Diary of a renovation: Volume one

Ever wondered what the process of renovating is like for a designer? So did we – so we asked Katie Scott from Stick+Stone Design to tell us about her experience with her own villa renovation

Story by: Katie Scott, Stick+Stone Design

Falling in love with a villa is the easy part. Making it a modified home is the hard part, especially when the back is falling down a hill!

As a designer, helping clients with their renovations is a big part of our job. Often it's a renovation for a bungalow or villa of a similar era to our own Ponsonby project. So, I know this house has its issues – huge movement cracks at the back and a sagging ceiling – but it’s the picturesque front we fell in love with, the tree lined street – the villa dream.


It began with a great team of builders and tradies I've known from my years of design and project managing. I’m happy – really happy – with my team. However, I’m sure this is going to test our professional relationship, as it's now on a personal level. I already love this house and I can’t wait to see what we can do with it.

Week one

Back deck comes off... tick ✔️

Realisation that the whole back lean-to is floating in the air so we now need to re-pile (not good news)... tick ✔️

Fireplace is in good nick... tick ✔️

The roof has leaked in the past, so the ceilings all need fixing (also not good news). All of the glass is old and thin, so we decide to re-glaze all windows for insulation and safety (budget starts to grow). Walls in the bathroom are too wonky for the large tiles I want, so that has to be all made level (add that to the budget).

All in all, the first week was just our budget skyrocketing with things we have no choice but to fix, things that just disappear into the walls and floor and don’t contribute to the look of the space. So more money was spent on wine Friday to help deal with this – weekly budget totally blown! 

The things that make me excited and happy are envisioning the finished product and that the plans I have for the bathroom are ones I’ve wanted for a long time! Brass, moody grey stone and my cherished feature lights are all ordered and ready to go for when my walls are straight and ready for them. 

This is what I need to focus on, not the negative (although hard not to), most mornings when meeting the builders for the daily chat. But this is what we have to do to get a finished result we will be proud of – even if it comes with a few grey hairs! And more cask wine.

I can’t wait for next week!

To know more about Katie Scott's work visit Stick+Stone Design

Mar 13, 2019
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