Rising from the ashes

In the heart of charming Picton, an Edwardian harbourside home has undergone a 27-month makeover. With a century of history, multiple renovations, and even surviving a fire, this 300m² villa is now stronger than ever.

Determined to honour their character home, the homeowner joined forces with heritage restoration specialist Callan Hendriks from Black Stag Build Group. Their intensive collaboration resulted in a flawless property that reflects a shared passion for perfection.

The property features six bedrooms, three bathrooms, a garage, workshop, and a self-contained unit below. “This steep site project, unparalleled in scale, demanded a meticulous approach and a restoration process unlike anything I had encountered before. The first year uncovered rotten frames, a leaky roof, fire damaged timbers, and a century of substandard work,” says Callan.

Following the owner’s directive to ‘save or reinstate’, the project began with months of remediating piles, adding structural bracing and establishing new foundations for the lower level. The home was then rewired, replumbed, insulated, relined, and reclad.

Extensive timber sculpting and diligent dressing has elevated the property’s elegance, highlighted by routed accents and intricate fretwork and corbels. The balcony and balustrades, with white scalloped newel posts, contrast beautifully against the heritage blue weatherboards. Callan skillfully recreated new gable finials, replicating the design from an original rotting piece found onsite, before reinforcing them with steel to merge classic design with durability.

The kauri front door features new period glass, alongside traditional picture rails, panelled doors, sash windows, and matai sills. The exterior of the original fireplace, with its hearth tiles and beautifully crafted kauri mantle, has been preserved. The unsalvageable rear extension was removed entirely. With plans revised, a new extension for the kitchen and dining room was created with floor-to-ceiling windows maximising Picton Harbour views.

Continuing their restore or reuse ethos, Callan’s team upgraded the former kitchen with reconfigured cabinetry, benchtops, and new rimu details in shelves, panelling, and trims. They painstakingly lifted the rimu floor and relaid custom milled recycled timber, nailing it like the original to ensure a perfect match. “Entering the house now is akin to stepping into its 1905 state,” says Callan.

The dedicated homeowner invested hours on site, carefully restoring the original door hardware and painting the home. “The renovation journey with Callan and his team was delightful,” she says. “Our complementary skills were key, and like me, he’s a perfectionist.”

The result of this remarkable project is an impeccably revived property and a life-long friendship. “Recreating this beautiful villa with the client and preserving a piece of history was an absolute privilege,” says Callan.

Location: Picton | Marlborough

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