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Drivers Road - Residential Renovation

The owner of this existing home, a traditional villa, found herself with an impractical layout of the house’s living and utility areas. Instead of selling up and buying elsewhere, she opted for a renovation with a firm budget.


Todd Ford Builder

Client Brief

The existing house was traditionally built, with the kitchen located at the back and the lounge at the front of the house. After initially looking to keep the areas in their original configuration and simply removing the wall that separated them, the Spotted Ink team suggested swapping the kitchen and living areas around. That way, the client would have a view of her front garden towards the road, and the late day sun would come into the kitchen. It also made more sense to have the living area connected to the deck.

Further brief considerations were to preserve the original pressed tin ceiling and to keep the character of the home.

The Concept

Early conversations with the client revolved around what a traditional villa should look like from the street, to stay in keeping with the original look. Seemingly small details, like raising the windowsill in what is now the kitchen, added functionality without compromising the exterior style. An additional window to the left of the kitchen now floods the whole room with late day sun.

We ended up recreating her living, dining and kitchen areas, adding a new deck and relocating the laundry from the basement to the ground floor.

The Process

Just as is the case with new builds, the Spotted Ink team accompanied the entire process, from concept to developed design, and through to council consent. The builder took over from there, and gave this villa a new lease on life.

To create this open plan living area, the old chimney had to come down. The owner chipped in and did much of the demolition work herself. One door was blocked off, adding more usable wall space for the new kitchen. And a beam had to be installed between the kitchen and living areas to ensure the tin ceiling would remain for years to come.

The Result

The owner loves her new functional living area. In particular, the added natural light and the indoor outdoor flow really work well now. She can enjoy her view out to the ocean, and is delighted she got to stay in this special part of Dunedin.

Stef Chittock is particularly happy her client trusted her with the suggested layout of swapping the kitchen and living areas around. A highlight for her is the client’s choice of kitchen finishings with blue and gold accents. Overall, this is a beautiful example of successfully achieving the delicate balance between the original and the modern, without compromising on the rich character of this traditional Dunedin villa.

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