Time is of the essence
When the team from expert build company Gregg Architectural Builders embarks on a project, the client is given a firm ‘move in’ date, and for the company’s directors Katey and Colin Gregg’s own transformational renovation, things were no different.
Words Anna Scaife Photography Anthony Turnham
“We moved back in on exactly the date we were promised, that’s just how we do things at Gregg Architectural Builders,” says Colin Gregg who, alongside wife Katey, owns the architectural build company. When it came to the extensive renovation of their own home, the couple had complete trust in the tried and true company processes, and the project went without a hitch with stunning results.
Having purchased the five-bedroom brick house in 2011 as their family home, the Greggs had always seen the enormous potential for a large-scale renovation to modernise, tweak the layout to suit their lifestyle, and add warmth and luxury to the mid-century property.
A third-generation builder, Colin Gregg continues the legacy his grandfather started nearly 79 years ago, taking pride in producing superb quality architectural homes on time and on budget. Always putting the client at the centre of everything they do, the company has put in place systems and processes to ensure that projects run to time, allocating resources from their large team to respond to unforeseen events or delays before they affect that all-important completion date. “It’s our job to keep everything on track, so our customers have certainty about the timeframe,” says Colin. Fastidious attention to detail and a reputation for delivering means the company are in high demand, so Katey and Colin had to wait patiently for their turn to get started.
Having made it to the top of the project list and armed with ideas, the Greggs sought the professional advice of interior designer Stewart Harris from Macintosh Harris who worked with them to specify the interior fit-out, room by room. With the plans and designs in place, the team from Gregg Builders provided Katey and Colin with detailed costings and discussed the path the venture would take. The couple wisely packed up and moved into a rental for the duration of the project.
The brief included a total revamp of the exterior of the property, resulting in a stunning makeover. Katey says the change is so dramatic she often sees people stopping outside the house to admire the finished product. “People think we have rebuilt,” she says. The fresh new look was achieved by replacing the concrete tile roof with a lightweight metal tile, re-cladding with Rockcote plaster systems and adding a dash of flair to the street front with the unique copper garage doors.
Glenn Munro of Properly Plastered supplied and expertly installed Resene Rockcote Classico pre-coloured plaster in a clean neutral tone. The team from Properly Plastered’s uncompromising precision and craftsmanship ensured an outstanding finish. The Rockcote product is widely used and favoured by builders and plasterers alike, and as a Resene Construction Systems Licensed Building Practitioner, Glenn and his team bring experience and high-quality workmanship to each and every project they are involved with.
The striking symmetrical street frontage is formed by the central copper front doors with matching garages either side. For a cohesive and eye-catching effect, Katey and Colin engaged Mal Hurrell from Custom Made Garage Doors to manufacture and install beautiful copper auto-doors for the his-and-hers twin garages. Using their own brand of door, Custom Made Garage Doors applied their expert knowledge to the challenge of matching the negative detailing of the front entrance.
Chosen for its complementary colour tone and excellent heat retention, thermal double-glazed aluminium windows in mid bronze were supplied by aluminium joinery experts, GA Aluminium. Angela Lewis of GA Aluminium says, “We were aiming to work with the owners to modernise the house and bring it up to today’s style and standards, as well as increasing the heat efficiency to reduce power usage.” Many of the windows were replaced to increase their height to enhance the flow to the outdoor living areas.
With plans to stay put for a good few years, Katey and Colin spared no expense on this renovation and that investment in quality has undoubtedly taken their interior from functional to fabulous. Stepping over the threshold, you are greeted by a stunning entranceway featuring bluestone thermal tiles, a schist feature wall and topped off with a sparkling chandelier that creates a glittering first impression when seen from the street.
Making your way into the open-plan kitchen, dining and lounge area the home reveals itself to be generously proportioned with the elegant interconnecting spaces creating zones for family living, cosy evenings, or hosting guests. Hands down, Katey’s favourite room is the elegantly appointed kitchen, an area she had big plans for which she now says is everything she imagined.
Working to the interior designer's specification, award-winning Advanced Joinery were entrusted by Gregg Builder's to manufacture and install a custom joinery solution in the kitchen along with the interior feature doors. Advanced Joinery also manufactured the master and guest ensuites, bathroom, powder room, master and bedroom wardrobes, bar, office and laundry joinery.
