When Julie Pendergrast moved in, she elevated her partner's substantial renovation to the next level, ensuring the handsome renovated Victorian villa truly shines.

Dell Ngakuru found the run-down home high on a corner site, a minute's walk to Cornwall Park, 17 years ago. He immediately knew he could do something with it. "It was sound and had a nice feel with good bones."

Because the old Onehunga Borough Council building burned down in the 1940s, destroying all the records of homes in the area, he was unsure of its provenance. "But there was a gas connection in 1906, so I guess it was built between 1900 and 1910.

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"At one stage, it was in two flats. The verandah in front had been built-in as a kitchen and there was a small lean-to out the back with another kitchen and laundry."

Dell spent the next four years renovating. He added a large living extension to house a spacious kitchen and dining area opening from the lounge to sunny decks.

It was in four-bedrooms, so he reduced it to three plus an en suite in the master bedroom. He rebuilt the front, reinstating the wraparound verandah to welcome from the road. The beautiful Victorian features that had been ripped out — the architraves, deep skirtings and cornices — were put back.

With its new layout and big, light-filled, centrally heated spaces, the home was transformed.

Then last year, Julie moved in and she set the ball rolling all over again. It needed sprucing up and Julie, who manages properties for the Waitemata DHB, was just the person to orchestrate the design and product selection.

She and Dell repainted every room in a crisp all-over white. New hardwood floors went in and plush carpets, with the thickest underlay they could find, added luxury to bedrooms.

Julie organised new LED lighting throughout and, as a savvy shopper, had fun finding some well-priced yet extravagant furnishings on-line.

"White pendants above the black granite bench in the kitchen are Norman Copenhagen Bell Lamps," she says.

"We went with white walls because we wanted to add colour with curtains. Lovely and floaty in the lounge, dark blue sheers are Designer Guild – just enough to give privacy."

The Italian pendant hovers over the lounge with a splendid white ceramic inner moulded in a floral design.

Glass doors open to the hallway where walls are lined in pressed steel. Except they're not. Julie sourced an anaglypta look-alike wallcovering in an early Victorian pattern and painted it in a satin finish to emulate metal, adding heritage character.

An elegant black-and-white scheme updated the master bedroom with stripey sheers and block-out curtains behind a door to a deck. Black tapware and handles create a stunning graphic look in the en suite where the dated glass splashback was replaced with an adhesive waterproof vinyl that looks like bricks.

The same product featuring distressed timber imagery was used to revamp the family bathroom. Julie and Dell say it was an easy process but looking through i-stock to find the right images took ages. "The choice was overwhelming."

The home is ideally located for Dell whose engineering business is nearby in Penrose.

Julie says: "It's an easy house to live in with great storage. We managed to fit two house loads of pots and plates into the kitchen. At the flick of a switch, you can set the perfect temperature so it's lovely and warm in winter.

But halfway through the renovation, they decided the house is too small for Julie's three children and Gran who sometimes stays. They've found a bigger house in St Mary's Bay, closer to the bridge for Julie whose work is on the North Shore.

73 MARIRI RD, ONE TREE HILL, CITY
• 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 603sq m, house 169sq m.
• Price: CV $1.575 million.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 2-2.30pm.
• Auction: Wed 29 August, on site.
• Schools: Onehunga Primary, Royal Oak Intermediate, Onehunga High School.
• Contact: Sally Dawson 021 725 590, 09 215 2881, or Chris Moreton 021 335 021, 09 215 2880, oneroof.co.nz/1181643