Restoring a grand homestead to its former glory is not just a labor of love it's also a challenge, requiring an innovative approach to problem-solving.
As well as sourcing replacement materials for obsolete items, there is also a need to incorporate modern amenities, without detracting from the heritage elements of the home.
For Greg and Julie Leniston, theowners of Otahuna Lodge in New Zealand, there was no question of compromise. When planning the conversion of their historic 1895 homestead into a working lodge, maintaining its heritage was an absolute priority.
"The house was built for Sir Heaton Rhodes, one of the pioneers of the Canterbury region, and is an excellent example of the arts-and-crafts style," says Greg Leniston. "Fortunately, the house has survived the years reasonably intact, thanks to earlier restorations."
Leniston says, apart from some painting and replacing slate tiles on the roof, most of the latest restoration work involved the interior.
Underfloor heating and sprinkler systems were already in place, but the house also needed internal fire walls to enable the owners to operate as a commercial lodge. Sandwiching insulating materials between existing walls was a way to provide this protection.
More decorative restoration work was undertaken on the extensive kauri and rimu wood panelling and mouldings in the grand entrance hall. Leniston says matching some of the interior woodwork was a major challenge.