Home Tours

How an 80s style house was transformed into a light, bright family home

Before Jess and Sanjay Singh moved in, this home was drowning in 80s style. Their renovation has totally transformed it, see more below

Meet + greet

Jess Singh, 34 (photographer and stylist), Sanjay Singh, 36 (police officer), Méa, 13, Leila, 11, and Nala, 9, plus Arlo the chocolate Lab.

Problems & solutions

The interior was “drowning” in the 1980s. > Dated ceilings and architraves were removed and the multicoloured palette swapped for soothing white.

No second bathroom. > Space was shaved from the bathroom in order to add a toilet and shower to the laundry.

The kitchen was stuck in the past. > A new splashback, paint job, door pulls and modernised island have brought it into the correct century.

Style tips

  • Choose a colour and style theme before starting so that each room feels like it belongs to part of a bigger story.
  • Double check before going ahead with a colour or style that you love because it’s a lot easier to change your mind then than later.
  • Painting one colour throughout the house gives a sense of continuity between rooms. It also creates a light and bright canvas, which can be calming. This is particularly important when you have a busy home.
  • Mixing decor styles and more expensive items with cheaper finds can be fun and creates real interest. You can find all sorts of gems at op-shops and secondhand stores, so try your luck!
  • If you don’t love it, leave it. It will never feel right if it isn’t ‘you’.

Honesty box

Is there anything you would change if you could? Jess: We should have bought a smaller bath because the one we chose is massive!


Bedrooms $4500 for all three
Living $2500
Kitchen/dining $3500
Laundry $2000
Half bathroom (in laundry) $5000
Family bathroom $8000
Hallway and stairwell $2000
Flooring $9000
Exterior $4000

Total spend $40,500 approximately

Scroll down to see before and after’s of the New Plymouth renovation

Photography by: The Virtue.

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