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DIY skills and a dash of colour helped to renew a drab Wellington home

Previously inhabited by hoarders, this Wellington home was in need of makeover. Luckily colour, pattern and clever upcycling helped to bring it back to life

Meet and greet

Pip Hunter, ESOL teacher, Will Malone, builder and owner of iwillconstruct, Indy, 6, and Bella, 5, plus Marley the cat

DIY skills and a dash of colour helped to renew a drab Wellington home

Wellington-born Pip Hunter and Britt Will Malone returned to New Zealand from living on the Gold Coast after they had their first child and decided they wanted to get on the property ladder. They bought a modest do-up in Tawa, Wellington, which Will, a builder and tiler, renovated in his spare time.

Three years ago they were ready to upgrade and set their sights on a four-bedroom, 190-square-metre house in Broadmeadows, nearer to the city centre. While the location, layout, views and solid construction sealed the deal, the condition of the 1970s home wasn’t a dream come true.

“Nothing had been done to it for 45 years,” says Pip. “It was owned by a hoarder, so there was junk everywhere and it was dark, damp and absolutely freezing.”

Armed with a minuscule budget, a creative eye for upcycling and a few handy DIY skills, Pip and Will took their run down home and created a bright family haven.

Honesty box

  • Pip says: Waking up to a beautiful view, even on a rainy day, makes us feel lucky. We don’t live in an affluent suburb but we have luxury views.
  • Choose the right tile the first time before they go up, as it’s too painful to change halfway through tiling. Remember, too, that tiles look different on walls to floors, but a knowledgeable tiler will help pick the right tile for the size of the room.
  • Stain a deck properly the first time, with a brush.
  • We are planning to double-glaze each room, when budget allows. Windows are expensive!

Words by: Sharon Stephenson. Photography by: Nicola Edmonds.

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