Karori Kitchen Gets Contemporary Makeover in the Capital

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Kitchen with timber accents

This 1960s Karori property needed a new vision to bring it up to date and make it the stylish and modern retreat the owners dreamed of. Open plan living with the unique addition of shoji doors, a minimalist kitchen, and a laundry overhaul transformed the property into a contemporary showstopper.

Before After
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Kitchen Renovations Wellington : Ready to Renovate?

Helen and Brett were looking for the right recipe to transform their cramped and cluttered kitchen into a modern cooking space that would unleash their culinary creativity! Despite being two storeys, their Karori home felt smaller than it really was, so they knew an open plan kitchen, dining, and living area was the key to making things feel more spacious and would also offer a clean and contemporary design.

The couple contacted their local Refresh Consultant Lia Boersma for some friendly advice. Lia arranged a free consultation to discuss their renovation goals and to explain how, as an experienced Refresh project manager, she could deliver their renovation on time, on budget, and with exceptional results. Having the renovation managed from design right through to delivery was the ideal scenario for the busy couple – Lia would take care of all the little details so they could enjoy a stress-free renovation!

Designing a Contemporary Concept

Lia got to work translating Helen and Brett’s renovation goals into a fantastic concept that provided a more functional and balanced layout for family living. The couple had initially considered deck and conservatory options but after workshopping with the design team, they decided to focus on the interior of the home to stay within their budget. And while the renovation was budget led, investing in quality fixtures and fittings was also a priority as were unique style choices. 

 Lia’s design team created a concept for a large open plan kitchen, dining, and living area, with shoji style doors that could open to reveal yet another cosy lounge area with the original fireplace. The doors would not only be a stylish feature but provide them with options for opening and closing the space as needed. The kitchen itself would boast a beautiful blend of stone and wood finishes, while new skylights and windows would flood the space with natural light. There was also room in the budget for a complete laundry renovation, which goes a long way toward making a repetitive chore that much more enjoyable!

Demolition and Build

Once Helen and Brett were happy with the working plans and budget, Lia’s team could begin the exciting transformation. Large renovations require a large working crew, from demolition, waste removal, and carpentry, to plumbing, wall framing, and electrical work. Additional professionals were also needed for safe asbestos removal, which unfortunately did affect the final cost but was a necessary step. Lia also took care of the necessary council consent applications on behalf of Helen and Brett as part of her complete end-to-end project management service.

As internal walls were removed and the old kitchen gutted, the new home footprint began to take shape. New skylights bathed the open space in a beautiful natural light, while the neutral colour scheme added to the light and bright feel. New glass sliding doors and large format windows were also installed. In the laundry, cupboards and a working bench top with sink were installed as well as a new space saving front loading washer and dryer. 

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Checkout our kitchen renovations in Wellington

Contemporary Transformation

Helen and Brett’s renovation was so transformative that it’s hard to believe they are even living in the same house! The kitchen is a showstopper, combining stone, wood, and brass finishes with stunning results. The large island doubles as a handy breakfast bar and is also great while entertaining. Another favourite feature is the brass pendant light over the island which - despite its minimalist appearance - provides a stylish feature and talking point. 

Vinyl wood plank flooring running from the kitchen and dining space through the living area creates cohesion between the spaces, while huge windows and sliding doors throughout are almost features in themselves. The custom-made shoji doors with brass architectural hardware are another key design element that inject unique style into the space.

Are you ready to renovate your kitchen with Refresh Renovations Wellington? Checkout our kitchen renovation service page now!

Final Words   

Helen and Brett’s renovation is a masterclass in clean, contemporary lines and spacious, open plan living. The dated and closed design was completely transformed into a beautiful, calming, and spacious family hub that champions refined style and high-end finishes. The couple were absolutely thrilled with the result, and as project manager, Lia also loves the outcome. “Finishes can have a great impact on any design and make a space stand out. This was certainly the case with Helen and Brett’s home, and the result is striking in its simplicity.” 

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
October 2023
Project description
Kitchen and Laundry Renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
4 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
$297,000 due to variations and unexpected additional asbestos discovery.
Builders team hit by COVID; asbestos discovery.
Interesting aspects
Shoji doors with architectural brass hardware.
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Lia Boersma is a Renovation Consultant of Silkworm 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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