An Open-Plan Kitchen and Lounge Revamp in Invercargill

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An Open-Plan Kitchen and Lounge Revamp in Invercargill

Light can completely transform a space. More windows, fewer walls, and a fresh splash of paint were just the ticket for the drab and gloomy living spaces in this 1960s home.

Before After
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The Brief: A Brighter Space

Being a sturdy brick house built in the 1960s, this suburban Invercargill home was made to stand the test of time. But whilst homeowners Angela and Gary loved their home and neighbourhood, they felt it was time to refresh the spaces they spent the most time in – the lounge, dining and kitchen. The split level house needed a modern touch and a lighter, brighter feel, so the couple enlisted Renovation Consultant Mathew Hartigan to help.
Deciding to partner with a Renovation Consultant was a no-brainer for Angela and Gary. They’d heard renovation horror stories from friends who had decided to project manage themselves. Their friends’ projects were filled with stressful delays because of tradespeople double booking jobs and then not turning up on the agreed-upon day. Mathew reassured the pair that there would be someone on site most of the time, so even if there were delays with some components, tradespeople could busy themselves with minor jobs to make the most of every moment and get the project completed on time. His organised and futureproofing style of project management was the comfort the couple needed. 

Clarifying the Vision

After hearing what Angela and Gary were after and looking at the plans they’d drawn up with a designer, Mathew was able to come up with a renovation strategy and work to the couple’s budget. A full kitchen renovation, a deck build, new flooring and the removal of existing internal walls was decided upon, working to an agreed budget of $147,000. 
The concept aimed to transform the living areas from drab and dated to uplifting and fresh. In good news for the homeowners, the strategic planning and speed of the Refresh process allowed them to stay on site the whole time, living upstairs while renovations were underway downstairs. 

Let in the Light

To achieve an open-plan flow through the living areas, the internal load-bearing walls between the lounge and dining/kitchen were partially knocked down. An interior window between the lounge and dining replaced the partial wall removal, connecting the two areas and integrating the lounge with the cooking and dining area. The ability to now close a glass panelled cavity door offers the option of separation between the rooms; the dining and kitchen space can be a quieter zone whilst the TV is on in the lounge, for example.
To further the light and bright tranquillity, the addition of a wooden deck off the lounge introduces indoor/outdoor flow to the previously contained area. The floor to ceiling sliding doors connecting to the deck bring the outside in and allow for social barbecues in the summer months. And on cooler days, the lounge remains cosy with plush grey carpet, which then transitions to a light-toned wooden floor in the kitchen and dining.

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Neutral Details

Adding to the bright aesthetic of the living areas is the use of a neutral palette and a lick of white paint. Cool white cabinetry in the kitchen is punctuated with classic silver fittings and flush, built-in appliances. The black and white details – such as the pendant lights hanging above the kitchen bar – give the rooms a sleek and timeless look. Forgoing seasonal trends for timelessness matched Angela and Gary’s desire to live in their house long-term. The simple palette ensured the improvements would be sustainable and remain tasteful in years to come. 

Final Thoughts

Although the initial quote was slightly over Angela and Gary’s budget due to lockdown price increases and a decision to go with a bigger deck, the pair were so impressed with Mathew’s work that they decided the extra costs were money well spent. A stress-free renovation was of the highest priority, and having Mathew to manage supplier delays was an immense relief.
“Mathew gave us the best service,” says Angela. “He always answered my calls and emails and got back to us with any queries promptly. This was what won him the job in the first place; we were so impressed! We formed a great relationship with Mathew and the builders – they were so respectful and a pleasure to have in our home.”

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This project was completed in
April 2022
Project description
More windows, fewer walls, and a fresh splash of paint were just the ticket for the drab and gloomy living spaces in this 1960s home.
New Zealand
Project duration
3.5 Months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Supplier delays
Interesting aspects
Internal windows to create an open-plan feel
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Mathew Hartigan is Renovation Consultant of M & H Hartigan Limited, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Invercargill.

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