A home with heart

A home with heart

Extensive home renovations are not for the fainthearted. But, backed by his experienced building team, owner of Devon Construction, Danny Broom, was 'up for the challenge'. And a challenge is exactly what he got.

In the honourable pursuit of maintaining the character of a heritage home, there are often many potentially time-consuming and expensive obstacles to overcome. And, while Danny readily admits that keeping a tight rein on the budget was a ‘major challenge’ because ‘new discoveries’ were made on a weekly basis, he insists that the outcome made the experience, and the expense, all worth it. 
The list of challenges throughout the 18-month renovation process included wading through stacks of resource consent applications, careful planning to protect precious heritage trees during construction, and contending with numerous walls that required rebuilding with strengthened piles to support their weight. Yet Danny took it all in his stride, with his eye firmly on the prize.
Familiar with the design ethos and ability to translate their clients’ dreams into reality, Bespoke Architecture was the natural choice to tackle this ambitious renovation. Putting people, lifestyle and locale at the centre of their work, Bespoke’s passionate and highly qualified team of designers puts the individual needs and personal tastes of each client at the forefront of every project. 
Designing great buildings, improving lives and fulfilling dreams, Bespoke’s Lee Johnstone says this renovation was no exception. Taking responsibility for all aspects of the design process, Lee created the initial concept and subsequent working drawings in consultation with Danny and wife Rebecca to realise their shared vision.
To completely modernise their existing home, while preserving its original charm, Lee was tasked with designing a brand new take on their outdated kitchen within a bright and spacious open-plan living and dining space, designing a generous double garage with internal access to replace the old shed, and introducing a second storey to accommodate the couple’s new master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe and en suite and a second living room.
In the process of modernising this character home, products and materials were selected to ensure optimal comfort and functionality, such as: thermally broken windows for added warmth and soundproofing, thermal polystyrene installed under the old flooring for added insulation, under-tile heating in both bathrooms, and electric opening skylights with rain sensors. 

Working within the constraints presented by Christchurch’s post-quake environment, the soft ground proved quite a challenge for the seasoned designer, especially when it came to adding a second storey to the original bungalow. ‘Internal point loads are difficult to manage, especially with the added obstacle of constructing new foundations under the existing floor’, Lee explains.
While the quakes precipitated significant changes in engineering regulations, which now stipulate that slip joints be integrated to allow for movement, this particular stumbling block produced one of the home’s unique design features: the beautiful negative detailing created by the plasterboard running from top to bottom throughout the house.
Since the quakes, large expanses of plasterboard now require the fitting of expansion joints in order to allow for seismic activity. Demanding special attention to detail when fixing and stopping, the quality workmanship carried out by the experienced team at Lance Ash Interiors achieved an immaculate finish – rejuvenating this once tired home and returning it to its former glory.
Ongrade Drainage & Excavation provided trenches for services and drainage, and undertook the demolition of the existing garage. The favoured excavation contractor of Devon Construction for the past five years, Ongrade’s trusted crew of tradesmen are highly experienced in dealing with large and small residential jobs as well as grand-scale commercial and civil engineering projects.
Keen to create a high-end contemporary look for less, when it came to joinery for the home, Danny called on Mike McKenzie of McKenzie Manufacturing. Cost-effective materials, such as industrial stainless steel for the scullery benchtops and Melteca laminex panels with a wood grain finish, instead of costly wood veneer, for the island cabinetry, combine with contemporary design elements, such as the cantilevered benchtop made with HanStone quartz, and luxury integrated appliances – for a kitchen that exudes sophistication. 

Promoting sociability among its inhabitants and increasing functionality, the open-plan kitchen and dining leads to an outdoor entertaining area and an adjacent living space. Both living areas, inside and out, have gas fireplaces as focal points that add warmth and create a cosy ambience. 
In some renovation projects where many of the original internal walls are retained, fitting gas pipes can be a tricky business. However, in this case, the home was gutted from top to bottom, making it easier for the Gas Guys to do their job – ensuring everything runs safely and reliably. 
Working in close collaboration with the team from Devon Construction, H2Flow Plumbing & Heating completed the plumbing design and fit out throughout the property, including the internal drainage. Using only the highest quality pipes and fittings designed and assembled in Austria, H2Flow Plumbing & Heating illustrate their commitment to outstanding results on this project – with solutions that are reliable and that stand the test of time. 
Providing a full scope of electrical services from the installation of the television and home theatre system, to interior and exterior lighting, to security and access options, Dale Mackay of Mackay Electrical Services liaised with Danny every step along the way to deliver solutions to suit his family’s lifestyle. Discussing ideas with Danny and Rebecca, Dale was able to future-proof many aspects. 
Making the most of the new light, bright, functional spaces, complete with all the creative comforts their former home couldn’t offer, Danny and Rebecca love showing off their newly appointed abode to visitors: ‘it gives us a real buzz’.
While Danny concedes that it certainly would’ve been quicker and cheaper to have built from scratch, he’s quick to add that they now have a ‘soulful modern home with a story to tell’.

Words & styling: Majka Kaiser
Photography: Centuri Chan

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