Kitchen, Bathroom & Laundry Get a Modern Touch in Lower Hutt, Wellington

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A considered design achieves a luxe refresh while retaining the most charming elements of this home’s 1970’s character.

Before After

Much-Needed Direction

Located in the leafy outskirts of Lower Hutt, Clinton’s 1970s Wellington home needed a major kitchen, bathroom and laundry renovation. The layout of the kitchen and bathroom weren’t practical and many of the original fittings were starting to break and fail. Improving the flow of the house by removing some walls was also on Clinton’s wishlist, as was adding an ensuite, but he had no idea of the cost or where to begin. 
After meeting with Refresh Renovation Consultant Steve Wang and Project Manager Rosie Reid, Clinton felt comfortable with the Refresh process and was willing to progress the project. 

Understanding the Process

During their initial consultation with Clinton, Steve and Rosie gained a thorough understanding of what he wanted to achieve.
Moving to the concept and feasibility stage of the Refresh process enabled Steve and Rosie to present more specific plans for the project. These incorporated Clinton’s desire for better flow within the home along with the retention of key features of the existing interior, such as the exposed ceiling beams.
With all the desired elements of the project taken into account, an initial budget of $260,000 was confirmed.
Once their application for building consent for the structural changes was approved, Steve and Rosie called upon their network of professional tradespeople. Removing internal walls achieved an open-plan kitchen and living area. They also adjusted the layout of the laundry, bathroom and, most crucially, the master bedroom, which enabled the addition of an ensuite. 

Spaces to Relax

With Steve and Rosie at the helm, this home has been taken out of the 1970s and into the 21st century. The bathroom’s yellowish cream walls have been replaced with beautiful, duck egg blue subway tiles that create a restful feature wall, enhancing the appeal of an inviting soaker tub. A pastel blue, above-counter marble basin adds a luxurious finish to the bathroom space. 
The bathroom’s blue tiles also reflect certain features of the living areas – the cabinetry in the kitchen, entranceway, and laundry is a matte teal, offering unity between the rooms. 
In the master bedroom, room has been made for the addition of an ensuite, giving the home’s main bedroom a grander feel.

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A New Lease On Life

Open-plan living is the hallmark of modern design, and Clinton’s home now has it in spades. Gone is the cramped corner kitchen with garish brown features harking back to the 70s; in their place is sleek cabinetry offering an abundance of storage, a marble-topped island providing plenty of prepping space, and hanging strip lighting complementing the natural light from the kitchen’s benchtop windows.
Devon Patterson Flooring vinyl planks have been laid in both the kitchen and living area, providing continuity between the two spaces in this newly created open-plan design. Up above, exposed ceiling beams painted white brighten up this central living area, enabling custom-built open shelving displaying family photographs, books, and keepsakes, to take centre stage.

A Contemporary Design

Another striking feature of the renovation is the addition of a barn-style, wooden sliding door, separating the kitchen from the upgraded laundry. 
But not everything from the 70s is lost. Clinton has paid homage to the home’s original era in the form of a full length, stained glass window. The previously dated-looking red-flower patterned window has been given a new lease of life and in its newly renovated modern surrounds, now boasts a timeless, vintage look.

Leftover Budget

Whilst many homeowners struggle to keep to their original budget when renovating, the Refresh process paints a more accurate idea of finances, right from the start. There’s no nasty surprises or unexpected bills that turn up months down the track! 
While Steve estimated the cost of the initial project to be $260,000, the renovation wrapped up in three months after just $250,000 was spent. With the extra $10,000, Clinton was able to splurge on upmarket appliances and fittings. A total win-win. 

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Project description
Upgrade of kitchen, bathroom and laundry, and addition of ensuite
Location
Wellington
New Zealand
Client
Time
June 2022
Project duration
3 months
Cost estimate
$260,000
Actual cost
$250,000
Challenges
Asbestos flooring under the carpet and some undersized framing due to the age of the house.
Interesting aspects
The barn-style sliding door separating the kitchen and lounge.
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Steve Wang is Renovation Consultant of Passionmate Renovations Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Wellington.

Costs are accurate at the time of publication. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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