Seeing is believing

This dramatic lakeside house is an unrecognisable version of the original, thanks to an extensive renovation by Don Nelson Architecture
Grand entrance to this home with floor tiles, apartment, ceiling, estate, floor, flooring, hall, hardwood, interior design, lobby, property, real estate, wood flooring, brown
Grand entrance to this home with floor tiles, columns, stairway, with view through glass doors to dining room and lake views beyond.

Before and after pictures demonstrate just how much a home can be transformed by a great renovation. And, in the case of this project, they provide proof that no matter what style of house you have, you can make drastic changes for the better.

The lakeside house, originally a 1950s brick-and-tile bungalow with basement garaging, was extensively remodelled by Don Nelson Architecture.

Don Nelson says the owners wanted a more spacious, contemporary home that would have a much better connection with the lake, in terms of both the view and indoor-outdoor flow.

Nelson created a new formal entrance lobby, where circular columns flank a void and direct the eye to the view beyond.

Large curved staircase with wooden steps linking three ceiling, floor, flooring, hardwood, orange, product design, wood, orange
Large curved staircase with wooden steps linking three floors, with cream floor tiles on two levels.

The original kitchen was dismantled and the house extended to create a new, larger kitchen. The dining and family living area was also remodelled and now opens out through bifold doors to a large deck. Curved outdoor stairs link the deck with the pool terrace.

"The main floor of the existing house was typical of its era, but the rooms were very small," Nelson says. "The three bedrooms were reconfigured to create two large bedrooms and a main bathroom. We also added a new top floor to accommodate a master bedroom, ensuite and large, walk-in wardrobe. This bedroom opens to a tiled deck with views over the pool and garden to the lake."

The original basement now houses new bedrooms and a lounge-games room.

"With its modern Mediterranean look, the house looks very different from both the street and the lakefront," says Nelson. "It is also far more liveable."

Entranceway to house with bright-lit formal look, and architecture, building, estate, facade, hacienda, home, house, lighting, property, real estate, black
Entranceway to house with bright-lit formal look, and circular columns.

Don Nelson Architecture undertakes new home and renovation design commissions throughout New Zealand, Queensland and Rarotonga.

To contact Don Nelson Architecture, phone 0800 Don Nelson (366 635) or (09) 486 4698. Email: Website:

Oct 30, 2010
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