Revitalising an Ex-State House for Modern Living in Lower Hutt, Wellington

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This renovation has beautifully created a modern interpretation of the 30s home.

This renovation has beautifully created a modern interpretation of the 30s home.

Before After
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Conceptualising the Future 

This 1930s ex-state house boasts French-style windows and a charming exterior; however, as decades had gone by, the interiors became unsuitable for modern-day living. 
Before this property’s renovation, the layout was confusing, and the design was dated. Homeowner Katy was determined to drag it out of the 30s and into the present. She planned to upgrade the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and create an outdoor living area. 
Katy approached Renovation Partner Steve Wang with half-completed architecture plans. Steve then introduced her to Project Manager Rosie Reid who walked her through the entire process from completing the unfinished plans to undertaking construction. 
The cost to transform the home came in at $260,000. And after a short three months, all construction was completed. The property now has a new lease on life, revitalised with an upgraded layout, fresh interiors, and a new deck.

A Modern Kitchen with Character

Previously, the kitchen was cramped in the room’s corner, didn’t make use of the space available, and wasn’t suited to modern living. Now, upon entering the room, you’re struck by its openness. The kitchen spans the length of the back wall, allowing plentiful cabinetry for storage and optimal bench space for cooking. 
The statement tiled splashback takes centre stage, featuring ornamental patterns in neutral colours that pair beautifully with the fresh interiors – the cabinetry in particular. Katy made a subtle nod to the kitchen’s original design by selecting a similar pale blue finish for the cabinetry. 
In contrast, new appliances have been integrated for the perfect blend of old and new. The kitchen is now kitted out with a new oven, dishwasher, stove, and rangehood. Stainless steel handles and timber shelves make charming final additions to the kitchen, retaining the property’s old-school soul.

Refreshed Interiors 

Refreshing the property’s interiors played a pivotal role in taking Katy’s home from outdated to updated. But it also created the opportunity to make a cohesive interior design.
The bathroom does a great job of continuing the kitchen’s colour scheme into its design while maintaining a modern look. Notable features include the light-toned flooring and playful turquoise tiling. Meanwhile, the new shower, floating vanity, and circular mirror finish the space with a touch of sophistication.
The laundry also received a significant upgrade, as the untouched room was outdated and not making full use of the available space. The new laundry is now positioned in a nook concealed behind large sliding doors — cleverly hiding in plain sight. 

Breezy Outdoor Living

The ex-state house didn’t have a specific area for outdoor living, and there was no transition from indoors to outdoors. What Katy wanted most was a place to soak up the sun, and the deck offers precisely that. 
Large bi-folding doors now extend the home’s living room outside to the generously sized deck, which also continues the enhanced flow via stairs leading down to the backyard. Ticking every box, the deck is purpose-built for Katy to make the most of her property. 

Ex-state House Turned Modern Home

This renovation has beautifully created a modern interpretation of the 30s home. And it’s the restructured kitchen that’s undoubtedly the most remarkable improvement. 
With new cabinetry spanning the room’s length, the new kitchen makes the most of its space. Decked out with a fresh colour scheme (cleverly keeping the original kitchen’s pale blue) and upgraded appliances, it’s a beautiful balance of old and new.
Keeping with the kitchen’s style, the new bathroom boasts upgraded fixtures and brings in character through colour. Meanwhile, the laundry is tucked away in a concealed nook for a minimalist approach. And to complete the transformation, the new bi-fold doors and deck seamlessly extend the home’s living area outside for a cosy place to lounge in the sun. 
Both Katy (the homeowner) and Rosie (the Project Manager) are thrilled with the outcome. This full house renovation has entirely improved the property’s functionality and style, bringing it into the 21st century while keeping the better parts of its original design.

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This project was completed in
August 2021
Project description
Full house renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
3 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Interesting aspects
The teal tiling and exposed timber materials, used in both the kitchen and bathroom for continuity of design.
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Steve Wang is Renovation Consultant of Passionmate Renovations Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Wellington.

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