A Total Transformation of a Unit in Ellerslie, Auckland

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Kitchen with splashback lighting

This rental unit was stuck in the 1960s with a cramped kitchen and no insulation. The transformative renovation was so good that the owner decided to move in instead of returning it to the rental market!

Before After
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Rental Revival

There’s a lot to love about the 1960s and 70s: fondue parties, Fleetwood Mac, and Farrah Fawcett’s hair all come to mind . But what we don’t love are the small builds of that era, with badly designed kitchens, no insulation, and dingy bathrooms. 

That’s what Wendy was dealing with in her Ellerslie rental unit. It was well overdue for a renovation to bring it up to scratch for the rental market, or possibly even to sell. Wendy had previously renovated her own home with Refresh Renovations and enjoyed fabulous results. So, when she was ready to tackle her unit, she knew exactly who to call.  

Wendy arranged a free consultation with her local Refresh Consultant Morag Burns to get some advice and talk through her options. From past experience she knew that Refresh Renovations would provide exceptional customer service, a tailored renovation, and manage every detail from design through to delivery.

Concept and Design

Kitchen, bathroom, and laundry, living areas, paint, light fixtures – there’s a lot to consider when tackling a full renovation, especially when you are trying to keep costs down. But with Morag at the helm, Wendy knew they could create a design that was tailored to her needs and her budget.

Morag planned a full makeover. The kitchen would be much more spacious and functional, the bathroom would receive a totally new look, and fresh paint and stylish lighting would also be included.

When Wendy saw the initial concept, she loved it. In fact, she thought that the unit could be the perfect place for her to enjoy an upcoming retirement. So, with a new scope in mind, Morag tweaked the plans to make it perfect for a cosy and comfortable apartment for Wendy. Double glazing would now be included, as well as wardrobe systems, a shower box instead of a shower over bath, and decorative features such as kitchen tiling. 

Work Gets Underway

With detailed plans agreed to and an exciting new purpose, the transformation began. Morag’s team managed every aspect of the renovation, from demolition and removal, to sourcing supplies and scheduling tradespeople. Morag also managed the council consent process for Wendy, so she was able to enjoy a stress-free renovation.

During the demolition, Morag's team discovered that the existing GIB in the lounge had been adhered directly to the cinder block walls, and the flat roof space had no insulation. Wendy quickly agreed that she wanted to remedy this, so the team fixed battens to the walls to provide space for insulation, and also insulated the roof space.

Finding reliable tradespeople (who are actually available!) can be difficult, but with Refresh it is never an issue. Morag used her network of trusted professionals – electrician, kitchen cabinetmaker, plasterer, painter, tiler, builder, glazier, and plumber included – to execute Wendy’s renovation. She managed the entire build, and the remarkable transformation came together in only two months.

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A Beautiful New Look

Morag took Wendy’s dated and rundown unit and transformed it into a cosy and comfortable apartment perfect for her retirement. The spacious new kitchen is a highlight, with its tiled backsplash, engineered stone benchtops and, of course, new appliances. The white cabinetry and benchtop combined with new downlighting have created a light and bright feel, and a wonderful space to cook and create.

The bathroom has received a sensational makeover, with the large, glass shower box providing much easier access for Wendy than the original shower over bath concept. A back-to-wall toilet and floating vanity add to the sleek and spacious ambience.

Fresh paint, new ceilings, wardrobe design, and new lighting throughout provide the carefully planned finishing touches, and with new wall and rooftop insulation plus double glazing, Wendy is sure to be cosy and comfortable all year round. 

Final Words

Morag worked closely with Wendy to capture her vision for a rental refresh, but when the concept was so good that Wendy decided to move in, Morag quickly pivoted to make the design even more tailored for her needs. 

Upgrading the bathroom and wardrobe designs, plus adding aesthetic touches such as kitchen tiling meant that Wendy would be moving into a property that was everything she wanted from a retirement apartment. 

Morag was thrilled to have worked with Wendy once again and loved the result. “The unit underwent a huge transformation. It is now warm, bright, and low maintenance – everything you need for a retirement home.” 

Would you like to discuss your home renovation ideas?

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

This project was completed in
September 2023
Project description
Full unit renovation
West Auckland
New Zealand
Project duration
2 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
$100,000 after change to initial scope
Discovered existing GIB had been adhered directly to block wall with no battens or insulation.
Interesting aspects
Glass shower box
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Dominic Hollands is a Franchise Owner of DJH Renovations Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in West Auckland.

Morag Burns is Renovation Consultant of DJH Renovations Ltd , a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in West Auckland

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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