Stylish by the Seaside: Home Renovation in Hawke’s Bay

Gold People Choice Award BadgeSilver People Choice Award BadgeBronze People Choice Award Badge
Open plan kitchen and living room

More space, light, and function were the goals when renovating this cosy Hawke’s Bay seaside cottage. Paying tribute to the property’s history the homeowners worked with Refresh to create a stunning coastal retreat.

Before After
No items found.

A Vision With a View

Having recently moved into their cosy cottage by the sea, homeowners Karen and Bruce knew just what they needed to do to modernise their home.

Taking inspiration from their stunning coastal views and understanding the concept of form and function from previous renovations, Karen and Bruce got to work gathering examples and laying out their plans. These included creating more storage in the master bedroom, creating a bigger ensuite, moving the laundry and making it more functional, updating the main bathroom, and creating more light in the lounge with skylights. 

The pair reached out to a few renovation companies, but it was Renovation Consultant Sophia Roydhouse-Ross and Project Manager Mike Ross who closed the deal with their valuable bathroom and skylight experience. 

Concepts and costings

With Karen and Bruce having a good idea of how they wanted to change each area of their home, Sophia’s architect worked with them to create the concept plans. Understanding her clients were budget-led meant Sophia also acquired a quantity surveyor’s report for added peace of mind with costing accuracy. The overall cost of the project came in higher than hoped, so Sophia worked to remove one or two aspects of the renovation that could be completed later.

With the project scheduled to be completed in 12 weeks, Karen and Bruce had opted to remain on the property with their two dogs during this time, staying in the sleepout. Sophia and Mike were able to provide a portaloo and portable shower to make their stay a little more comfortable, but even so, the couple were keen to see construction completed!

Uncovering a few surprises

Construction began and Sophia and Mike managed a long list of tradespeople and suppliers, from start to finish. These included builders, electricians, plumbers, plasterers, painters, roofers, tilers, carpet layers, and glaziers. Due to the character of the cottage, special attention to various features was given throughout the renovation.

In the lounge room, the skylights required a significant beam to be installed across the lounge room, so the team removed the character timber panelling for the renovation to prevent any damage and reinstalled it once work was complete.

This cosy little cottage has had multiple renovations and additions over the years, which presented some problems once discovered in the construction stage. Sophia and Mike found that several internal walls were original external walls – with windows and panes still present and simply Gibbed over!

Professionalism and expertise overcame these quirky discoveries, and the project was completed close to the 12-week timeframe. Sophia credits the great weather with allowing the skylights, roofing work, plastering, and waterproofing to surge ahead unhindered. With only minor tasks still to complete, Karen and Bruce were able to move back into their home. And what a home it has become!

No items found.

Contemporary yet full of character

Karen and Bruce’s planning alongside Sophia and Mike’s expert guidance paid off, with a beautiful home renovation that is modern yet full of character. The colour palette throughout the home enhances the coastal position of the property and emphasises its stunning sea views. Bright whites, soft greys, calm blues, natural wood, and silver hardware work together to bring the outdoors in.

Karen and Bruce cleverly kept the original character of the home by retaining the timber panelling and stained-glass doors. Choosing fixtures and fittings carefully, Karen has brought the style of the wooden panelling from the lounge through into the ensuite and main bathroom, creating an easy flow through the rooms. Add to this a fully functional laundry room and the result is a renovation to be proud of.

Final thoughts

Paying tribute to the history of this cosy seaside cottage, while bringing it into the 2020s has created a stunning coastal retreat. By really listening to Karen and Bruce and taking their time through the planning process, Sophia and Mike used their knowledge and expertise to work through the quirks and challenges of a character home to deliver exactly what the homeowners were after. 

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
January 2024
Project description
Home Renovation
Hawkes Bay
New Zealand
Project duration
12 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Previous renovations turned external walls into internal, but left the windows in place.
Interesting aspects
Share to

Sophia Roydhouse-Ross is Renovation Consultant of RNR Renovations Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Hawkes Bay.

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

Talk to a renovation consultant today

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.

Get in touch
No items found.