WORDS Patricia Moore
When you’re living in a location you love – close to schools, central to the motorway and work - why move house? If it’s about having more space for a growing family, there may be a better solution. For the homeowners of an Ellerslie property, the answer was a Refresh renovation. “We love our location. We walk everywhere, and it was significantly cheaper to renovate than to buy elsewhere,” the homeowners explained. An internal transformation became the priority and saw a bedroom added to their two-level property as well as a reinvention of the kitchen and living space.
According to Refresh Renovations Specialist Saleem Bhikoo, the original ground floor layout of the 1980’s house had the kitchen at one end of the housekeeping it disconnected from the main living area, with an under-used lounge space between. “The first part of our design brief was to create a large open plan kitchen/living/dining space that flowed seamlessly, maximising the use and enjoyment of the area for family living and entertaining friends. Adding a fourth bedroom was the other requirement,” said Saleem.
The Refresh team came up with a plan to relocate the kitchen to the centre of the house, making it the hub of all family activities, Saleem explained, “By removing a central dividing wall we created a full-size opening that gave us a large open plan area which then opened up the connection to the patio and garden.” Before the central wall could be removed, however, it was necessary to install a steel beam in the ceiling space and upgrade the foundations. The Refresh design saw bedroom number four positioned to the side of the original kitchen. It’s now a double bedroom with full-height built-in wardrobes with stacking doors, new double glazed windows, and a new heat pump.
A comprehensive renovation in a family home often sees the family relocate for the duration. In the case of this Ellerslie project, the family decided to stay put for the scheduled two months of the project; bedrooms and the bathroom are on the second level and the garage became a temporary meal prep area and basic living room. The homeowners were happy with their situation and content with the entire process. “The team were really easy to have around and they were great at cleaning up at the end of the day. We also had confidence that the house was secure,” they said.
In fact, the homeowners found the whole experience positive. “We had as much input as we wanted and Saleem’s ideas, such as making the kitchen island a bit shorter so there was plenty of space to walk into the newly-created bedroom, were great from a practical point of view. We also made a couple of late decisions around removing a door and changing the way one opened, but they both worked well and there were no problems at Saleem’s end.”
They found the Refresh process suited them perfectly. As well as regular updates from Saleem, they had a Builder Trend platform access they could log on to and keep up to date with what was happening every day.
The highlight of the project is the new kitchen with its large island and stylish Dezignatek cabinetry in soft matt black. This frames a newly installed wide-opening sliding window accentuated by a surround of glass mosaic tiles. The sophisticated look is completed with polished Prime Stone engineered stone bench tops in the recently released Pukekawa, a subtle shade of grey.
Initially planned for $100,000, an increase in the scope of work meant the actual budget grew to around $128,000. Saleem says this included the installation of two new windows, an increase in the size of the area carpeted, and the upgrade of lighting throughout the house. “The completed renovation has created a dramatic and positive change both functionally and aesthetically for the family, the new layout and fittings have also been very positively received by their family and friends.”
Indeed, the family too are delighted with their modern, light-filled open plan space. “We love it – and it feels as if it should always have been this way.”
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