Radiating charm from its decorative fretwork, this cottage has come a long way from the nearly derelict home that was first discovered. Recycled materials were essential for the renovation, with 100-year-old bricks sourced for the front path and reclaimed windows that look as if they’ve always been part of the home.
Originally a verandah, the kitchen was built on a budget of about $5000. The key to this sharp bottom line was the homeowners clever sourcing; Ebay and Gumtree were consulted to find barely used second-hand appliances and installed cabinetry, while the butler’s sink came from Ikea.
Uncluttered and utterly charming, the dining area captures the homeowner’s goal of a “modern country” look. The old fireplace, which might have once been the centre of the kitchen, now houses an old cast-iron potbelly stove. Timber-panelled walls were given a fresh coat of paint, while the original kauri pine floorboards were lovingly restored. A large Freedom table – bought second-hand but still in its box – and replica Hans Wegner ‘Wishbone’ chairs, also preloved, form a casually chic entertaining zone.
An original fireplace, Ikea ‘Kivik’ sofa and butter-soft leather occasional chair from Temple & Webster create a warm and welcoming feel. The artwork above the sofa – a copy of a famous piece, Las Meninas by Spanish artist Diego Velazquez, painted by a friend – adds moody drama.
While the original home had barely one bathroom – virtually an outhouse – it now boasts this sumptuous bathing retreat. Timber cladding to dado height mirrors the tongue-and-groove panelling throughout the cottage, while black and white tiles laid in a chequerboard pattern are both classically elegant and practical. Treading the line between contemporary and country, a freestanding bath stands alongside a pedestal basin.
Restoring the front bedroom was a labour of love – with the emphasis on ‘labour’. The original ceiling, with hundreds of tiny grooves, was painstakingly painted by the homeowner. A luscious bedcover and a ceramic stool provide a touch of blue. The artwork above the bed is a charcoal drawing of Kate Moss by artist Alun Rhys Jones.