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Episode 13 (01)

Alison Mau visits a remarkable home which an Auckland mother and son have created out of a warehouse. They were growing tired of their Remuera house and both had expanding businesses that needed more space. The answer to their problems was a modern concrete warehouse unit which was just an empty shell with a handbasin and a toilet when they first saw it. Gillian and Israel can take just about all of the credit for the way they've totally transformed the bare space into a luxury home that also doubles as an antiques showroom and a commercial kitchen. They didn't use an architect but did employ a draughtsman to ensure that all of the correct building permits were obtained. Israel designed the spaces and Gillian oversaw the interior decoration.

Dave Cull visits Nico and Irina Francken, the owners of Corstorphine House - one of Dunedin's grand old homes. The house was built in 1863 by John Sidey, one of Dunedin's founding fathers, in the style of old European country manors. It originally stood on an estate that included what is now the St. Clair golf course. In the early 1900s the size of the house was enlarged to 24 rooms - and the grounds were reduced to the current 12 acres. The Franckens are only the property's fourth owners and they were very fortunate that the house had been very well cared for throughout its life. The upper floor required more extensive renovation and was turned into guest suites - while downstairs the Franckens have largely confined themselves to redecorating. Of particular interest are a banquet table and a sideboard which once belonged to the Sidey family. The guest suites have been arranged around Egyptian, French, Scandinavian, Art Deco, Moroccan and Indian themes.


We gave designer Prudence Lane $1500 to transform a sunroom. Prudence's first concern was the tongue and groove walls which were painted white creating a highly reflective surface for a room getting so much sun. She chose a shade of green for the paint which would tone down the glare, give the walls more depth and provide some connection to the garden outside. The window and door frames were left white so they wouldn't compete with the view out into the garden.

Prudence's next step was to replace the carpet. Sisal was chosen as the new covering - partly because the floorboards were unsuitable for sanding and polishing, partly because it provides a good long lasting surface in a heavy traffic area, and also because it adds to the fresh garden feel being promoted by the new green paintwork. Preparation for laying the sisal involved spreading a compound to even out different heights in the floorboards. Sisal is a very good covering - but it is expensive and laying it is probably not something that should be undertaken by an amateur.

Prudence then turned her attentions to the cane furniture which she painted a complementary shade of green. The painting was straightforward. Preparing the canework involved brushing it down to remove dust and grit. As an additional step it could also be wiped down with meths. To apply the paint Prudence used a spray gun which she says is easily hired and very straightforward to use. Anyone who is spray painting should cover anything in the immediate area that they don't want painted - and especially their clothes.

New cushion covers completed the furniture makeover. Given the direct exposure of the room to the sun, Prudence used fabric high in polyester to slow down the fading process as much as possible.

A palm tree provided the finishing touch to the room.

For materials and services used, see the list below:

Walls: Resene Prudence Sea
Woodwork: Resene Prudence White
Furniture: Resene Prudence Wicker
Resene (Jeremy Croft)
Tel: 09-309-2718

Creation Baumann "Estelle" col.463

Prudence Lane Design:

Picture Frames:
Letham Framing
35 Jervois Road
Tel: 09-360-5217

The Bay Tree of Remuera
62a Benson Road
Tel: 09-522-2991

The Bespoke Mat Company
162 Jervois Road
Herne Bay
Tel: 09-360-6044

Carpet Layer:
Gary Baker
The Bespoke Mat Company
See above for contact details