Home Tours

Inside a renovated bungalow where Christmas means colour

Vintage ceramics and heritage prints mingle with colourful accessories and contemporary furniture for a fun and eclectic vibe in this renovated bungalow

renovated bungalow black kitchen

Meet + Greet

Mary-Ellen Hinton, 43 (interior designer at Hello Saturday Design), Matthew Hinton, 45 (technical director), Sybella, 10, Jasper, 8, and Evie, 7, plus Harry the cat.

Honesty box

Best lesson learned? Mary-Ellen: After DIYing our first home, we believe it’s best to call in the experts. The painting quality is a million times better and lasts so much longer.

What would you never do again? Live in a home while it is being renovated. I recommend moving out if possible, or doing the work before you move in.

Is there one thing you would change about your home if you could? Move it further forward on the section.

Most memorable experience you have had in your home? We have held so many kids’ birthdays here. We have developed a tradition that we decorate the kitchen for their birthdays, with balloons hanging from the chairs and the ceiling, a tablecloth (I love a nice tablecloth) and the presents stacked on the table. The kids go to bed early that night so we can make it special – I suppose it’s a bit like Christmas.

renovated bungalow christmas table setting


How much have you spent on your home? We’ve spent about $150K on the renovations over the years – new kitchen, bathroom update, laundry, interior and exterior painting, fence and gate, floor polishing, lighting and window treatments, sleepout renovation, heat pumps, mains gas, infinity hot water system and spa.

What areas have you saved or splurged on? We used experts for the renovation so I guess that was our splurge. Probably our only save is buying plant pots from Kmart.

Do you tend to buy high-end homeware or seek out a bargain? I prefer to buy quality and hope it will last longer (for instance, we’ve used Smeg kitchen appliances).

Best advice when it comes to spending money on a home? If you spend the money when you move in, you get to enjoy the renovation. I find so many people only make changes when they want to sell their home.

How did you keep track of costs? We kept a spreadsheet of expenses and made sure we got a few quotes.


See more of the home below


Rugs and homeware Bohzali, bohzali.co.nz
Kids’ bedlinen, Bonnie & Neil cushions Collected by LeeAnn Yare, collected.co.nz
Homeware Father Rabbit, fatherrabbit.com
Bedlinen Thread Design, threaddesign.co.nz
Interesting things Junk & Disorderly, junkndisorderly.co.nz; Flotsam & Jetsam, flotsamandjetsam.co.nz


Floor polishing Goodwood, goodwoodflooring.co.nz
Painters YT Decorators, ytdecornz@gmail.com, 021 176 6119
Plumber Sam at Patrick Plumbing & Gas, 021 071 3539
Electrician Des at Mount Albert Electrical, mtalbertelectrical.co.nz
Builder “Our builder has moved away but I highly recommend JR Build, jrbuild.co.nz.”

Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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