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This Bay of Plenty house was renovated into a low-maintenance family home with a nod to the ’60s and ’70s

A couple’s renovation of their neglected home in Papamoa has incorporated design features from the ’60s and the ’70s

Meet & greet:
Andrew Inman (global sales manager for mountain biking company Kids Ride Shotgun), Marnie Carter (policy researcher), Koia, six, Reenie, three, and Hatupatu the cat.

The renovation nearly didn’t happen. First there were eight years in Wellington, then three in Japan teaching English before Andrew Inman and Marnie Carter moved home to the Papamoa house they’d hardly lived in.

Andrew says the return came with the realisation their home wasn’t as nice as they’d remembered. Disenchanted, they started looking for something to replace their rundown 1960s house that had been poorly redone to incorporate some 1980s elements. They wanted something close to the beach that incorporated three or more bedrooms and have a bit of character. What they found was very little. A reevaluation and then a renovation followed, as they looked at their humble home with new eyes. Only two minutes from the beach, the locality was great and there was the opportunity to push their 90sqm, two-bedroom, one-bathroom house out. The fact an architectural designer lived over the back fence clinched the deal.

Re-jigging their home
Now spanning about 145sqm, their home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an extra lounge area. Marnie and Andrew told their architectural designer and neighbour Adam Taylor to retain as much of their home’s character as possible and to incorporate big decks. It needed to be low maintenance and not be too precious as they were about to start a family.

“We wanted to walk straight in from the beach knowing sand inside is okay (there’s no carpet). And we wanted the home to open up like a tent so we could always feel as if we were on holiday,” says Andrew.

Pushing the house out involved sacrificing space that had been dedicated to cars. Andrew and Marnie had no issue with this, after all, they’d lived on top of a hill in Wellington without a garage. Their 480sqm Papamoa back site incorporated a carport, a driveway and a car pad, which dominated the site.

“There was a lot of concrete. We wanted to use the site for living, utilising as much of that car space to use for family living,” says Andrew.

The removal of the carport also left room for a shed that’s all important as it houses some of the active family’s collection of toys such as bicycles and skiing gear.

What’s old and what’s new
Marnie and Andrew were keen to clearly define the old part of the house from the new. The home’s two existing bedrooms with original tawa flooring are now part of the children’s bedroom wing. What was the carport is now home to a second living area, main bedroom and ensuite. The kitchen, dining and lounge are essentially in the same place, but walls have been removed to create open-plan living.

Stacker doors now run nearly the full length of the main living area and is perfect for capturing the morning sun and accessing the new, spacious deck. The stackers replace what was merely a window and an ’80s sliding door. There’s the opportunity to follow the sun around the house these days. At the kitchen end, a back door was replaced with a slider, and the once ignored backyard is today a popular spot.

Including another new deck, this zone is an afternoon suntrap and is also accessed from the main bedroom.

Two new bathrooms and a modern kitchen are major features of the renovation. In the children’s wing, what was a huge laundry and a minuscule bathroom has been reconfigured into a decent-sized area with a Piccolo bath, which is smaller than standard, to fit the room. The laundry is now behind doors in the hallway leading between the second lounge and main bedroom.

Back in the old house days, access to what was the main bedroom, came off the lounge. That bedroom is now at the end of the hall in the children’s wing. What has been retained in this lounging space, however, is the recessed fireplace.

The home’s added second lounge has an extra-high pitch and windows reaching to the ceiling to welcome in streams of morning sun.

The overall verdict? Andrew and Marnie love the vibe, the way the house opens up yet still feels snug,and the fact it has history.

“It has a whole lot of personality, some of which we retained. It’s the first home we bought and I can still see that in it,” Andrew says.

Retro appeal
Andrew and Marnie wanted to keep some elements of their home true to the ’60s so its weatherboard look has been continued. Their home has been reclad in Lawson cypress tongue and groove. The timber selected for the exterior cladding has been continued inside to the second lounge area.

In the bathrooms, both showers are box style, so they have walls, a floor and ceilings. They’re retro inspired, says Marnie, but have glass doors instead of curtains.

“In my mind, the original part of the house is a nod to the ’60s and the new part an acknowledgement of the ’70s. We haven’t followed that faithfully, but that’s how I view it,” explains Marnie.

Design details
Marnie has a formula that involves a relatively neutral decor but with a few features that pop. This can be a cool chair, artwork or wallpaper.

“I like wallpaper and tend to do a feature wall of wallpaper,” she says, and her current home features exactly that. “I like retro-inspired decor, hence the chosen shower tiles, the lounge chair made in a retro style, and the colour blocks on our wardrobe. But I am not faithfully retro; my home needs to look modern as well.”

Marnie’s fondness for bright colours and handmade aspects is also on display, and the blanket on the couch, knitted by Andrew’s sister, ticks both boxes. Another key design decision for both Andrew and Marnie is to invest in quality.

“We are slowly replacing old furniture with nice pieces, for example the dining table is a Tim Webber creation. The couches and coffee table are old but it’s important to us to wait to get the right thing,” says Marnie.

Words by: Monique Balvert-O’Connor. Photography by: Alice Veysey.

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