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1950s Bungalow

19 May 2014 by In Interiors

The Design Brief

This project entailed the renovation of a 1950s bungalow, whose interior was dark, dated, and in some areas poorly functioning. Despite this, the house had some lovely original features, including ornate cornicing, large, timber windows, and original timber flooring.

The property consisted of a separate entry hall, large living room with double sliding doors opening onto a kitchen and dining area, three bedrooms, one bathroom, a separate WC an internal laundry, and a storage room opening onto a rear courtyard.

Our client required close to the full Interior Design service, including concept development, all materials, finishes, fixtures, lighting, and window treatment selections and specifciations, as well as colour consultation. 

As a rental development, it was important not only that the design would have broad-reaching appeal, but that it would be extremely cost efficient and provide good return for the owners over time. This meant the careful consideration of planning in order to maxmise the house's sense of space. It also meant that certain elements of the design took priority, especially in relation to what are considered important features by potential renters.

the design proposal


The design concept for the house centered on a simple, black, white and neutral theme, based on reinterpreting the house's original 1950s architectural style in a contemporary manner. Our client was keen to ensure that we kept any usable existing architectural features and therefore developed the character of the house, where it might have been underutilised up until this point in time.

The project was heavily informed throughout by Interior precedents. As is custom, we created a custom concept Pinterest board for the project; a tool used to ensure that both parties are kept up to date and informed about design intentions and developments. 


The kitchen and bathroom were key areas within the design proposal; needing to be functional, easily maintained, appealing, and timeless. The internal laundry and 'storage room' were also an important areas due to their visibility from the entry hall. In these areas especially, we focused on developing a contemporary interpretation of the house's original style, ensuring that they would sit harmoniously alonside the orignial features and areas (such as bedrooms) of the house that received minimal design intervention during the renovation. The storage room was converted into a study, and forms a more accessible and usable link between both the laundry and the kitchen and the rear courtyard. 

In the kitchen, the cabinetry was repainted rather than replaced, as this saved thousands and gave a remarkebly fresh result. The benchtops, hardware, and built in appliances were replaced with hardwaring, black pieces which remain in keeping with the overall concept and provide durability and timelessness.

In the bathroom, guest WC, and laundry everything but the bath was replaced. The existing bath was an orignial cast iron tub and proved more cost effective and simple to refinish than to replace. These spaces aim at providing a classic look which is also warm with old-time character.

In the living areas the carpets were removed and existing floor boards sanded back and polished with a low sheen, oil based sealant in order to restore their natural beauty. In the new study, the tiled floor was carpeted over in order to achieve a comfortable feel and classic look at a low cost. 


Everything in the house was repainted within a simple, yet confident colour palette. The living areas are painted in Resene Drought - a warm, caramel-noted beige which is a hearty, welcoming neutral. The bedrooms, laundry and study are painted in Resene Linen, a soft, muted, grey green which pairs wonderfully with crisp whites, timber floors, and linen window coverings.

The tnternal doors were painted in Resene Black Jack, a wonderfully rich, masculine black which pairs beautifully with chrome details (including the original door handles) and adds a sense of deliberate elegance to the house. All trims, architraves, and ceilings are painted in Resene half Bianca - a warm, classic white.