Getting away to a beach-house or lakeside bach is a great way to recharge your batteries, spend time with family and have fun with friends.
And that’s exactly what the Auckland-based Richards family has been doing for the past five-odd years; enjoying holidays and weekends at their Lake Rotoiti bach, near Rotorua in the central North Island. With three bedrooms on the upper level and a bunkroom downstairs, there’s enough room to sleep 12. And over the New Year’s holiday, especially, it’s a full house.
When they bought the 1940s house in 2001, they enthusiastically launched straight into renovating, with the help of Rotorua-based designer Darryl Church. “The house had been owned by the same family for many decades, and over that time it had been added to and lifted, with a block base put underneath it,” says Pip Richards. “We didn’t want to change the footprint at all, just update the interior.”
A vital part of the renovations involved upgrading the kitchen to improve layout and design, and to create room for new internal stair access to the lower level. When it came to their design brief, Pip says they really only had one key requirement for the kitchen.
“It was very small, with a large cupboard that took up a lot of space. We told Darryl we wanted to open up the kitchen and living area completely, and incorporate a breakfast bar, to create a happy, party feel where everyone could get involved,” says Pip. “When you’re on holiday, people like to help out and feel part of what’s going on.”
Avoid fly spots on ceilings with Resene SpaceCote Flat Fly Deterrent. Designed to discourage flies from landing on the painted surface, it reduces the appearance of unwanted fly spots.
Another theme that came through in their discussions with Darryl was the Richards’ love of boats and all things associated with the water. So, with the lake edge only 15m from the front of the house, he worked to add a subtle nautical flavour to the design.
The kitchen opens out onto a large deck that wraps around the open-plan living area and looks straight out over the lake. Instead of the blue and white colour scheme typically associated with a boating theme, the room features a playful, upbeat colour palette. Melteca cabinetry in Snapdragon, a bold purple shade, is offset by an L-shaped return painted in Resene Wasabi. This bright green wall runs around the outer edge of the kitchen and across to the front door.
However, clever little details such as the flat stainless steel catches on the cabinets and drawers are reminiscent of those found on boats. As well as enhancing the nautical theme, they give the cabinetry a clean, flush look. A simple ceiling of grooved plywood laid in a battened grid alludes to the timber construction of a boat hull.
“Rather than install a full timber sarked ceiling, we went for the eco-friendly option of using plywood,” says Darryl.
In what was a bit of a gamble, the Richards lifted up the existing carpet and linoleum to reveal the original box pine floor underneath. Fortunately, this was in good condition, so a coat of stain and a urethane finish were all that was needed to bring out the warm orange tones of the wood and make the space much more practical.
Other timber elements complement the floor and enhance the boaty approach. A rectangular wooden banister supported by round stainless legs creates a simple upstand around the edge of the main benchtop. At the back of the kitchen, below the microwave, a wooden roll-down door conceals small appliances, to keep the benchtop free of clutter.
Rather than cupboards, Pip requested that the kitchen cabinetry incorporate “lots of drawers”, for easy access to the contents.
To maximise space, Darryl converted an otherwise inaccessible area at the end of the breakfast bar into usable storage. Accented with a timber frame and frosted-glass door, to complement the timber front door with its glazed ‘porthole’, this rectangular cupboard is designed to store wine glasses and a bottle or two of something nice for afternoon drinks.
The front of the breakfast bar is finished in corrugated COLORSTEEL® painted in Resene Putty. As well as being practical and hard-wearing, Pip says it links the space with the exterior of the house, which features a large panel of corrugated steel running from the outside of the deck down to the ground.
All in all, the Richards are thrilled with their lakeside holiday home. And the constant stream of family and friends that join them there are obviously just as happy.
words: Deirdre Coleman
pictures: Kallan MacLeod
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