Kitchen and Bathroom Renovation Restores Life in this 1970s Manurewa Home

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Kitchen with soft downlighting

When an initial facelift escalated to a full remodel of this 1970s Manurewa home, the owners made the most of the opportunity and engaged Refresh Renovations Manukau to transform their kitchen, bathroom, and laundry, breathing new life into this traditional Kiwi property.

Before After
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Living in the neighbourhood they’d grown up in, the owners of this traditional 1970s Kiwi home didn’t want to move, but their property was dated and in need of an upgrade. Making the decision to renovate so they could put their own stamp on the home whilst staying true to its origin. The homeowners already had designs and working drawings created, however, 12 months passed and their grand plans to switch the layout of the home’s two floors were reconsidered in favour of renovating existing spaces so as not to over-capitalise on their home. Becki Binedell, Refresh Renovations Manukau Project Manager was on hand to help.

A Focused Renovation

Having come full circle on their renovation plans, the homeowners had decided to focus on updating the bathroom, laundry and foyer downstairs, and redesigning the kitchen upstairs. As well as improving aesthetics, they also wanted some structural changes deciding to remove the deck over their carport and replace some of the home’s joinery.

Originally conceived as a more ambitious renovation, the initial plans required a thorough review by Becki to ensure their suitability for the homeowners' revised budget. While design remained a priority, they had a specific financial limit in mind. Despite encountering challenges, Becki's skilful management kept the final cost within $15,000 of their target.

Renovation Challenges Create Opportunities

Upgrading the upstairs kitchen began with the demolition of the existing one. All went to plan, but once the demolition was complete, the homeowners saw an opportunity to widen the kitchen doorway. Quickly completed by Becki’s build team, this change in plans had a knock-on effect on the kitchen’s cabinetry measurements. Fortunately, the kitchen supplier was able to adapt the design to fit the new wall size. 

Meanwhile, a curveball: the feature tiles chosen for the kitchen, laundry, bathroom, and foyer were out of stock and unavailable until after Christmas, long after the project was due to be completed. Becki collaborated with the homeowners to explore alternatives, ultimately selecting a similar, smaller-patterned tile that delivers a striking finish.

A final hurdle arose when the waterproofing product wouldn’t stick to the exposed subfloor. Becki promptly arranged for a concrete densifier to be poured over the top and after two layers they were back in business, albeit after a slight delay to the schedule but getting the project back on track

Such challenges and delays are what every Project Manager wants to steer clear of.  However, when they arise, clear communication is key. Becki kept the homeowners fully informed at every stage of the process, providing regular updates and ensuring the homeowners knew exactly what the issues were and how they were being addressed.  

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A Contemporary Kitchen with a Retro Style

From the outset, the homeowners knew they wanted to put a stamp on this home while retaining its 1970s vibe. Nowhere has this been achieved better than in the kitchen. Sleek white cupboards with monochrome handles give a Scandinavian feel to the space while allowing the chosen patterned tiles to evoke a sense of the home’s original era, a feature Becki loves.

“I really love the tiles that the client ended up using. They create an amazing impact in each of the spaces they’re in. Using them throughout the upstairs and downstairs areas of the house has also helped to bring the spaces together.” – Becki Binedell, Project Manager, Refresh Renovations Manukau.

As well as stunning visual design the kitchen has been improved structurally too. At the beginning of the renovation, the hot water cupboard was taking up valuable kitchen real estate. Seeing an opportunity for expansion, Becki relocated the hot water cupboard to the garage. This change enabled the homeowner to gain additional cabinetry space in the kitchen, including an impressive wine rack, an ideal finishing touch for this entertainer’s kitchen.

Where Style Meets Function

When it comes to updating functional spaces, such as a bathroom and laundry, many renovations can err more on the presentation than the practical. Becki worked with the homeowners to bring through a fresh take on these spaces. The bathroom’s floating vanity with tile splashback paired nicely with the wooden shelving and bench space in the laundry ensuring a cohesive design throughout. The finished bathroom is stunning while also ticking every practicality box.

Sliding in a new feature

A standout feature of this renovation is the sliding glass door between the kitchen and the living space.

“The clients now have the flexibility to separate the kitchen from the lounge whilst maintaining a sense of openness. The additional light also helps to enhance the feeling of spaciousness in both areas. ” Becki Binedell, Project Manager, Refresh Renovations Manukau

The majority of this project was completed over a period of 11 weeks in the lead-up to Christmas, ensuring the homeowners had a beautifully transformed home with their own style stamped on it.

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This project was completed in
April 2024
Project description
Home Renovation
Manukau & Eastern Bays
New Zealand
Project duration
11 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
$210,000 (to include extended scope of work)
Extended scope of work required slight design alterations.
Interesting aspects
Internal sliding door into the kitchen
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Becki Binedell is a Renovation Consultant of Yellow Pepper Limited, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Manukau and Eastern Bays.

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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