Bungalow Gets An Elevated Look with Dream Kitchen Makeover in Lower Hutt, Wellington

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White kitchen cabinetry

A full kitchen makeover has transformed this much-loved Lower Hutt bungalow, creating a bright, modern space with its welcoming open-plan kitchen and dining area.

Before After
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Time to Act

Sally’s much-loved 1940s bungalow in Lower Hutt had been superbly maintained and decorated, but an awkward open living space was harder to ignore. A previous renovation had left the kitchen partly cut off and the laundry facilities inside a large cupboard in the dining room. 

When it came time for the hot water cylinder to be replaced, Sally took the opportunity to consider how the space could be improved and modernised. She reached out to Refresh Renovations Consultant, Jenelle Winstanley to discuss how the existing layout might be changed, and the likely costs involved in making the space more functional. 

An Expert Plan

Jenelle’s initial consultation with Sally identified several issues. The front door opened directly into the dining room; a large built-in laundry cupboard was visible straight ahead; and the kitchen was obscured from view behind the laundry wall. A breakfast bar, connecting the dining room to the kitchen, was useful for storage but impeded access both ways.

However, the rimu floorboards in excellent condition throughout the kitchen immediately struck Jenelle's interest as a feature to retain and celebrate.

Demolition of the laundry cupboard was a priority. Laundry appliances would fit perfectly within a redesigned kitchen, enabling the dining room to be used for just that - dining - once again. A new kitchen would be the pièce de résistance and Jenelle recommended a stylish yet simple fit out that complemented the bungalow’s character.

With design ideas agreed and some preliminary plans created, Sally was happy with the estimate of $60,000 for such a significant improvement to the space.

When the final plans were submitted for council consent though, inadequate support for an existing structural beam was discovered: an engineer’s input on retrofitting steel plates/bolts was required. This added extra time and cost before work could proceed.

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Light, Warm, and White

The laundry cupboard and internal wall were the first to go once work commenced on site. Light immediately streamed into the kitchen area from the living space and front door. 

The most challenging aspect for the construction team was navigating the uneven walls. Several had to be straightened and packed before further work on the new kitchen could proceed. With the unexpected but essential remedial work, keeping cost variations under control became a priority.

Once the laundry cupboard had been removed, the kitchen breakfast bar was shifted to sit against the wall and allow easier flow in and out of the dining room. White kitchen cabinetry was selected to suit the style of existing window frame colours and contrast with the rimu floorboards.

A new hot water cylinder was installed in the ceiling, new attic stairs were constructed, and a ducted heat pump was also added to give Sally and the family more control over the temperature of the house.

The project took around eight months to complete after delays caused by the late delivery of the heat pump unit and some remaking of kitchen cabinetry. With the labour costs of the unforeseen remedial work, the total price of the renovation came in at $97,128.  

Stylish and Functional

The new kitchen/laundry/dining layout is super-efficient, inclusive and practical.  An abundance of natural light adds to the ambience of the bright and modern living and working spaces, while the refurbished rimu floorboards are an eye-catching reminder of the bungalow’s heritage charm.                                                                                                                                                               

When Sally approached Jenelle at Refresh Renovations, she knew that the space had potential. Achieving that was a real team effort, from design to execution, involving Jenelle's eye for detail and her network of skilled trades professionals, all of whom committed to ensure the renovation would be an outstanding success.

The outcome is an incredibly welcoming space, both functional and beautiful to look at.

Supplies were sourced from Mitre10.

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
June 2023
Project description
Bungalow kitchen becomes an open-plan showpiece.
New Zealand
Sally Homer
Project duration
8 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Existing structural beam required strengthening and extensive work was needed to straighten walls.
Interesting aspects
Original rimu floorboards.
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Mark Morrison is Renovation Consultant of Morrison Enterprises Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Wellington

Jenelle Winstanley 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.

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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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