Taylor’s Mistake

Mediterranean Memories

In a secluded position overlooking Pegasus Bay, sits this cherished 20-year-old family home, expertly updated by DJ Hewitt Builders.


  • Johnston Architects
  • Lume Design

A love of the sea drew Dennise and Tom  to Taylor’s Mistake 20 years ago, where they built their dream home with views over Pegasus Bay and the South Pacific Ocean.
Twenty years later, they wanted a newer home but just couldn’t tear themselves away from two decades of memories in this stunning location. Instead, they decided to renovate the existing home
with the help of DJ Hewitt Builders.
The couple also approached Johnston Architects for some guidance as to what they might change to modernise the house.
They were impressed by the level of finish and attention to detail in builder DJ Hewitt’s own home, so asked Daryl Hewitt and his wife Tara, an interior designer, to manage the build.

“We really love this area, says Dennise. We’re close to Sumner and Taylor’s Mistake, and we’re able to take advantage of the outdoor lifestyle provided by the tracks around the hills. Sumner Village is a
great place to wander around with some top options for dining out and only 20  minutes to Christchurch’s city centre.”
The couple is firmly entrenched in their
community, with great neighbours who all look out for each other. They have enjoyed many years of weddings, birthdays and parties together. When it comes to family, Tom has three adult children and six grandchildren who all live close by and visit often. The boss of the home is Buster – the couple’s Maltese Shitsu fur baby.

Dennise and Tom wanted to improve their usable outdoor space, making the most of the views while giving them and their neighbours some privacy. They wanted to make the kitchen the focal point of
the living area, let more light in and reconfigure the house to suit them.
One of the main challenges was working in
with the existing house. It was a farm-style finish originally, but it was time for a much-needed modernisation along with improvements to storage areas within the rooms. The weather and the COVID-19 lockdown also managed to cause some delays.

The couple was in constant communication with the builder, Daryl, and his team, and they were always available to work through minor issues that were sorted quickly. Dennise says, “We came to rely on their years’ of experience to get the most out of the renovation, and we are sure that they took as much pleasure out of the outcome as we did.”

Regan Johnston from Johnston Architects, along with the team from DJ Hewitt, helped with the material specs and the interior finishes.

The couple wanted natural materials that would blend with the
Mediterranean style of the house using stone, wood and New Zealand wool carpet. Stephen Mapleoft from Texture Plants worked on the landscape design, with a style that also complements the
Mediterranean architecture.

Builder Daryl came through with a
recommended team of subcontractors and
suppliers, with excellent results. Dennise and Tom were determined to stay with local New Zealand made products where possible. The oak flooring and New Zealand wool carpet were selected through the team at Nextdore, who was very helpful throughout the process.

The couple enjoyed working with Oakleys
Plumbing who provided the fittings and bathroom ware to suit their style. The Quartz benchtop came from Artisan Stone and is a real feature of the kitchen. Dennise adds that “the kitchen island is a
great place to sit, especially in the morning.”

The security and smart house features have raised the couple’s technology and connectivity to a whole new level with help from their electricians, Moot Electrical. The outdoor louvres are from Louvretec, who have done a great job of making the outdoor space more usable. Dennise and Tom especially love the outcome of converting the fourth bedroom into a walk-in wardrobe. “It suits us perfectly, but we have left the windows in place so that the room can be converted back to a bedroom if needed by a new owner at some stage in the future,” says Dennise.

Using DJ Hewitt meant they not only got the building and management expertise of Daryl and his team, but they also got the benefit of Tara’s skills in interior design. Dennise says, “They were a pleasure to deal with throughout the project and came up with many ideas that added value. Jason, our foreman, could not have been more helpful, and the rest of the DJ team and all the contractors did a superb job.”
Both Dennise and Tom are busy business owners and would like to have more time to play golf, go fishing, and relax with the family. But at least they know that when they’re ready, their beautifully renovated home will help them to do just that.

Daryl Hewitt

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