Outstanding Open Plan: Home Renovation in Palmerston North, Manawatu

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Kitchen with orange accents

With family in mind, the owner of this 1980s two-storey property in Palmerston North decided to treat the ground floor to an extensive renovation, creating an outstanding open-plan space while retaining the home’s character.

Before After
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Enhanced liveability was the goal when Alastair decided to renovate his Palmerston North home, which was becoming more dated as time went on. Alastair knew that in order to accommodate his cherished family for years to come, their 1980s home would require some serious updating.

Situated in a picturesque suburb of the Manawatū city, and surrounded by beautiful houses, Alastair decided it was time to renovate his home to a standard that not only fitted the property’s location, but also the needs of his family. 

The wishlist was thorough and extensive. Alastair wanted to create an open plan living space with flow from kitchen, dining, and living through to the patio, while also opening up the laundry and creating a scullery. He also wanted to renovate the upstairs bathroom and erect a pergola.

Having previously used local builders on smaller jobs, Alastair wanted a single point of contact to manage this substantial renovation, and so he reached out to Team Manawatū Project Manager Zoe Blease to build his dream house renovation.

High-end compromise

Alastair had done his homework and was very well-researched when it came to the result he envisioned - high-end fittings and next-level ventilation and extraction systems. Embarking on the concept and feasibility stage, Zoe had good and not-so-good news. The $200,000 budget would not extend to the pergola or the upstairs bathroom, but it would deliver an outstanding downstairs makeover, including a small extension. Alastair was able to keep most of his high-end fittings, including the down-draft induction hob to make the most of space in the kitchen.

With the home being multi-storeyed, there was some technical work required to open up the space. Zoe enlisted Vision Architecture to provide working drawings to ensure every detail was up to standard. Due to the small extension and use of support beams, wall removal, and addition of a door, council consent was required. Team Manawatū Renovation Consultant, Wayne Gordon handled all parts of this process, and kept Alastair and his family well-informed at every step.

With drawings and costings signed off, the only thing left to do was renovate!

Construction begins

Zoe oversaw the construction stage, managing all contractors, schedules, and potential challenges. With builders, painters, electricians, plumbers, plasterers, joiners, and tilers to coordinate, having a single point of contact to organise all these moving parts was invaluable.

The only challenge that arose throughout the substantial renovation was a council delay around the support beams. Zoe ensured Alastair was fully informed about the delay and of progress as they reached a solution with council.

Even without a completion date specified by the client, Zoe was aware of the inconvenience of living with a renovation. With the council delay, construction lasted four months – a reasonable result on such a large project.

Modern kitchen renovation with glass cooktop and sleek sink
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Sophistication in the sun

Being very well researched and taking a lot of care in decision-making, Alastair took his time throughout the process to ensure he was happy with his decisions – and happy he is.

In an outstanding result, this 1980s family home has been given a new lease of life with easy open flow between areas and out onto the patio. Sunlight has been taken advantage of throughout the downstairs space, with interesting and unique angles and shapes retaining the style of the original home.

The use of shape in the renovation emphasises the character of the home. From the cutout feature in the entryway repeating between the dining and living areas, the timber skirting outlining the patio windows and doors in a T shape, and the hexagonal footprint of the dining area, there is a special nod to 1980s architectural style.

Moving into the kitchen, the pop of the backsplash is both playful and sophisticated. Surrounded by recessed cabinetry, glass cupboard doors, and burnished pulls, the overall feeling is contemporary country – which aligns perfectly with the garden view through the kitchen’s feature window.

The down-draft induction hob takes pride of place on the kitchen bench, working efficiently across both form and function, while the cleverly-placed scullery and discreet-yet-spacious laundry round off the impressive renovation nicely.

Collaboration is key

This outstanding renovation couldn’t have been achieved without the collaboration between Zoe, Wayne, and Alastair. The importance of client research in decision-making and being able to trust an expert to manage the process from consultation to completion are the key takeaways from this project. 

Zoe emphasises the value of having collaborative trades and design specialist meetings on site to overcome technical challenges. “We worked very closely with our trades and designer to be able to achieve our client’s vision,” she says. 

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This project was completed in
November 2023
Project description
Ground Floor and Kitchen Renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
Four months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Extended delay while awaiting council consent
Interesting aspects
Downdraft induction hob to make the most of overhead space in the kitchen
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Zoe Blease is a Project Manager of Radian Group Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Manawatu.

Wayne Gordon is a Director, Operations Manager & Renovation Consultant of Radian Group Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Manawatu.

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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Modern kitchen renovation with glass cooktop and sleek sink
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