Century-Old Hawke’s Bay Homestead Gets a Contemporary Guest Bathroom

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Bathroom with round mirror

Despite award-winning renovations throughout this home, a single guest bathroom remained untouched. When the time came to make the final upgrade, the owner wanted to see the space blend with the rest of the homestead’s contemporary interior.

Before After
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The Initial Consultation

Everything about Wairoaiti Homestead impresses - matai floors, abstract art pieces, a masterchef-worthy kitchen, elegant lounge, and beautifully curated outdoor spaces. Everything except the guest bathroom. To new homeowner, Linda, that was an eyesore.

Despite immaculate renovations throughout the homestead, the guest bathroom still had its original pull chain toilet from the 1920s, uneven flooring that needed repiling and replacing, and a modern shower that clashed with the rest of the original design. 

Being located rurally, Linda was having difficulty persuading contractors to come out for site visits and quotes. So, she got in touch with Refresh Renovations and was delighted to see not one but two Renovation Consultants: Sophia Roydhouse and Mike Ross. Together, they discussed her goals for the guest bathroom and then sprang into action. 

Planning and Construction

Sophia and Mike brought in an architect who created plans for the shower, while their designer provided concept drawings so Linda could see exactly what her new bathroom would look like. That made it much easier for Linda to decide on materials. With fixtures and finishings selected, the estimate for the guest bathroom renovation came in at $72,000. 

When deconstruction began, the team discovered a wall built behind another wall, apparently a solution to a problem during a previous renovation. With that issue rectified by Sophia and Mike’s building team, construction ran smoothly. 

Linda had family visiting over the Christmas period and wanted the guest bathroom to be finished in time for their stay. The six-week timeline was achievable. However, because of COVID disruptions, there was a delay in securing the vanity Linda wanted, and no indication of when it would be available. Thanks to Sophia and Mike’s great trade relationships, the supplier offered to upgrade Linda’s vanity to the showroom piece, not typically for sale. The project was completed in time for Christmas visitors.

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A Chic Transformation

The finished result is teeming with contrast - black and white, organic shapes and sharp lines, timber and stone - but perfectly balanced. A wood-panelled wall pays homage to the century-old homestead’s original character, but has been painted black to suit the chic new interior design. A large circular mirror, floating vanity, overhead lighting, and chrome towel rails complete the wood-panelled wall, offering modern amenities and plenty of storage space.

In the shower, the same grey tiling used over the repiled bathroom floor is continued across the shower floor and up one wall. An adjacent wall features vertical stack bonded tiles in black, tying in with the wood panelling. The shower’s frameless glass further allows the artistic tile work to be on full display. Linda selected chrome fixtures for the bathroom to stake its claim in the 21st century, and because it creates a beautiful contrast against the black. The final updated feature of this bathroom is the underfloor heating – a luxurious touch for a guest bathroom, Wairoaiti Homestead’s renovation is complete. 

Final Thoughts

Although it’s a small (8m2) part of the house, the guest bathroom renovation was the last piece of the homestead’s makeover. And the finished result looks fantastic. With a simple but sophisticated look, it’s a complete departure from the previously outdated interior. Now, it blends seamlessly into the rest of the renovated home and provides all the comforts of modern living for Linda’s guests.

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This project was completed in
March 2022
Project description
When the time came to make the final upgrade, the owner wanted to see the space blend with the rest of the homestead’s contemporary interior
Hawkes Bay
New Zealand
Project duration
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Wall within a wall
Interesting aspects
Original wood-panelled wall
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Sophia Roydhouse-Ross is Renovation Consultant of RNR Renovations Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Hawkes Bay.

Mike Ross is Renovation Consultant of RNR Renovations Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Hawkes Bay.

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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