When Catherine and Richard bought their Lake Road home, they knew it was a doer-upper in a prime location. See how Refresh Renovations Specialist Saleem Bhikoo materialised their dreams of living in a modern and spacious home with a ton of character.
With its coastal views and beachside location in the heart of the Auckland suburb of Takapuna, Catherine and Richard’s Lake Road home is in a prime location. They knew it was a doer-upper. There were obvious signs of movement, interior/exterior damage and outdated historical alterations. As busy professionals with two school-age children, they wanted to create an open and modern living environment, where family life would pivot around the kitchen and living areas downstairs while warm, welcoming private spaces waited upstairs. “We needed a full renovation and modernization,” says Catherine, “to a high standard, but keeping within the footprint to minimise council requirements.”
After having first experienced poor service from another building company, the couple needed a professional they could trust. When Refresh project manager Saleem Bhikoo and his team came on board they worked closely with Catherine and Richard through every stage of the design and build process to achieve the results they had set their hearts on.
Following consent approvals, the family moved out and a full interior demolition began in July. “The timeline for the work was 6 months,” says Saleem, “Our clients were very keen to be back in before Christmas.” The demo revealed some unexpected structural issues. Several sections of the home needed to be rebuilt to meet the current building code. New foundation work was essential to carry the load of seven new structural beams that were required to strengthen the three-story house.
The ground floor was re-designed and transformed to include a modern living space, with better connections to the kitchen and dining areas. An extra-wide portal with French doors was created to open up the kitchen and living room. A new media room, pre-wired for entertainment, guest bedroom and modern bathroom with a concealed laundry completed the lower floor. Saleem made the process of choosing fixtures and fittings easy. “He gave us options and plenty of time to make decisions,” says Catherine, “He also provided sound advice on where to spend money to get the best effect.”
Catherine was thrilled by the way Saleem’s specialists interpreted her explanations and “very poor sketching” to achieve her personalized touches like the black steel floating shelves; a long stainless steel benchtop with solid oak feature breakfast bar that echoes the solid oak floors connecting all the living areas. Catherine's custom-made wall display unit is a highlight of the dining zone while built-in cabinetry including corner window seating in the dining room and a day-bed the living room bay window, make the most of the northern light.
The entrance hallway has been revamped from a dark, cramp and uninviting to a bright and airy space. A new handcrafted stairway with bespoke white balustrade and polished Rimu handrail frames the ascent to the three family bedrooms. Upstairs an existing double bedroom and bathroom were repurposed to create a new super-sized master walk-in wardrobe and master ensuite with double basin vanity, walk-in frameless glass shower and a free-standing bath. Extra-large timber-framed stacking windows in the generous master suite, push back to make the most of the commanding views over the sparkling Waitemata Harbour out to Rangitoto Island beyond.
On the landing, a main shared bathroom, with frameless glass shower, detailed with stunning black mosaic tiles adds a buffer between the children’s and parents rooms. Built-in sliding wardrobes were fitted in both of the children’s bedrooms and the paint colours for their bedroom walls were chosen by each of them. All the bedrooms and media room are carpeted for extra comfort.
Catherine believes that one of the reasons the project met the tight schedule was because “…We didn't agonize on decisions. We gave Saleem a high-level idea of what we wanted. He presented three or four options that met the brief then we choose from them. We were grateful for the advice and guidance, after all, that's what we were paying for.”
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