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These homeowners share their hard-learnt renovating lessons

A cherished family home for three generations, these homeowners managed to pull of a sympathetic, modern update. Here’s what they learnt whilst renovating

Meet + greet

Michelle Wilson, 46 (part-time accounts manager), and Brent Smith, 48 (sales manager), plus Monty the cavoodle.

Michelle & Brent’s top tips for renovating 

Wait and live in the space before you renovate.

Measure each space and the furniture you want to fit into it – we made changes after doing this.

Be flexible. We had to make a few changes along the way.

Have a great builder.

Be confident in your choices.

Honesty box

Best lesson learned? Wait and plan.

What would you never do again? A renovation in winter!

Most memorable experience in your home so far? Cooking in our kitchen wearing puffer jackets and hats with only a tarpaulin covering the removed wall.


How much did the renovation cost? About $220,000.
What did you splurge on? We splurged in the kitchen with our white stone benchtops.
Where did you save money? We reused the existing doors downstairs.
How did you manage your budget? We had an idea of what it would cost. We were pretty conservative with our choices so there was no budget blowout. We got what we wanted.

See more of the Christchurch home below

Flooring Quick-Step Largo laminate in Long Island from Flooring Xtra
Carpet Feltex Okiwi Bay carpet in coal mine from Carpet Plus
Skylights Velux
Black sliding doors to the deck Canterbury Aluminium,

Words by: Monique Balvert-O’Connor. Photography by: Kate Claridge.

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