Words | Stephanie Matheson
Images | Scott Espie
Project | Kim Reiche of Refresh Renovations
Divine interior and stylistic renovations from Kim Reiche at Refresh Renovations
A clever renovation project in three phases transforms a 100-year old villa into a fresh and functional family home while at the same time retaining its old world charm.
Set on a beautiful lifestyle block in Karaka, the villa had been modernised in previous years, but it needed several significant upgrades to truly allow it to match the life and style Kate and Hamish were after. They wanted to open the kitchen and dining areas up and incorporate an old storeroom as a fully contained scullery. Other priorities included improving the general flow of the home, opening up views to the exterior with its magnificent pool area, incorporating the view and more natural light in the bedrooms and developing the deck to incorporate a covered area – all while respecting the vintage of the house.
Renovation specialist Kim Reiche of Refresh Renovations explains: “This was a complex property, however, the clients see this as their long-term home which has allowed us to look at the design and detailing from a holistic point of view.” The downstairs area became phase one. Phase two is to be the upstairs and deck area, to be completed in 2017. The architectural designs also include a pool house and a new garage complex, which will form part three of the project.
As a large ‘farm house’ with a modern twist, the kitchen naturally is the hub of this home. “Kate and Hamish are avid foodies and their lifestyle centres around the kitchen and family area,” says Kim. “To achieve the open and functional space they were after, we reconfigured the transition areas between the formal dining, hall way, scullery and the kitchen, which has a completely new design.”
Large custom-made cavity sliders were installed matching the existing villa style joinery to allow the formal dining area to be opened up towards the kitchen/family area when required. The hall doors were moved to create better transition areas between the new scullery and the kitchen/dining areas. This also lightened the hall considerably. Overall, the lighting in the whole space has been upgraded to LED recessed down lights, along with designer pendants in the stairwell, the dining area and over the kitchen bench.
To keep with the old-style of the house, the team at Refresh ordered a special run of weatherboards that matched the existing cladding. They matched the new cavity sliders and picture window carefully with the rest of the joinery, and sourced architraves and skirting to match the existing.
“It was a real treat working with such a combination of modern materials and traditional designs,” says Kim. “We also removed the fireplace in the family room area and reused the original bricks as a splash back in the kitchen and behind the custom shelving unit in the dining area.”
Working with an older structure also means that unforeseen problems can occur. During the renovation the builders discovered that a structural beam that had been tying a newer extension onto the original homestead had in fact come loose and failed on the ceiling. Kim adds: “We had to prop the ceiling up, investigate further and look at the engineering of this critical part of the home.” This caused a few delays while engineering details were developed, the remedial work was completed and a Certificate of Acceptance from the council was obtained.
Despite the unplanned structural work that was required, phase one of the renovation was completed in a mere three months. It brought together old and new in terms of building materials, and it also set the scene beautifully for a lifestyle than blends country and city living. -R
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