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The change agents | homestyle
For this Auckland family, renovating is a way of life. The result? Their own personal brand of perfection. Like childbirth, living through a renovation can be a tough slog, but once the results emerge, the agony is forgotten. Hayley and Darryl French are serial renovators who have altered the same house three times. In Paremoremo, north-west of Auckland, what was once a cramped kitset cottage is now a generous family home treble its original size. In 2005, the couple went looking for a property for themselves and their son, Nik. On their wish-list was a private retreat that was rural, but without too much land. They’d sold their Takapuna home and prices were on the rise when they came across a 83-square-metre cottage on a half-acre section. The grounds were overgrown, but through the foliage the pair caught a tantalising glimpse of the view across the water to Herald Island. Built in the 80s, the humble home sported an of-its-time mezzanine level and a steep gabled roof. The tired décor included a country-pine kitchen with …