Cold, dark, dated and painted lime green? Not anymore!

A clever renovation saw this 100-year-old Northcote house go from outdated and rat-infested to a fresh, modern family home 

This Auckland renovation in a snapshot

Who lives here? Deborah Houching (podiatrist technician), James Houching (painter), Meg, 18, Imogen, 17, and Dillon, 13.

Where is it? Northcote, Auckland.

What did your home look like before? It was very cold, dark and dated, with a lot of closed-in spaces and little natural light.

What was your vision? Deborah: Because it was an older building, I imagined a home that held onto all of its character features but also had a fresh, modern look and feel.

Renovation tips from the owners

  • Good planning and coordination with all the different trades is vital so you don’t waste money with tradies standing around doing nothing.
  • Shop around for the best deals.
  • It’s easy to get persuaded into doing things by tradesmen, so hold your ground if there is something you really want.

How to get the look 

Walls throughout painted in Resene ‘Alabaster’. LOUNGE: Existing wooden floorboards stained in Dark Oak; sofa from Freedom; all cushions from John’s Place Emporium; rug from The Warehouse; cabinet from The Store; deer artwork from unknown online store; ampersand from Kmart; basket from Early Settler. KITCHEN & DINING: Cabinetry from Marton Lee; tapware from Mitre 10 and Kitchen Things; Bar stools from The Warehouse; table existing; chairs from Freedom; fan from Early Settler. BATHROOM: Bath from Early Settler; postbox from Mocka; chandelier from Early Settler. UPSTAIRS BATHROOM: Yellow cabinet from Redcurrent; floor and wall tiles from Heritage Tiles; tapware from Mico. BEDROOM: Crosses from Shut The Front Door; bedlinen from The Warehouse; spot cushion from Junk & Disorderly


Words by: Catherine Steel. Photography by: Melanie Jenkins.