“The tone was always going to be contemporary,” says Pac Studio’s Sarosh Mulla of his reworking of a 1970s townhouse in Sandringham, Tāmaki Makaurau. “But we also thought about those architectural experiences that have worked for forever – small floor areas being made more generous with tall ceilings, throwing open a French door from the kitchen to pick some fresh herbs.”
What’s going on here?
We’re having fun with colour and texture in two rooms within an interesting 1970s townhouse.
What was here before and why did it need fixing?
The house had real potential, but both the kitchen and bathroom were dated and no longer functional. The kitchen was strangely disconnected from the living spaces, and had a ramshackle laundry in precisely the wrong place and the bathroom was a bit depressing with a low ceiling and some very tired fittings. It all felt a bit samey. The new owner saw the potential in both spaces, and we worked together to bring in more natural light and create two spaces with distinctly different atmospheres.
How did you bring it up to speed?
We thought about the way colour can influence your mood and this developed into two ideas about how the spaces could be used at either end of the day. The bathroom could signal the start of a fresh and sunny day, while the kitchen could provide a calming and quiet place to cook in the evening. We rearranged the spaces to be more efficient, relocated the laundry, freed up enough space for an additional guest toilet. We also lifted the ceiling height in the bathroom, and introduced a new set of doors from the kitchen to connect with a lovely herb garden.
How do the bathroom and kitchen relate to each other in a design sense?
They are two sides of the same coin. The aim to create two completely different experiences with the house and inject colour and texture into the spaces as counterpoints to a more neutral palette in other spaces. They are purposefully different, but each is seen as a cohesive volume to inhabit – a space that encapsulates you.
Tell us about the handles.
These are a new range designed by Sarosh Mulla and James Pearce for 277 design, a bespoke and small-run hardware supplier. They design and manufacture unique hardware for our projects that reflect our obsession with material craft down to the smallest scale. These handles are the model T1 in solid brass and hand-turned salvaged pōhutukawa. They are quite lovely to use and feel wonderful in your hand.
Great colours – what are they and how did you choose them?
In the kitchen we used Dulux Coyote to match the beautiful colour of the Mutina Tiles designed by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec. The tile was selected first for its warmth and the way it captures the light when it falls across its surface. In the bathroom we chose a fresh Dulux Cape Kidnappers for the yellow and found a terrazzo tile with a yellow gold fleck of crushed shell within it as a counterpoint. They feel light and bright even on the most cloudy day.