The kitchen of this quaint Bluff cottage was given a vintage-vibe makeover

The kitchen of this quaint holiday-cottage in Bluff was given a cheerful makeover before its Invercargill owners bade it farewell  


The kitchen of this quaint Bluff cottage was given a vintage-vibe makeover

Who were the owners?
Peter and Karyn Necklen (pastors), Josh, 23 (engineering student), and Melody, 20 (fast food manager).

Where is the home?
Bluff, Southland.

When did you purchase it?
Karyn: We bought it in 2004, when our children were younger, to use as a holiday home and homestay. It then housed tenants for around eight years.

Highlights of the home?
The kitchen is quaint and such a great spot to work in. There’s a view over the marina and at night you see the lights from the township.


The project

Why did you renovate?
After a few years as a rental, our cottage was getting knocked about, so we decided to do a final makeover (we had painted it over the years) before selling.

What did the work involve?
We painted and wallpapered the house, added new carpet tiles, replaced the roof and bath, and made some minor alterations to the kitchen.

How did you tackle the project?
My husband and I have done up about 11 homes over the years, so we did all the work, apart from the electricals, ourselves.


Colour crazy

For the kitchen drawers, I bought chalk paint from a lovely lady, Raewyn Stewart of Chalk Furniture Finish Heirloom Decorative Paint. I do a bit of chalk painting and chose to combine pastel colours for this look. We bought the rest of our paint from Wrens in Invercargill; it is an awesome store and the staff are always helpful.

DIY details

We upcycled the kitchen flour bins into flower bins which could sit outside the back door – this was a very quick project and they looked great when we were selling the house. Transforming these was one of the best moments of the renovation as it meant the project was nearly over. The multicoloured drawers in the kitchen were pure whimsy; I thought they would go with the vintage theme. The colours also match the clock in the kitchen.


Time frame and budget

The theme was ‘vintage vibe’ and, because of this, and the fact that we did the work ourselves, there was a low budget. We had to replace the roof and bath but managed to claw back expenses with a great carpet buy.

Our spend on the kitchen was not much; Peter installed a couple of new built-ins and I painted (and cleaned and cleaned). We styled the house with secondhand finds which made it affordable. We had planned to take about three months on the renovation, but it ended up taking around five months

Total: $8000


Highlights and lowlights

At the start, it was disheartening seeing the cottage look so battered. But it was such an awesome feeling to see things come together and for the cottage to feel loved again. A lovely young lady has bought it as her first home and I hope she will be very happy there.

Words by: Fiona Ralph. Photography by: Emily Hlavac Green.

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