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This special family home gets a colourful makeover

A grand, old Tauranga home is revived to fit modern family life. See how its owner’s special knack for DIY decor added a clever pop of colour

This special family home gets a colourful makeover 

The grand old 1950s house that is now home to Ben and Megan Hoskin and their three children, sits on a Tauranga hilltop and enjoys views of Mount Maunganui’s inner harbour. It is a house the couple had often admired while driving past – its character, age and big section greatly appealed – so they acted smartly when the opportunity arose to buy it four years ago.

They knew as soon as they stepped inside that there were changes they would like to make to suit their family, and wasted little time in drawing up plans for a renovation that got under way the following year. The six-month building project finished in December 2014 and saw the house expand from 220 square metres to close to 300 square metres. It now incorporates all the spaces they desired and makes the most of the back garden. Megan has also crafted many of eye-catching details in this home. Her handiwork includes the bunting in the bedrooms and dining room, various cushions, Amelie’s above-bed netting, and the brightly coloured upholstery on the dining-room chairs.

Megan’s renovation tips

  • Don’t dismantle the entire back of your house in winter as you’ll basically be living in a tent.
  • Be prepared to discuss your basic needs, such as hot water and heating, with your builders from the outset, so ways of meeting these needs can be worked out from the start.
  • Think about including family-friendly spaces such as a mud room, which is great for bags, shoes, muddy rugby boots and gumboots.
  • Give yourself time to deal with the little stuff. There are so many little details to make decisions on, from the positioning of power points and the shower rose, to which door handles and locks to use. Allow yourself time to make good decisions and don’t let yourself be rushed into things.
  • Be aware that your renovation will most probably take longer than you were told it would.
  • It’s all go when you are on the renovation train, but stop to think of ways to ease the daily dramas.

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Honesty box

What would you change if you were tackling this renovation again?
Megan: Very little, actually. We were really pleased with the result and the new spaces we created. Possibly the only thing would be to have fewer French doors feeding outside from our new living area. We could have sacrificed one set and put in lovely window seating instead.

What was the most memorable renovation moment?
Ben: At 9pm one night, the tarpaulin upstairs collapsed. Water poured from upstairs to downstairs – we were sweeping water and had buckets everywhere. That was a bit stressful. It was a particularly wet winter.

What was a major highlight of your renovation project?
Megan: Opening the back of the house up to access our backyard and having our own ensuite.

Main renovation challenge?
Megan: Our renovation took place over a very wet winter, which came with its challenges. Other than that, we lived for four months with a bath but no shower, and a kitchen that was operational but lacking hot water.

Words by: Monique Balvert-O’Connor. Photography by: Rachel Dobbs.

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