Home Tours

A bungalow with a once cramped layout is now an open plan dream

This 1950s bungalow was run down with a cramped layout, no privacy and no outdoor living. Here’s how these homeowners completely transformed it

Meet + greet

Renay Robertson, 44 (founder and owner of Haven Skin Spa), and Stuart Robertson, 41 (owner of Mean Business).

Problems & solutions

Problem: Cramped layout
Solution: Rooms opened up and ceilings raised

Problem: View of neighbours
Solution: Windows moved for light and privacy

Problem: Poor outdoor living
Solution: Large pavilion added for seamless indoor/outdoor flow

Honesty box

Where have you splurged? Renay: In the dining room we didn’t want a mullion where the two sliding doors meet; we didn’t want the flow interrupted. Achieving this added considerable cost – so this was a splurge. So was the feature lighting; we chose a Fog pendant in the entrance and marble pendants beside the bed in the master.

Best memory in your home? Crisp, still autumn evenings rugged up in front of the outdoor fire with a hearty red wine.

Renay’s style tips

  • Don’t overthink purchases – buy what you love, not faddish trends.
  • Invest in features that will draw the eye, such as linen for bedrooms, sofas in lounges.
  • Don’t always make decisions based on practicality. It’s important to have fun and be a little reckless with some things.


The budget was $1m but we went over that with little tweaks along the way, and we up-spec’d the landscaping design.

See more of the Herne Bay home below

Words by: Annick Larkin. Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.

This article was first published in Your Home and Garden. Follow YHG on Instagram, Facebook and sign up to the fortnightly email for inspiration between the issues.

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