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Katrina and Mathew bought their house just over five years ago. It was built in 1916 and hadn't had much done to it since that time. When they purchased the house it was a two bedroom box shaped bach with a lean-to laundry and the bathroom tacked onto the back, all of which had been neglected for many years.
For the first year, they didn't make any changes. They wanted to live there for a year first to understand what they liked about the house, to get the feel of the house and to understand the light and warmth of the house over all four seasons. No projects or changes were started until they understood all of these aspects.
The house had no street appeal at all and was not very inviting to visitors. The most important priority was to restore the house back to its original character and brighten up the dull dark rooms commonly associated with old houses without modernising the house.
Combining Matt's self employed builder skills and Katrina's eye for colour and fabric, all the work done on the house, including building, plastering, painting, sanding, restoring, drapery and landscaping was done by the pair themselves.
After restoring the original part of the house, the lean-to laundry and bathroom were removed and the house had a 50 square metre extension added to it. The extension consisted of two bedrooms and new bathroom, laundry and hallway and one of the bedrooms in the original house was changed into a dining room. The extension was built in exactly the same style and era as the original house as it was very important to keep the house flowing in the same style inside and out. A veranda was added to the front of the house to give the much-needed street appeal and to give an outdoor viewing platform from the house over the gardens newly created from recycled bricks and plantings of a once vacant barren section.
Katrina's eye for colour led her to select a broad colour palette. Outside the home is finished in Resene Xanadu on main panels joined by Resene Gin on battens and Resene Midnight Moss on the roof.
On the inside, the sunroom is finished in a mix of Resene Witch Hazel on walls, Resene Dutch White on the ceiling and polyurethaned wooden floors and trim.
Continuing the Dutch White ceiling finish throughout the home for continuity, it has been joined by Resene Portage in the lounge, Resene Black Rose in the dining room, a special blend of Resene Tussock in the hallway, Resene Zambesi in the bathroom, and one of each of Resene Xanadu, Resene Highlander and Resene Persian Plum in each of the three bedrooms.
The house has been one huge project and is almost finished. Both found the project fun and very satisfying with many a weekend spent rummaging around building recyclers trying to find door fixtures and fittings to match in with the original part of the house. The extension works seamlessly with the original house. Even now Katrina and Mathew find it hard to believe it's the same house they bought five years ago when most people told them they were crazy and mad for buying it!
Thanks to Katrina Bernon and Mathew Pullan of Wellington.
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