Character Home Refresh in Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay

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lounge renovation

This 1950s home underwent a significant bathroom renovation and refresh of the living areas, yet still retained the mid-century character the owners loved.

Before After
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In need of a refresh

This sturdy 1950s home in sunny Havelock North was filled with original design elements and years of cherished memories. Owners Chris and Mel knew the home needed updating but wanted to retain the character they loved along with the family nostalgia.
The couple wanted to lighten and brighten their living areas and overhaul the guest bathroom – without overcapitalising. By spending money in targeted areas and making cost-effective design choices, they were able to breathe new life into their home without breaking the budget.

Making Plans

Initially, Chris and Mel contacted local Hawke’s Bay Renovation Consultants Sophia and Mike to discuss a full bathroom and toilet renovation. Mel had heard glowing reviews from a past Refresh client and knew that Refresh would be able to tailor a renovation to their needs and budget, as well as fully manage the project.
After discussing their renovation goals with Sophia and Mike, Chris and Mel expanded their vision to include a revamp of their main living areas.
Since Chris and Mel had a firm budget of $100,000, they decided to remove some elements of the proposed concept developed with Sophia and Mike and work on these at a later date to ensure they didn’t spend more than they planned. They also wanted to leave room for contingencies, given the age of their home.

End-to-End Project Management

Once Mel and Chris had agreed to the detailed plans and costings provided by Refresh, they were able to relax knowing that Sophia and Mike would take care of every detail of their renovation. From design through to delivery, the duo remained the single point of contact and expertly managed the renovation, making the whole process stress-free.
Multiple contractors were required for the job, including builders, electricians, plumbers, plasterers, tilers, painters, and a shower installer. Because Sophia and Mike already had an established network of local suppliers and tradespeople, they were able to schedule and complete the renovations in just eight weeks – despite a COVID interruption!
During the renovation contractors discovered the existing bathroom wall was out of line. So, to ensure a perfect fit for the new shower the wall was rebuilt. Old wastepipe was also upgraded to current specifications. Wallpaper which had been painted over proved problematic, as it was extremely difficult to remove and required a new skim coating on the wall to achieve a clean finish. Sophia and Mike were able to overcome these challenges thanks to the experienced tradespeople they trusted to deliver professional outcomes and quality workmanship.

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A Beautiful Bathroom and Radiant Refresh

Sophia and Mike transformed the dated bathroom into an elegant sanctuary. Large format marble tiling that extends up the wall adds a luxurious feel, while the generous shower and separate bath add a sense of indulgence. Thoughtful design choices, including a neutral colour palette, floating vanity and large, edgeless mirror, help make the room feel spacious and relaxing. Removing the old bay window with its exterior timber lattice work has added to the restful ambience.
Elsewhere, too, Chris and Mel are thrilled with the changes that have modernised and refreshed their home while still staying true to the original character. New paint in the hallway, dining, and living areas has brightened the interior and made the areas feel more spacious. Dated terracotta tile around the fireplace has been replaced, and modern lighting fixtures throughout have subtly revamped the home.

Final Thoughts

Sophia and Mike are thrilled with the outcome. “A simple change in colour has made the hallway feel much wider, while the fireplace has been transformed from dated to dramatic by laying new black tile over the existing terracotta colour. The bathroom is stunning, with luxurious marble tiling and chic silver fixtures, as well as a separate shower and bath.”
By concentrating on creating a beautiful bathroom space and skilfully refreshing the living areas, Chris and Mel were able to update their home and provide modern touches while still preserving the character and family memories they treasured.

This project was completed in
October 2022
Project description
Bathroom renovation and living area refresh
Hawkes Bay
New Zealand
Project duration
8 Weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Original bathroom wall was out of line and required rebuilding; client wanted to modernise home without losing character
Interesting aspects
Covering original fireplace tiles completely changed the look of the hearth and living room
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Sophia Roydhouse-Ross is Renovation Consultant of RNR Renovations Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Hawkes Bay.

Mike Ross is Renovation Consultant of RNR Renovations Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Hawkes Bay.

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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