Ed Witting and Scott Harris and the team at Advanced Joinery thoroughly enjoyed working on the project. Greg Ayers said, "When you step inside the Gregg’s home, it's easy to see the quality of the workmanship along with the calibre of the products used to achieve the look." Beautifully crafted by Advanced Joinery, the cabinets are finished in Bestwood Siena Mother Earth veneer and paired with the spectacular Silver Travertine benchtop that seamlessly incorporates the sink and includes a waterfall feature at either end of the kitchen island.
The manufacture and installation of this stunning stone centrepiece was entrusted to Shane Boyd of Shane Boyd Granite Benchtops who worked closely with the clients to achieve the dramatic look. Steel reinforcement was required to ensure stability and durability and this structural support was all designed and manufactured by Shane Boyd and his team. A credit to the quality workmanship, the sink seamlessly forms part of the benchtop to look like one piece of stone. Stone has been used as a feature throughout the home including matching Travertine in the bar area and Caesarstone surfaces in the bathrooms, powder room, laundry and walk-in pantry, all installed by Shane Boyd who says, "The bench and integrated sink were a challenge to get right, but I think it was worth it as overall the stone gives the home a seamless luxury feel."
High-quality stone suppliers, CDK Stone, sourced the Travertine for the benchtop and Jeff Oliver of CDK was impressed with the results, "The unique choice of materials makes the area look very special."
This renovation is one of the many projects for the homeowners over the years. Having recently renovated a bach at Lake Brunner, some of the ideas from that build were incorporated into the plans for their new house. They were so impressed with the flooring installed for them at Brunner by Swinard Wooden Floors, a specialist flooring company based in Christchurch, that they ordered an identical floor for their latest home. Having selected their original flooring from the wide range of samples at Swinard Wooden Floors’ showroom in Magdala Place, the Greggs knew this was what they wanted the second time around. The stunning look was created by using feature grade European oak timber, which was brushed, bevel edged and coated in a clear hard wax oil. Colin and Katey were very pleased with the look and quality of their floors and Swinard Wooden Floors say, "It is always enjoyable to be involved with Gregg Builders’ projects."
The existing home had excellent bones, so there was no need to move any of the internal walls. However, nothing was left untouched with the whole house stripped back to the framing and reconstructed from scratch. In order to upgrade and achieve the finish they desired, Lance Ash Interiors joined the project, tasked with retrofitting insulation, supplying plasterboard and completing Gib fixing and stopping to the highest standards. The experienced team rose to the challenge of matching the old with the new and producing an extra high-grade finish in all of the crucial well-lit areas. Lance Ash says, “We often work with the team from Gregg Builders, and we enjoyed working in with the other trades to produce such a great result.”
The existing five bedrooms remain, however one has been converted to a twin office so the couple can work from home. A further two double bedrooms have been extensively refurbished, and the luxurious guest suite upgraded to 5-star quality. Upstairs, the grand master suite provides a peaceful sanctuary-like space that includes a fabulous ensuite and huge dressing room that extends into the roof space.
Each room has an air of opulence and quality that extends from the fixtures and fittings to the carefully chosen furnishings, specified by the designer and supplied by David Shaw Furniture. When given a brief the team from David Shaw works with a range of New Zealand’s top fabric suppliers to allow the customer to shape the atmosphere and adapt the look to their own vision, leading to a unique use of materials and shapes. A standout piece in the master bedroom is the expansive custom headboard manufactured in Christchurch by David Shaw’s skilled craftsman to work around the electrical points for the perfect fit and function. The team at David Shaw Furniture was thrilled to work with the Greggs, and the resulting interior combines textures and tonal colour elements for a look that’s restful and elegant. Amy Shaw says, “At David Shaw we believe we create designs that embrace the unique elements of a home, with the idea being that we connect each piece to our client and their lifestyle.”
The fabulous ensuite is one of three stunningly appointed bathrooms, all with floor to ceiling marble tiles, installed by Professional Stone and Tile. The large format tiles selected by the client created some challenges for the expert tilers. “We had to cut down most of the tiles to match them with the grout lines on the floor, as the length of the tile was slightly longer than the width of two tiles. If we hadn’t done that it would have really affected the overall look of the bathroom and the quality of tiling. The three bathrooms have been completed to such a high standard so as to really stand out and also complement the rest of the house. The bathrooms are now luxurious, warm and inviting,” says Director, Niall McGuire.
