Bairds/Ashley-Sefton – Starting its life as a 100sqm cottage relocated to a rural site from Christchurch, this project was one of the toughest but most rewarding to date. 5 years, a heck of a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and plenty of tears saw this wee cottage transform into a grand design style build. The original plans for this were for a bit of an extension here & there to house our growing family but it soon became a project of a much bigger scale.
Living in the old cottage while it was transformed around us, over the course of almost 5 years, proved at times to be difficult but also exciting watching the progress take place. A pad was poured first to house the new age, mudroom and storeroom which quickly became the families temporary bedrooms so we could free up some space from the other end that was soon to be demolished.
The second stage was mammoth, taking up most of the time, this stage housed the new kitchen and scullery, dining, lounge, a bedroom and office space, Wanting to keep its original character we carefully blended old with new to give a modern farmhouse look with a bit of an industrial eclectic twist. Inside the original ceiling heights were kept and extended higher in some parts, a staircase was built to enable access to the upstairs master suite which was to sit half on the old cottage, this called for some major engineering work, steel beams and pile strengthening from underneath.
The third and final stage was to gut the remaining, kitchen, living and 2 bedrooms from what was left of the cottage, there was finally a light at the end of the tunnel.
Hardwood flooring was created locally at a boutique sawmill using a pile of old railway sleepers, leftover sleepers were also machined into shape and used to tie in with the look as ceiling beams, another erected as a mantle above the open fire.
The new home now encompasses lovingly around what was once the original cottage without a trace of what it was once like.