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Historically modern

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A sympathetic renovation has combined the authentic characteristicsof this 1920s bungalow with modern-day functionality

Historically modern


When it comes to iconic house styles, few are more indicative of New Zealand than the early-20th century bungalow. Dotted throughout the country, the bungalow has proved a popular match to the New Zealand lifestyle.

Interior design firm Yellowfox, responsible for the interior renovation of this bungalow, says there is a simplicity to the bungalow design that exemplifies the Kiwi character.

Like most bungalows that are being renovated, the featured property had an extension added. The design challenge, then, was to seamlessly integrate the extension with the existing home.

The original nature of the home was maintained through the use of classic, natural materials such as timber flooring and linen curtains.

For every traditional element, however, there is a contemporary element to offset it, creating an overall feeling of balance. This is best illustrated in the kitchen.


Conventional components, such as timber cabinetry, the tiled splashback and the range-style oven, have either been updated or juxtaposed with modern finishes such as stone and stainless steel.

Also, the appliances – dishwasher, microwave and rangehood – have been concealed or integrated to accentuate the clean lines and minimal detailing.

Colours, too, are deliberately understated, with crisp, white skirtings, architraves and scotias highlighting the caramel tones of the walls as well as the timber flooring with its dark stain.

During the renovation process, one of the bedrooms was split to create a new bathroom and master ensuite.

Hidden behind the door of the main bathroom is a large shower, leaving the classical elements of free-standing bathtub and vanity to reflect the traditional character of the home. The designers added a wall, which hides the toilet from view of the door, and provides space for shelving. Concealed storage behind the framed mirror allows for practical items such as toothbrushes to be hidden away.

A similar concealed storage concept was utilised in the ensuite bathroom. Storage for towels and cleaning products was incorporated into the bedroom's wardrobe, which meant a free-standing vanity could be used to maximise the feeling of space. Again, shelving behind the mirror takes care of remaining clutter.

The guest bedroom features another traditional element – wallpaper. The floral pattern is evocative of the formal traditions of the early 1900s, and serves to highlight the room's proximity to the garden.

Yellowfox specialises in providing design services for all residential projects, along with interior and exterior colour schemes. An emphasis on building strong associations with respected companies in the industry, such as furniture retailer and home staging firm Living Edge, means if there is anything Yellowfox can't provide, the company is able to refer clients to another industry professional.

For further information, contact Yellowfox, 49 Main Highway, Ellerslie, Auckland, phone (09) 525 3450. Email:

First published date: 14 May 2007

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