The bathrooms feature custom built vanities with Caesarstone jet black tops as well as recessed cabinets above. The fittings, selected by the client, are top of the line. Trusted plumbing contractors Layne Watson Plumbing were engaged to install the plumbing throughout the home. Layne Watson Plumbing frequently partners with Gregg Builders and has built a stellar reputation for quality and service. Layne says, “We were excited to work on Katey and Colin’s own home, and the results are fantastic.”
Along with adding the double glazing and retrofitting pink batts for warmth and comfort, the couple took the opportunity to upgrade their heating systems bringing in Hartnell Coolheat to supply and install a combination of Daikin internal ducted and hi-wall type heat pumps for year-round heating and cooling. “Without good heating, the homeowners would be very uncomfortable; the solution they chose will keep their home warm and cosy,” says Chris Hartnell of Hartnell Coolheat.
Hartnell Coolheat also installed a heating system in the large in-ground swimming pool which serves as the focal point of the outdoor living area at the rear of the property. To modernise and enhance the outdoor spaces, Rough and Milne Landscape Architects were given the design brief to create a landscape that would create an impact from the street frontage and to redevelop the backyard and existing pool into a unique, entertaining area with a strong indoor/outdoor connection. The couple wanted a space where they could relax and entertain friends and family, providing hours of enjoyment over time and this has certainly been achieved. The full-height Punga trees carefully shipped from a supplier near Lake Brunner are particularly spectacular when lit up at night. The materials were carefully selected by Rough and Milne to complement the warm tones of the interior, and together, they tell a story and engender a ‘sense of place’. Landscape Architect, Tony Milne, says, “The house and landscape now work together wonderfully, and the house now presents itself to the street as it should. The landscaping truly does complete a project like this.”
Striking features of the outdoor areas are the handcrafted sculptural artworks that are interwoven into the landscape design. Designed and made by Geoff McConnell of Contemporary Water Sculptures, they include the spectacular Chrysalis gas fire that sits at the rear of the swimming pool, three dramatic gas flairs and the beautiful water feature. Geoff says, “I had been developing the concept of an outdoor gas fire that provides warmth but also functions as a work of art – a sculptural fire of shimmering light and warmth. When Colin and Katey mentioned the space, a focal point from within the house and the garden, and their desire for an outdoor fire they could lounge around, the Chrysalis concept came immediately to mind, and they didn’t take too much convincing.” Sheltered by the stately mature trees that surround the property, the pool area has become a favourite spot for the couple to enjoy time with friends and family.
Back home in the tree-lined streets of their much-loved neighbourhood, Colin and Katey are delighted with their home, now tastefully enhanced to new-home standard without losing any of the charms of its era. Having bought with renovation in mind, the couple’s eye for potential was faultless, and the transformation has created a wonderful home that they plan to enjoy for many years. “We love this area, it’s so close to everything, and we can scooter through the park to the city. Now we have the home we have always wanted,” says Katey. “We just love it, it’s lovely and warm and so easy to live in.” Colin adds, “It’s a real credit to the Gregg Builders team and the sub-contractors who worked on our project. They did a fantastic job.”
Involved in this project
Gregg Architectural Builders
03 358 6491
Resene Construction Systems
0800 50 70 40
Properly Plastered Ltd
021 221 0282
David Shaw Furniture
0800 847 848
Swinard Wooden Floors Ltd
03 329 9669
Rough and Milne Landscape Architects
03 366 3268
Sculptural Garden Features
Contemporary Water Sculptures
027 432 5642
Layne Watson Plumbing
0800 150 155
Lance Ash Interiors
03 341 7922
GA Aluminium Ltd
Hartnell Coolheat Ltd
03 366 3952
Advanced Joinery Limited
03 348 7700
Shane Boyd Granite Benchtops Ltd
021 240 0124
CDK Stone NZ Ltd
0800 803 932
Professional Stone and Tile Limited
022 353 2281
Custommade Garage Doors
03 347 8333