Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects - Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland, Tauranga

Westmere House


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Residential Process

Two rounds of renovations to this former state house have retained the intent of the original house but transformed it for busy family life.

The first renovation in 2015 doubled the size of the 80sq metre house when living and dining spaces, with a mezzanine study and bedroom, were added to the rear of the house. The design placed the dining table at the heart with large glass sliders opening out onto the garden.

The most recent renovation, in 2022, focused on the original state house. Its high stud has been accentuated by raising all existing door heights to the ceiling. The light and bright finishes of birch plywood and light timber floors further highlight the sense of space. 

The new kitchen is key to knitting together old and new. Positioned in the original house, it links with the dining room from the 2015 addition. A kitchen island sits like a piece of furniture to engage with both spaces and promote social cooking times.

The original bedrooms have been extended and an ensuite added to the main bedroom along with inbuilt wardrobes. As well as the kitchen, there's a new laundry and main bathroom. The original windows have been replaced with double-glazing and cedar sashes.

Read a profile of the home in HERE magazine.
Photos: Jackie Meiring




The side wall of the house has been extended to allow for larger bedrooms and is clad in timber to contrast with the weatherboard of the rest of the house. This has kept the proportions of the original state house. The original door handles have been reused throughout.

There's a thoughtful connection with the landscape. The view through the sidelight of the front door is to the backyard – from the silver birches in the front to the nikau in the back.