Cook Strait Views: An Outdoor Area and Extension in the Karaka Hills - Refresh Renovations Wellington | ArchiPro

Cook Strait Views: An Outdoor Area and Extension in the Karaka Hills

A growing home for a growing family
Renovation Specialist: Lia Boersma

In need of an extra bedroom and bathroom for their growing family, homeowners Amber and Dean contacted Refresh Renovations. They were quickly put in touch with their local renovation specialist, Lia Boersma.

“This fabulous 1930’s home was in need of an extra bedroom and bathroom to accommodate Amber and Dean’s lovely family - three growing teenagers and their dog, Frankie”, tells Lia. “The intent was to (1) create a bedroom at the rear of the property, which meant a new entry door and porch had to be created at the front, and (2) create a small ensuite in the master bedroom. The project was approached in two stages: the ensuite and front porch first (before Christmas) and then the extension at the rear (after Christmas break).”

In approaching the design, Lia and her team were careful to blend the home’s original look into the concept. Lia worked closely with Amber and Dean to ensure the design met their vision and budget. “The key design elements for the front were about the look and feel of the porch, to ensure it integrated with the design of the house; in particular, the window design. It was finished off with a door, in canary yellow, and a digital lock”, tells Lia.

“Whilst we got our work underway, landscapers had started to upgrade the path to the house as well as build a retaining wall and patio to support the new porch at the front, so tight coordination had to occur with the landscapers to ensure the process would run smoothly for both aspects.”

A wonderfully spacious porch now provides the family with an outdoor area where they can relax and enjoy the stunning views of Cook Strait, from the comfort of their new patio. “The whole design looks seamless”, enthuses Lia. In designing the bathroom, the small area provided a challenge.

“We only had a width of 1m to play with, and a sloping roofline”, tells Lia. “However, we managed to fit in a small window, a shower with a Lucca infold shower door which enabled us to fit a 600mm vanity and toilet. A cavity slider was another space-saving factor. We brought in design elements from the main bathroom to create consistency. Space was tight, but it worked and looks great!”

By Christmas, the family were able to enjoy their new bathroom and outdoor area, with work on the rear extension and additional bedroom beginning shortly after. As is the case with most projects, there was an unavoidable challenge or two. “In the second phase, we encountered some delay as a roof leak occurred during a night of torrential rain and it took a process of elimination to trace back the source of the leak”, says Lia. However, Lia’s team addressed the leak and swiftly completed the bedroom extension to a high standard.

“During construction, Frankie (the family’s dog) had the best time of her life - she just loved having so many people around and so much action! She buddied up with everyone and became part of the team.”

A lovely third bedroom now looks out over the backyard, seamlessly merging with the original house. From the exterior additions through to the new carpet within the home’s three bedrooms, every detail of the design has been created and carried out as if the bedroom, ensuite and porch were there, to begin with.


  • All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.
  • The project costs are reflective of the costs at that time and are subject to change.
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