The existing kitchen and bathroom were gutted, the living room wall was gone, and over 100 GIB panels were stripped. With the house down to its bones, new insulation, wiring, and plumbing could be installed, laying the foundation for the new, modern look.

Removing walls is not always straightforward – Lia’s design had to allow for the installation of a load bearing prolam beam to achieve the open plan Tony and Yuki wanted. But with the wall between the kitchen and living areas gone, there was room for a spacious U shape kitchen with a wide bench doubling as a breakfast bar. The laundry and bathroom received stylish makeovers, and in the master bedroom, an extension created a personal yoga studio.

With so many tradespeople required during the renovation, exceptional project management and scheduling was critical to ensure a timely success. Lia managed every element – including the council consent process – and delivered the renovation a week earlier than scheduled!

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Top to Toe Transformation

In just over three months, Lia completely transformed Tony and Yuki’s home, creating a bright and spacious feel with beautiful design elements. The cramped kitchen and separate living area are now a cohesive hub with plenty of space that is perfect for entertaining. The whole room is flooded with natural light, and the original wooden frame on the windows retains some of the home’s original character, contributing to the urban bach feel.

The bathroom features beautiful original wooden flooring paired with contemporary black tapware and a gorgeous free-standing tub and floating vanity. In the laundry, a pop of colour with yellow tile behind the work bench adds personality to the space. The master bedroom was updated including wardrobe joinery, plus a dream new yoga space.

And, behind the newly painted GIB is insulation to keep things inside toasty when cold southerlies are blowing!

Final Words

Tony and Yuki are thrilled with their newly renovated home. By retaining character features such as flooring and architraves and combining them with modern fixtures, Lia was able to honour the home’s simplicity while modernising the space. Investing in an open plan design made the house feel more spacious and inviting, and the couple can now enjoy entertaining friends and family. 

“The design was brilliant as it opened up what was a very small footprint,” says Lia. “The home is now warm, dry, and everything Tony and Yuki wanted for their long-term home.” 

Would you like to discuss your home renovation ideas?

Get in touch for a free consultation with your local Renovation Consultant.

This project was completed in
October 2023
Project description
Whole house renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
14 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
$308,000 due to change orders and some upgrades.
Steep site location meant transporting materials in and out was difficult.
Interesting aspects
Yoga studio adjoining master bedroom.
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Lia Boersma is a Renovation Consultant of Silkworm 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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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.

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