Contemporary Country Chic: An Epic Home Makeover in Invercargill

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Open-plan kitchen

A weathered farmhouse needed a full makeover, including an epic open-plan kitchen and living space, gorgeous bathroom, and spacious master bedroom – all before calving season started! The finished home is testament to impressive design, hard work, and great communication.

Before After
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For the love of a challenge

When you’re working hard outdoors all day every day, and sometimes through the night, you want to come home to relax in comfort. Homeowners Brendan and Angela knew their weathered and dated Invercargill farmhouse needed a full makeover, preferably before the frantic calving season started. 

The busy couple wanted a modern home, with increased functionality, more space, and greater connection. Reaching out to Renovation Consultant Mathew Hartigan, they invited him to the property to get a complete picture of what he’d be working with.

Mathew’s project expertise, attention to detail, and love of a challenge came together to envisage the ideal country chic design that would tick all of Brendan and Angela’s boxes. Knowing time was against them, Mathew got to work on concept and feasibility.

A smooth process

Mathew arranged for an architectural concept to be drawn up and with no feasibility issues, working drawings were created. Council consent was required for structural elements to be removed and waterproofing and tiling of the bathroom. While Brendan and Angela were mostly design-led, they did need to give up a few nice-to-haves to remain within a reasonable budget. Included in the original $357,000 quote were the kitchen, dining, living area, bathroom, toilet and master bedroom. With a stunning design, accurate costing, and tight timeline agreed on, it was time to get down to demolition. 

Last-minute extras

With a few delays at the beginning of the project, Mathew’s team of tradies, and Brendan and Angela’s electrician, were able to make up some time to get the project back on track. The scope was increased during construction to include replacing half of the weatherboards on the bottom level of the house, as well as renovating two extra bedrooms, the upstairs bathroom, and the staircase. What was a four-month project turned into a five-month project with a cost increase of $83,000.

The Refresh team managed everything from start to finish, including but not limited to all building, plumbing, electrical, exterior window and or installations, kitchen joinery installation, tiling, custom show glazing, GIB stopping, and painting. This meant Brendan and Angela could get on with running the farm.

Calving season arrived quickly and the majority of the work was completed. Brendan and Angela were able to move back into the home while Mathew and his team did the final touch-ups on the upstairs bedrooms that were added to the scope while the downstairs was being painted. 

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The perfect balance

The finished farmhouse is absolutely stunning, radiating contemporary country chic. Gone are the dysfunctional spaces – Brendon and Angela now have the epic, open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area they wanted, with a natural flow into the ample sunroom and onto the deck. The mid-tone grey bricking behind the fireplace makes a statement, while the neutral palette of the room gives the impression of added space.

The kitchen is a gorgeous modern farmhouse design, with every detail balancing the traditional with the contemporary: the repurposed wooden beam as an anchor for the pendant lights above the island and the traditionally double-wide farmhouse oven with a modern convection stovetop. Opening the new walk-in pantry door, you’re treated to a pop of colour with the brilliant yellow splashback adding an element of frivolity to a very functional space.

The bathroom is a beautiful balance of contemporary and traditional, using the same recessed-panel cabinetry and pulls as the kitchen alongside the modern vanity mirror, lighting, and floor to ceiling tiles. The double-width shower with shower heads at each end finishes the simple luxury of the room.

Final thoughts

Their Invercargill farmhouse got a stunning makeover, and Brendan and Angela got almost everything on their wishlist. A big project from the start became an even bigger project with an already tight timeline, and Mathew and the Refresh team brought it to completion with an incredible result. The design balanced contemporary and traditional with true expertise and Mathew, Brendan, and Angela couldn’t be happier. “The kitchen is amazing and came out just as we had designed it,” says Mathew.

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This project was completed in
January 2024
Project description
Full House Renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
5 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Delays and scope additions added some scheduling issues, but were overcome by a responsive team.
Interesting aspects
Double-width shower with shower heads at each end
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Mathew Hartigan is Renovation Consultant of M & H Hartigan Limited, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Invercargill.

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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