04 October 2023
4 min read
Architectural designs in hand, Mason Bettridge's clients enlisted the help of Mayhem Construction to bring their forever home to life.
Based in Palmerston North, the family business was started by Mason and his brother and has since developed a reputation for building quality homes. An egalitarian approach to its work guides the company; each job is equally important – from the addition of a fence to a new home build.
"The work that we tend to do is highly skilled and highly detailed,” Mason shares. “We work alongside the clients closely to achieve the design they're after."
The scope of work for this project was comprehensive, encompassing both the home's construction and interior design. After a conversation with the clients, it became apparent that Victorian character features were important; those little details reminiscent of a bygone era that make the home feel as though it's been there for a long time.
"All the finishing touches were in that colonial style," Mason shares.
Situated on an elevated corner site in Palmerston North, the home benefits from expansive views as far as Mount Ruapehu. Though well above sea level, its inland location protects the built environment from the elements.
Inside, the home is vast, consisting of five bedrooms, three bathrooms, two living spaces, a garage, and laundry. French oak flooring stretches from the entry through to the open-plan kitchen and living space; a generously sized area lit naturally by skylights. Placed on the northern side of the home, these living areas are warmed by all-day sun and a wood burner.
To the south, the bedrooms face east and west, capturing the morning and afternoon sun, respectively. Brass hardware features throughout, from the edging of the timber flooring to the kitchen and bathroom handles, adding an antique aesthetic to the home. Moving through into the outdoor area, a sense of openness is apparent. Here, a glass roof provides shelter while allowing natural light to flow freely.
The materials are traditional and warm: oak flooring, brass hardware, engineered stone, tiled bathrooms, and a glass chandelier. Coved trusses are cleverly embedded with an LED system that reflects off the glass chandelier to create an ambient halo effect.
Mason handcrafted bespoke panelling for the walls of the master and guest bedrooms. Traditionally used to protect walls from scuffs, this technique featured heavily before and throughout the 1800s. "We couldn't find a profile that fit what they were after. So we found three or four profiles and put them together to create the design," Mason adds.
Skirting boards, architraves, and other design features were added in keeping with the characteristics of the fin de siècle. Cut by hand, the details are a testament to the patience and skill of Mayhem Construction's team.
The project results from a collaborative effort between Mayhem Construction, his series of subcontractors, and local architect Nathan Lee. Over the years, Mason has built strong relationships with local tradespeople, which streamlines the construction process and reliably produces quality results. “We supply a team of all our own sub-traders," Mason shares. “You need people who have a lot of pride in their work, and that's the team of sub-traders we surround ourselves with."
Mayhem Construction continues to work on the home, wainscoting – adding panelling to the lower half of the walls - into more bedrooms and completing the landscaping with idyllic picket fences.
For Mason, his favourite elements are those requiring innovation and problem-solving, such as handcrafting the exact style of panelling that his clients wanted and creating coved trusses to curate soft, ambient lighting.
"You've got these touches of character from another century that come together inside a modern home that's warm, dry, and has all of the creature comforts that you would expect."