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A Mt Eden Villa - from Cinderella to Cover Girl

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

We’re delighted our client's Mt Eden villa featured on the front cover of NZ House & Garden following a major Warren Adolph Homes transformation.

This challenging project is memorable for other reasons too. Firstly the tonnage of volcanic rock which had to extracted from the rear of the site and the unexpected discovery of asbestos as demolition got underway. On the plus side, client Cathy Young’s exquisite eye for interiors and the neighbours’ praise for our courtesy and consideration during the project.

Neighbour Brett Miller wrote,

“Living so close, we have seen the builders on a day to day basis, and can attest to their great attitude and work ethic, and would look no further if we ever need a builder of high quality and character. We feel fortunate that it is WAH builders working on the project next door, as they have made living next to a major renovation (that could have been really frustrating), into something that was straightforward and hassle free”

The essence of this project is captured beautifully by NZ House & Garden* feature writer, Vicki Holder and photographer, Jane Ussher. Here's an abridged version of their feature story.

This reworked Auckland villa has had a dramatic renovation.

The vision was to keep the pretty original villa with its wide hall and large rooms, but to open it up to create a large, contemporary, light-filled family home that spilled out onto the garden.

Viewed from the front, Cathy and Allan Young’s classic Auckland villa has a pretty formality with a garden Cathy has planted with standard Iceberg roses, box hedges and around 60 petunias; you wouldn’t know there is a large contemporary extension to the rear.

This redesign involved gutting and cutting back into the original house then building an addition across the top with an atrium that poured light down through the middle.

The renovation proved extensive and not everything went smoothly. Bringing the old portion up to the same high quality as the new with wool insulation and a clean air filter system meant every wall had to go, something the clients hadn’t budgeted for.

Because it is not a large site, architect Peter Eising of Pacific Architects has created an easy fluidity between the living areas, the deck, lawn and pool by putting them all at the same level.

When installing the swimming pool, the digger hit Mt Eden rock. It was supposed to take three days. At that point, they also discovered asbestos in the walls. All exterior work stopped while they continued to pay for the digger for another three weeks.

Many discussions ensued between Cathy, Allan, Peter and their “fantastic builders” Warren Adolph Homes as the home came together.

Says Cathy: “We live downstairs, mostly. But the kids can be upstairs in the family lounge. Three distinct zones give everybody their own individual space that can easily be shut off.”

Beyond the atrium, the extension includes an enormous open kitchen, dining and entertaining space, unfolding to the garden which was lifted 700cm for level flow between inside and out. The back of the house opens with bifold doors which stay open most of the summer.

Cathy was prepared for challenges when tackling a renovation of such scale but she never would have imagined the year 2020 could be so demanding. Going hard and fast resulted in the timely completion of a wonderful repository for her treasures; a meaningful safe haven that her family can enjoy in a community she has come to love.”

So if you’re planning an Auckland villa or bungalow renovation (and you want to keep the neighbours happy), contact Warren or Andrew for a no-obligation site visit and consultation. With a combined 60 years building experience between them, they have a wealth of expertise in restoring heritage homes. Check out some of the team's Central Auckland renovations here.

*Abridged and reproduced from NZHouse & Garden April 2021

Photos: Jane Ussher, NZHouse & Garden

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