A Light and Bright Re-Imagined Kitchen in Ngaio, Wellington

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open plan kitchen with subway tile backsplash

This Ngaio homeowner wanted to transform her dated, cluttered kitchen into a bright and functional place where she could be proud to host guests.

Before After
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Getting Started

As a keen cook who’d spent a lot of time in the kitchen over the years, homeowner Christine was keen to freshen up this area of her 1920s Ngaio villa. A more functional kitchen would allow her to enjoy cooking and entertaining so much more, and she welcomed the idea of a brighter design as well. For help bringing her vision to life, she reached out to Refresh Renovations and was connected with local Wellington Renovation Consultant, Mark Morrison.

Thorough Planning

When Mark visited Christine at her property to discuss the project, the two could talk at length about her goals and budget for the kitchen redesign. Mark subsequently provided Christine with concept drawings so she didn’t have to imagine what it might look like; she saw the outcome in 3D renderings. This stage of the 5-step Refresh process is a great opportunity to make changes to a project’s scope, whether it’s according to design or to fit within a budget. 
After approving the scope and accepting the $55,000 estimate, Christine expressed concerns about the projected timeline. Mark allayed her fears by explaining that the thorough planning done prior to the renovation produces an accurate schedule: her kitchen would be finished in time for Christmas. 

A Timely Delivery 

Surprises, both good and bad, can occur during any renovation. Once demolition began in Christine’s kitchen, the age of the villa became evident. The subfloor of the kitchen was uneven and needed levelling before it was safe to build upon. Mark brought the issue directly to Christine to discuss solutions. She was understanding and increased the budget to $60,000 to accommodate the necessary work. The additional cost would provide a safe and long-lasting foundation for years to come, making the investment worthwhile. 
Mark arranged for the appropriate tradespeople to address the uneven flooring. Fortunately, after that issue was dealt with, the rest of the renovation ran smoothly. The crew altered the layout of the kitchen by removing the U-shaped bench and replacing it with an L-shaped benchtop and kitchen island. After installing the final touches — LED downlights, a rangehood, splashback — the finished project was delivered to Christine in the projected eight weeks, just in time for Christmas.

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A Delightful Result

Reconfiguring the layout, even slightly, has made the biggest impact on the space. Opting for the L-shaped main benchtop allowed the large appliances to be rearranged for a more optimal footprint. The new six-burner gas cooktop and hovering rangehood are now situated between the windows, bringing a balance to the space. Adding the kitchen island created extra bench space and a new place for the sink to live. There’s still plenty of open workspace; the updated layout easily accommodates the fridge, oven, washing machine, and built-in microwave. 
The white, black, and chrome colour scheme is modern, with finer details — such as the spiral drawer pulls, timeless subway tiled splashback, and floating rimu shelves — bringing an element of charm to the space. New flooring unites the eat-in dining area with the rest of the kitchen while allowing both spaces to remain defined. Lastly, covering the old paintwork with a coat of crisp white instantly transformed the space from dull and dated to bright and airy. 

Final Thoughts

A ‘fresh and functional’ kitchen is what Christine was after and that was achieved in spades. She’s thrilled with the results and with Mark delivering them on time despite the additional work required because of the uneven flooring. Tying in the villa’s original character by using rimu shelving within the new design brings this renovation full circle.

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This project was completed in
September 2022
Project description
Kitchen renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
8 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
An uneven subfloor
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Mark Morrison is Renovation Consultant of Morrison Enterprises Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Wellington

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.

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