Run-down Grey Lynn transitional villa gets award-winning renovation

Run-down Grey Lynn transitional villa gets award-winning renovation

There’s plenty of life left in Grey Lynn’s tired villas, but they do need a bit of work, and sometimes an extreme makeover is called for.

That’s what happened to this run-down transitional villa, which has just won the 2017 TIDA NZ Architect-designed Renovation award.

Designed by architect Paul Leuschke of Leushcke Kahn Architects, the 13-month renovation was undertaken by Andy and Kiri Blyth of VillaVilla, who knew exactly what they wanted to achieve. And it was all about that “wow factor”.

“We wanted to create a modern villa with all the charm and character features of a classic villa, to appeal to the ‘family market’,” Andy Blyth says.

“The same family had lived in the house for about 30 years, and while the house was solid and livable, it was really dated. The whole section was pretty much a jungle.”

The corner section was also an unusual triangle shape. But the Blyths saw that as a bonus, rather than a disadvantage. “It means the house gets a double street frontage, which is quite outstanding,” says Kiri Blyth. “The family room is at the pointy end – it opens out to a children’s play area, while the main outdoor living area with a pool is off to the side.”

Andy Blyth says for this project he really wanted to retain the traditional villa character. So there’s no “modern” addition to this house. Everything is in keeping with the era of the original house.

“There are very few new-build villas,” he says. “Instead most renovations have a modern extension added to the back of the house. I prefer to build new or make changes and additions appear seamless, so there is a continuous effect throughout.”

Consequently, the villa now features extensive plaster work, including a large, intricately patterned cornices that highlight the high ceilings and frame the sash windows. Additional plaster detailing over the two main archways and on each stair enhance the bespoke craftsmanship.

The completed villa now has two to three separate living areas opening to the outdoors, four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Marble benchtops and splashbacks feature in the traditionally styled kitchen and scullery. There is also a media room and bar with custom cabinetry and wine cellar storage.

In announcing the TIDA renovation award, the judges said they were most impressed by the level of detailing and bespoke craftsmanship seen throughout the home. “The result is a beautifully crafted family home that combines all that’s needed for a modern lifestyle with the charm and character features of a classic villa.”


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