Home Tours

Before & after: a stunning reno of a seaside Dunedin villa

A non-cohesive villa is transformed into a beautifully styled, Sydney-inspired beach pad for this Dunedin family 

Who lives here? 

Claire Williams (consultant), Kris Williams (investment adviser), and children Olivia and Tom.

Where is your home? St Clair, Dunedin.

How long have you lived here? Two years.

Claire, what did you change about the original house?

We opened up three non-cohesive rooms to create a large open-plan kitchen/living/dining space. Little did we realise in the beginning that this would essentially involve ripping down the exterior walls and starting again. We also combined a separate loo and bathroom into a single, more functional family bathroom.

We already had a vision of what we wanted to achieve with the space. Coming from Sydney, we were keen to bring some of the elements we’d seen in homes over there to our beach pad in Dunedin – bearing in mind the difference in climate! Steve Mowat, our builder, was excellent at providing guidance and suggested a pitched roof with skylights, which has really made the room. My own ideas were validated with my interior designer, Talia O’Connor from MintSix.

Best renovation tip?

Don’t cut corners. We were faced with decisions along the way where we had to either cut costs or take a leap and we never regretted the decisions where we took the more expensive route.


Get the look:

Kitchen/living/dining walls throughout Dulux ‘Stowe White Half’; kitchen tiles from The Tile Centre; pendant lights are Muuto from MintSix; bespoke cabinetry by Wood Solutions; bar stools from Cintesi; dining table from London; chairs from Me & My Trend; reindeer hide from Moi Design; pendant light over table from Moi Design; grey sofa from Sydney; beanbag from Citta; Stendig calendar from MintSix; Scandi artwork (half-circles) from MintSix; wooden chair in corner, Matt Blatt, Australia; grass basket from MintSix; side unit with large mirror from The Bronte Tram, Sydney; leather couch from McKenzie & Willis; coffee table from The Bronte Tram in Sydney. Tom’s room Bed from Trade Me; bedlinen from Country Road; postbox bedside table from Mocka; rocking horse from Ikea. Olivia’s room Gold stripes in Dulux ‘Stowe White Half’ and Resene ‘Gold Dust’; bed from Domayne Furniture, Sydney; bedlinen from Country Road. Master bedroom Wallpaper from Resene; bedlinen from Country Road; black word cushion from Top3 by Design; yellow side table secondhand; light from Lighting Direct. Bathroom Tiles from The Tile Centre; bespoke vanity by Wood Solutions; mirror from Superette; bath from Oakleys.

Words by: Kristina Rapley. Photography by: Emily Hlavac Green.

Home experts are just a click away