What do you get when you mix a crafty can-do attitude with a love of fun and colour? Answer: This rather impressive Tauranga family home
A grand, 1950s Tauranga home is transformed with some crafty creativity
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.
“We love old character homes, but they can be quite hard to find in Tauranga,” Ben says. 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.
This 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. Since then, the finishing touches have been made to the landscaping, a deck has been added off the new lounge, and Ben has been busy planting boundary hedging.
Meet and greet
Megan Hoskin, primary school teacher, Ben Hoskin, banker, Amelie, 9, Stella, 7, and Jack, 5.
The renovation… What’s changed
Megan and Ben were keen to open up the back of their home to maximise enjoyment of the spacious backyard. Prior to the renovation, the laundry and bathroom faced the back of the property, and both had frosted windows so the back lawn wasn’t even visible.
All that has changed. The renovation revolved around pushing out the house and opening it up to the backyard, with new spaces including a second lounge with French doors opening to the garden. The upstairs has also been extended to create a new bedroom for Jack.
Not only have spaces been added, others have been completely reconfigured. The house now features a master suite downstairs (complete with ensuite and walk-in wardrobe) and three children’s bedrooms upstairs with a sizeable bathroom alongside.
The upstairs bathroom used to be so small, it looked as if it belonged on a yacht, Ben recalls. The family took the sensible step of moving out for the first five weeks of the renovation when the bathrooms were not functional.
Carpet was replaced throughout the house except for a section in the dining room which was removed altogether to expose the old floorboards which continue through to the kitchen. Fortunately, the kitchen did not need to be touched.
The addition of a second lounge has given the children plenty of room to spread out with their Lego and puzzles. Ben and Megan have also ended up with their own special spaces. Megan has a craft room, where she develops ideas for Mousehouse, her blog full of crafty projects, home design, organising ideas and more (this is currently on hold while she’s back working as a teacher). Ben, meanwhile, has his man cave at the back of the garage. It’s not tools you’ll find, though, but a space dedicated to craft beer, complete with bar.
The extension includes a new laundry (with back door), while the original laundry has been transformed into a mud room. The downstairs family bathroom has been replaced by a toilet and handbasin, and the family bathroom relocated upstairs near the children’s bedrooms.
A downstairs wing used to incorporate two bedrooms and a small storage room or nursery. Walls were moved to turn the two bedrooms into Megan and Ben’s room, with the addition of an ensuite and sizeable wardrobe, while a rejig of space has seen the tiny room elongated to become the craft room/home office.
Upstairs the hallway separates the bedrooms, with the girls’ rooms on the left, enjoying the water views, and Jack’s on the right, looking down on the backyard. Plenty of storage has been factored in and the new bathroom lies at the end of the hall.
Megan made many of the crafty details that are so eye-catching 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.
She also applied the spots to the walls (gold ones on the main bedroom’s navy-blue wall, and mint for the bathroom). The spotty decals came from 100 Percent Heart, just over the water in Mount Maunganui. “I used a square to line them up and it was crazy easy,” she says.
Megan also made the craft room’s pegboard and revamped an old chest of drawers with washi tape. Art in the house is not of the expensive kind, Megan says candidly. In some cases she has framed wrapping paper or enlarged a greeting card on a colour printer – “It’s cheap but cheerful.” The girls’ rooms both feature framed wrapping-paper ‘art’, but Megan’s not sure how long that will last.
“Stella would rather have black walls and a Star Wars duvet and posters.” But for now, bright colours abound throughout and they, coupled with spots and bunting, combine to give this house a happy, carefree spirit.
Words by: Monique Balvert-O’Connor. Photography by: Rachel Dobbs.