Now and forever

Period detailing was retained in this villa by the sea, while reworked spaces, a contemporary palette and modern elements make for a forever home

Designed by Hello Home Interiors

From the interior designer:

The owners are a professional couple with no children at home – they wished to modernise all aspects of their home to create a warm and comfortable place to spend their retirement.

Responding to the home's close proximity of the ocean, and with a nod to the era of the house and some of its features, we were asked to create a matching aesthetic, without being over the top or tacky. 

As part of the renovation, they wanted to create a central entertaining space ideal for gatherings while still being intimate enough for two.

The kitchen needed to be the show stopper – it was to have visual impact, function as a kitchen and dining space and incorporate a laundry, too, along with great indoor/outdoor flow. 

The original 1890s villa kitchen had an awkward layout, not conducive to modern living.


The very high stud in this villa and a desire to avoid the kitchen and living space looking like a tunnel or runway posed a few design challenges. 

To define the kitchen space and create visual impact, a timber bulkhead was designed to mount the feature pendant on and to help define the kitchen and laundry areas.

A galley-style kitchen was designed, with Hafele Concepta pocket doors on the laundry/scullery and pantry to allow an easy flow through the kitchen. 

A large bi-fold door was installed to the rear of the long space to open up to the garden. 

And a drop down dining table was integrated seamlessly into the waterfall island for the kitchen to naturally convert to a dining space.

History, character and updated palette

For this period property we retained the skirting boards, picture rails, fireplaces and sash windows – to maintain the history and character of the home, then updated the palette with modern detailing and finishes. 

A contemporary take on a classic cabinetry design met the brief, highlighted by sophisticated hardware and fittings, and the breezy muted palette is echoed throughout the house. 

Simple yet detailed curved forms create a cohesive scheme in oak shelving and custom joinery found in the hallway, bathrooms and living space.

Over a hundred years old, this house posed her fair share of wonky walls, and nothing like finding out there is a nationwide GIB shortage the day the house is stripped and gutted! 

While every surface was touched in this renovation, the design has been executed flawlessly to bring the old beauty into this century.

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Hello Home Interiors
Rusticated weatherboards to match existing
Main flooring
Unity Venture Plank by Vidaspace; Rhino Manhattan Williamsburg carpet, by Mckenzie and Willis
Bathroom tiles
Calacatta Imperial, Lumia White, Calacatta Delicato, Black Micro Hex Mosaic; Noir Laurent Lux, Epoque Noir – all from Italian Ceramics
Feature lighting
Spark 6 Light Satin Brass Opal Pendant over kitchen island, by Z Lights; Alsker Dual Arm Pendant Satin Brass Opal Pendant in lounge, by Z Lights; Bubble Saucer Pendant in White (x3) in entry/hall, from Mr Ralph; Fluid Pendant Lamp in White (x2) in main and spare bedroom, by Bauhaus; Parachilna Aballs in Gloss Black in main bathroom, by Z Lights; Opal Globe Wall Sconces in Brass in main and spare bedroom, by Mr Ralph; Vaughn wall light in Heritage Brass in wardrobe, by Hinkley
Trends International Design awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended
Kitchen manufacturer
SB Joinery
Window/door joinery
Altherm Window Systems
Bedroom flooring
Rhino Manhattan Williamsburg carpet, by Mckenzie and Willis
Resene Black White – doors, trims, ceilings, picture rail; Resene Half Milk White – above picture rails; Resene Athens Grey – kitchen/living walls; Resene Zeus – negative details + scribers; Resene Quarter Powder Blue – cabinetry and main bedroom; Resene Half Robin Egg Blue – spare bedroom; Resene Quarter Lemon Grass – study
Dining table/chairs
Custom joinery by SB Joinery and chairs by Furniture by Design
Anna Briggs

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