This renovation of a 1930s stucco cottage has opened up the interior to provide a spacious, character-filled home

View of a living area, couches, coffee table, ceiling, home, interior design, living room, real estate, room, orange, brown
View of a living area, couches, coffee table, carpeted flooring, lighting, windows.

A great interior makeover is all about perfect vision being able to see beyond four walls to create the ideal living space.

When designer Andy Coltart first viewed this 1930s house, he could see it had plenty of potential. With its pebble-dash stucco exterior and solid wood joinery, it had good bones, he says.

"It also had a slight plantation house feel and an integrity that was appealing."

However, the condition of the house left much to be desired. The roof needed replacing, the basement was damp and the interior was comprised of many small, dark-timbered rooms.

Coltart says the entire layout of the house was changed to provide a much more open, flowing interior. A bedroom was sacrificed to create a spacious, 1.9m-wide hallway, which forms a strong axis through the house. The hallway runs from the family living area at one end to a small veranda that frames a view of Auckland's Sky Tower.

View of bathroom, vanity, basin, shower enclosure, toilet, bathroom, ceiling, home, interior design, plumbing fixture, room, gray, brown
View of bathroom, vanity, basin, shower enclosure, toilet, recessed lighting, tiled flooring.

"In terms of space, the wide hall is extravagant, but to be less generous would have compromised the look and feel."

Several small rooms were removed to provide the large kitchen, dining and living area. The architect also replaced the existing low ceilings, installing new beams that follow the roof line.

"Irrespective of the sun and outlook, houses in the '30s were invariably built to face the street," says Coltart. "We changed the focus so the living area could open to a sunny, private courtyard at the rear."

French doors between the living area and hallway ensure a visual connection is retained with the rest of the house.

Interior designer Jen Pack designed a country-style interior. This not only suited the owner's preference, it was also an appropriate look for the house.

View of kitchen prior to renovations. countertop, home, kitchen, property, real estate, room, window, white, gray
View of kitchen prior to renovations.

Aalto country colours were used throughout the interior. In the main living area, these earth tones are paired with bleached wood floors and sisal matting. A new gas fireplace features a semi-industrial surround of Hebel panels, which are made from a mix of rock-coated concrete and pumice.

To enhance the country look, most rooms feature dark-stained wood blinds, which contrast the off-white painted joinery. The blinds, and a corner bay window seating area, are defining features of a sunroom that serves as a second living area.

The contrasting textures that enliven the living areas are also in evidence in the master bedroom, which has sisal matting and a large hide rug.

Credit list

Architectural drawings
Graham Bull
Bernsten Construction
Timber Shade Blinds
Floor and wall tiles
Sisal from Natural Collections
Fabbian Lighting
Jen Pack Decorator
Coffee table
Becara from Cavit & Co
Splashback, bar top and bathroom vanity
Interior designer
Jen Pack, Jen Pack Decorator
Kitchen manufacturer
Andy Coltart Design
Doors and windows
Napier Joinery
Wood floor
Elm supplied by Andy Coltart and treated by CTC Flooring
Aalto Colour; Resene
Sofa and chair fabric
Dominique Keiffer
Sculpture over fireplace
Ray Haydon
Polished stainless steel; oak
Fisher & Paykel
Cox gooseneck from LG Carder

Story by: Colleen Hawkes

03 Jun, 2009

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