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Renovation of family home by Prestige Projects, Orb Design and furniture specialist Trenzseater

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New weatherboards, an expanded living area and new bathrooms and kitchen have transformed this house for modern living

Renovation of family home by Prestige Projects, Orb Design and furniture specialist Trenzseater

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The renovation of a grand home can bring rewards on several fronts. Creating spacious, light-filled interiors better suited to contemporary living is one likely plus. Another is ensuring the exterior is pristine and secure – safeguarding the owner's investment long into the future.

Prestige Projects specialises in design and build projects as well as high-quality property redevelopment. The owner-operator company has had more than 40 years in the industry, with a focus on masonry-built homes. For this project – a family residence in an upmarket Auckland suburb – Prestige was asked to address waterproofing issues on an upper level of the exterior, and to reinvent the interior.

The plaster-clad masonry house was structurally sound with the exception of the potential for leaks on the third floor, says managing director John Moros.

"To prevent water damage becoming a major problem in the future, we removed the existing cladding, and then reclad the top floor in bevel-backed weatherboard. The crisp shadowlines are suited to the style of the home, and complement the finishes on the levels below."

The home's interior was substantially reworked. One key change was to enclose the infrequently used rear deck, making it part of what is now a generous open-plan living, dining and kitchen area. This has improved day-to-day functionality and also added value to the home.

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As part of the refit, the original kitchen and bathrooms were stripped out and replaced with more contemporary spaces.

Other changes included laying a new wide-plank, tongue-and-groove solid oak floor, from the entry through to the living and dining area. Prestige also enclosed a redundant upstairs balcony, turning this into a convenient kitchenette.

"Prestige works closely with a client, from concept through to completion," says Moros. "And we work just as closely with the artisans and designers we bring on board to ensure an ideal outcome for a client. Our preferred interiors consultant is Orb Design, whom we‘ve worked with on many large jobs, including this one."

Orb Design offers a full interior design consultancy that includes project management and specification of individual finishes for a renovation or a new home. The principal consultants are Suzanne Arts and Sarah Malyon. The brief here was to reflect the calibre of the location and design the refit around the owners' existing furniture, in a way that would be sympathetic to the layout, says Arts.

"We opened up the main living area and sunroom at the rear of the home to take advantage of the elevated views and sun. Motorised blinds are concealed in the bulkhead, filtering the light and providing privacy at the touch of a button."

Bespoke rugs were chosen to visually connect with new furniture, and to define areas of use within the open-plan spaces.

New Italian Henge ring pendants were introduced to further define the refined lounge setting, and to bring a distinctive touch to the living zone, says Malyon.

"We chose a feature parquet table and bold striped chairs to create a dining environment suitable for the family and for entertaining. These pieces add a sense of classic style and co-ordinate with the owners' 300-year-old refectory table, which now sits in the extended living space."

The house has been rewired with state-of-the-art German LED lights, where the rimless recessed fittings sit flush with the ceiling, exposing only the light source. There is also an innovative super light system that allows task lights for artworks or surfaces to descend or retract into the ceiling.

Upstairs, faded floor coverings were replaced with sound-absorbing premium solution-dyed carpet, and walls in the master bedroom received a new treatment.

"The wallpaper adds both texture and dimension – creating a warm, cocoon-like feel for total relaxation," says Malyon.

In the bathrooms, the concept was to give the sense of a Zen-inspired spa-style resort, with modern textural elements.

The furniture and accessories for the comprehensive fit-out were sourced by Orb Design from the Trenzseater studio in Parnell. This company specialises in high-end furniture designed and made in New Zealand. It also imports international brands, such as Halo Established, Andrew Martin, Eichholtz, and Luxy.

Trenzseater director Hamish Lewis notes some pieces that set off the interior.

"The Chateaux dining table is a leading feature in the main living area. Designed and made by local artisans exclusively for Trenzseater, this French oak table has an intricate parquetry inlay in oak and walnut.

"This is accompanied by the Cabana dining and carver chairs. These are in solid oak and covered in a striped fabric by Zimmer + Rohde with chrome stud detailing, chosen from our wide selection of upholstery fabrics and leather."

The Quattro sofas in the living area are both designed and made by Trenzseater. These are finished in a James Dunlop linen-mix fabric, and are available as part of a larger modular configuration.

"Pieces from our collection can also be seen upstairs. The bedside tables with a reflective steel finish and leather trim are by Andrew Martin. Elle armchairs in the master bedroom were finished with Italian-made frames, and the oak Rockwood cricket table is also from Trenzseater.

"It's our New Zealand-made products that set us apart," says Lewis. "These can be customised in any fabric or leather. We pay close attention to detail and finish."

Trenzseater's extensive design range includes drapery, blinds and wallpaper.

First published date: 24 November 2014

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