When Dave and Vinka Clemmett decided to renovate the home they bought six months ago, they kept it in the family.
They employed relative Damian Mitchell to project-manage the job and that also helped him to launch his home renovation business, Home Fix.
The Clemmetts' Freemans Bay villa had undergone a Fearon Hay Architects' renovation and extension about nine years ago but needed freshening up -- the perfect project for Damian, who began his working life as a builder before moving on to superyachts.
"We're not into doing major renovations," says Damian. "Our focus is more on bathrooms and kitchens, and tidying homes up."
One of the Clemmetts' aims was to more clearly define the original and modern parts of the home. They also restored the villa's street appeal by removing the high fence at the front, replacing it with a picket fence backdropped by new paving and landscaping that includes a water feature.
Repainted in "Federation Grey", the home was also given a bullnosed veranda and new fretwork that helps frame the stained-glass front door. A security grille means the front door can be left safely open to allow a breeze through the home.
Inside, the hallway has restored board and batten ceilings with a new plaster arch, ceiling roses and chandeliers that signify you are in the original part of the home.
There are bedrooms and one bathroom either side of the hallway, with the third bedroom doubling as a small lounge. A foldaway bed can be pulled out of the wall if guests are staying. From this room a floor hatch gives access to the basement.
Daughter Natasha's bedroom is one of two on the street frontage. It has a dramatic dark colour scheme. The main bathroom has been renovated and includes a laundry tucked behind folding doors.
Carpeted steps lead down to the modern, open-plan addition, which can be closed off from the bedrooms by a sliding door. Dave says the lounge space used to have concrete floors but they have put down plush carpet to make the space cosier, especially when the open fire is lit.
Floor-to-ceiling glass in this room provides views and light. One of these windows would look straight at the blank wall of a neighbouring house but for a large scale photograph of a forest scene placed outside in a rock garden, giving the dining area a far more pleasant aspect.
The galley kitchen sits behind the wall in which the open fire is set and opens out to a walled courtyard garden that envelops an outdoor entertaining area with gas fire.
Dave says Sandra Batley, of Flourish Gardens, was responsible for the design with Jason Robinson, of Pristine Landscapes, carrying out the immaculate detailing. Stacking sliders open the rear of the house to this outdoor room.
Open tread stairs lead up to the master suite, where views unfold of the cityscape to the east. A walk-in wardrobe and luxurious tiled en suite complete the top floor.
With Dave having sold his electrical business and he and Vinka having a holiday home in Pauanui, this villa was the couple's "city bolthole" after they sold up their 2ha Albany property.
"But our daughter is quite a good swimmer and so we are going to St Marys Bay now, to a house with a pool," says Dave.
With the help of Damian, they leave behind a home with enhanced street appeal and a huge dose of glamour.