Masons Ave Villa

Villa renovation in Herne Bay, Auckland

We adore working on old villas because they’re usually full of character and beautiful design features. Often, however, the layout of an older villa style home isn’t well suited to modern living. This project was exactly that – a gorgeous home in Herne Bay, Auckland with lots of space and character, but the layout of the living areas wasn’t ideal for our clients.

The Brief

This home is a large villa that has been extended over the years. For the most part, the layout was quite good. However, the kitchen, dining room and living area were segmented and separate, as we often see in older villas.

Our client’s brief was to improve the layout so that they could have more open plan living where they could spread out. Previously, when the family members were all in the living area, they would feel crowded in a single room. The dining room felt very formal, so they hardly ever used it. And because of the outdated layout, some of the space on the main level of the home was just being used as a thoroughfare.

Our challenge, then, was to maintain the beautiful character of the villa while giving it a modern, open plan renovation that would help them use their communal spaces more comfortably.

Villa in Herne Bay

The Design

Because of the size of this home, we were able to open up the kitchen and create a wraparound space that flows effortlessly to a large, bright dining area and then a casual living room. This serves as an informal family room with lots of seating, a TV and the perfect positioning to receive lots of afternoon sun.

By opening this space up, we’ve created an area that is large enough for people to gather in either the kitchen, dining area or family room. It’s the perfect balance of being large enough for people to spread out, relax and do their own thing – while at the same time, not feeling disconnected in separate rooms.

At one end of this open-plan space we’ve put a large cavity slider door that leads to the main living room. You can also access this main living room from the front hallway, so instead of being formally walled off, it feels a bit separate but easily accessible. A large window forming the top half of the cavity slider adds character, lets in light and provides privacy when needed.

Just off the main living room there is a home office that has been quite useful during different phases of working from home. It also has glass and timber doors that are in keeping with the style of the home, while providing privacy when needed.

Another room we renovated was the bathroom on this ground floor level of the house. Again, as we’ve seen with old villas, the existing layout was disjointed and didn’t make the best use of the space. So we put in a new bathroom as well as a new separate guest powder room. This allows them to keep their personal toiletries in the larger bathroom while having another toilet that guests can use.

Moving to the bedrooms, there wasn’t much that needed changing. But there was a lot of unnecessary space in one of the larger bedrooms. So we added a walk-in wardrobe and a small ensuite bathroom here, essentially creating a second master bedroom.

The last thing we did was provide plans for renovating the sleep-out, should the clients decide to take that on in the future.

The Result

We were able to meet the client’s brief – and then some. They now have a newly renovated main level of their home that has a modern open plan area for the family room, kitchen and dining room – and they have since told us that they now use their dining room all the time!

With a few layout changes and the use of beautiful large cavity slider doors, we made the formal living room more accessible, without sacrificing any of the home office space. Reconfiguring the bathrooms and one of the bedrooms makes these spaces more functional while also adding value to the property.

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