You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
A six-month renovation saw this 140-year-old villa go from cold and tired to warm and welcoming. Kim Dungey reports.
Three years ago, this Taieri villa was in a sad state.
Uninsulated and freezing in winter, it had holes in the roof, water stains on the walls and tortoiseshell carpet in the hallway.
Some people thought it was ready for demolition, but the farmer who bought the property for its 20ha of land had lived in Auckland where villas are routinely restored and was determined to renovate.
Not that "renovate" adequately describes the amount of work that went into gutting and rebuilding the house and adding a light-filled rear extension.
"Everything needed to be done," the owner says.
"It needed new wiring, insulation, a new roof and ideally another bathroom. There was no flow ... It just wasn’t working."
Built in the 1880s, the house had bluestone foundations at one end and concrete at the other, indicating it had previously been extended. But a lean-to kitchen, laundry and woodshed took all the north sun and had to go.
With this 1950s addition removed, Webster Building began work on the new extension that faces north to northwest and opens on three sides to a deck and picturesque garden. The open-plan space contains sitting and dining areas, along with the kitchen and butler’s pantry.
Beyond this, lies the original part of the house. Temperatures there used to feel at least 10 degrees chillier, the owner says, but even then, the 12m-long, 1.8m-wide hallway, complete with large woodburner, was "amazing".
Every wall, except for the two in the hallway, were replaced to make way for the new layout and bring everything up to building code.
While there was no sign of moisture under the house and the exterior was sound, there was "no insulation anywhere", he adds.
"We also replaced the iron roof and removed four brick chimneys."
One of five bedrooms became a separate lounge. Removing chimney breasts and making the bedrooms a little smaller created enough space for a new family bathroom, en suite and walk-in-wardrobe.
Alongside the original timber floors and 3.5m stud, a standout feature is the rimu sarking, which was taken from the walls and used as flooring in the new extension.
Staples had been used to attach scrim to the planks and removing these was a "real labour of love" for his client, Webster says.
"It took a wee bit of work. But now [the owner’s] got a product from the existing home that’s been integrated into the new addition and that ties it all together."
Previously-white weatherboards were painted an icy blue with a hint of green, and pale colours continue inside.
However, the mudroom — where milk is prepared for lambs and boots kicked off after gardening — features a yellow floral wallpaper.
"I wanted [the house] to be contemporary but homely; not stale, boring and clinical," the owner explains.
"You go into lots of places that are all white and that’s not what I wanted."
Furniture and lights bought on clearance combine happily with wrought iron beds and a wooden butcher’s block passed on by family members.
Meanwhile, the once overgrown half-hectare garden is a work in progress.
Fully-insulated, double-glazed and with a modern extension, the property is now "very liveable" and the work was totally worth it, the owner says.
"I love it, absolutely love it, and I’d do it again in a flash."