An ultra-modern open-plan living area in Rānui, Porirua

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What was achieved within this Rānui home’s modest footprint is nothing short of impressive. Renovating the living space transformed the kitchen and lounge from dark and divided to open and bright.

Before After
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Getting started

The existing living spaces within this 1950s weatherboard home were cramped and cut off from each other. Homeowner Paul wanted to create an open-plan living area that combined the kitchen and lounge; he also wanted to build a new laundry. Updating these areas would improve the flow of Paul’s home overall and make it feel brighter and more open. For help with this project, he reached out to local Renovation Consultant Mark Morrison.

Open for discussion

Mark visited Paul’s home to discuss his goals and assess the property. Every Refresh Renovations project begins with an initial consultation during which clients and Renovation Consultants aim to land on the same page regarding expectations and the project’s scope. 
Paul had a strict $150,000 budget to work with. Considering what Paul wanted to achieve, Mark deemed this to be realistic and moved on to producing concept drawings for Paul’s approval. The conceptual phase of the Refresh process is an opportunity for homeowners to see detailed imagery of what the project’s outcome will be. Changes can be made at any point during a renovation, but this is the ideal time to make alterations to avoid incurring unexpected costs down the line. 

Construction commences

Once Paul was happy with the plans, Mark arranged applications for council consent. Removing the wall between the kitchen and lounge area weakened an element of the home’s internal structure, so the new construction needed to meet bracing requirements. With the council’s approval in hand, the building phase was free to begin. 
Mark worked within his preferred network of suppliers and contractors to assemble an expert team for Paul’s renovation. In addition to the structural work, the team completed electrical, plumbing, and flooring tasks. They also removed a road-facing window to provide the interior with additional privacy. The project finished up within 12 weeks, as Mark had estimated.

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Finished results

Though the team didn’t create any additional space, the new layout feels very spacious. And while it may seem counterintuitive to remove a window to make a space feel bigger, sealing the window to make a plain wall allowed more freedom for the redesigned layout. The new footprint now accommodates a built-in space for the refrigerator, oven, and microwave, and the sink sits in the new kitchen island; both benches are black, glossy, engineered stone. 
Different flooring in each room — timber in the kitchen and carpet in the lounge — creates definition between the areas without creating separation. Timeless subway tiles are featured in the splashback and are the perfect finishing touch to the ultra-modern kitchen. 

Final Thoughts

Both Mark and Paul are thrilled with the results. The theme for this design is one of ‘balance’. The black and timber cabinetry provide a bold, balanced contrast and while the lounge and kitchen have been combined there’s a calming balance with each being its own defined area.

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
September 2022
Project description
A kitchen and lounge renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
12 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Interesting aspects
Contrasting cabinetry
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Mark Morrison is Renovation Consultant of Morrison Enterprises 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.

Talk to a renovation consultant today

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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