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How a design-led extension gave this Titirangi cottage some serious style

Inspired simple lines, natural materials and an earthy New Mexico palette, the owners of this Titirangi home have created a restful retreat in the treetops

How a design-led extension gave this Titirangi cottage some serious style

Larry Hauck, sales manager, Lynn Lacy-Hauck, real estate agent, and Emma, 25, plus Mabel the dog.

Lynn’s design tips

  • Architects are worth the expense. It’s best to take the long view and invest good design into any large home project.
  • Go for quality products with good durability.
  • Choose healthy products that won’t add to the pollution of your home by emitting harmful chemicals. Use water-based floor finishes, natural wool carpeting, stone and clay tiles.
  • Pay attention to the environmental impacts of the products you choose. Is the timber you want to use really sustainably sourced? Can you use any recycled materials such as concrete?
  • The results will never be ‘perfect’ so get over it and enjoy your achievements!

What would you change about your home if you could?
Lynn: I’d move it to Piha – an even better location! Having a kitchen so close to the front door isn’t ideal but there was nowhere else for it to go.

Most memorable experience you’ve had in your home?
Bringing up our daughter here, so many years of happy memories with family and friends. Also the parties on the deck and the dogs we’ve had in the past – Buster, Milly and now Mabel.


How much have you spent on the renovation?
It’s ongoing so I’ve lost count, but well over $400,000. We paid $121,000 for the house when we got it in 1993. However, it’s good to have a ballpark budget per room.

How did your budget compare to the actual spend?
We always renovated and added on as we could afford to. Generally speaking, building and renovating always costs more than you can anticipate, particularly with older houses.

What areas did you save or splurge on?
We saved on the renovation of the laundry by lining it with ply. It looks great and doesn’t need painting. The custom-made bathroom cabinetry was a splurge for sure. The new guest bathroom vanity cost us roughly $6000.

Do you buy high-end or seek out bargains?
I like good quality, but interesting colour and texture doesn’t always have to cost a lot. Saving pennies can sometimes cost you more in the long run because poor quality has to be replaced more often.

Best advice when it comes to spending money on a home?
Keep the palette simple and go for quality. Be mindful that any changes or alterations should suit most people’s preferences – you may want to sell one day.

How did you keep track of costs during renovations?
Not very well. We made an impulsive decision to sell a rental property after a cost blow-out on our 2005 addition and now, of course, wish we had kept it. In general, though, we planned projects when we could afford to.

Words and styling by: Tina Stephen. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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