Real Home Series – Villa Revived

This real home has been a 5-year labour of love for an Oamaru based shearer, extensively restoring and reconfiguring a 1909 villa to its former glory with a few modern twists. Perched on a hill, blanketed with period villas that reflect the towns rich shipping history, this beauty has a view that very few have the luxury of having from their own home. We take you through a grand project in it’s partially renovated state that sparked our attention on Instagram @Avonvillaoamaru as Cameron shares the story of his Oamaru villa restoration project.

Cameron is in the process of removing all the plaster from the exterior and unearthing the stunning detail that was hidden years ago. He’s changed the floor plan in places and removed all wall linings to fully insulate the house. The proof is in the pudding when it comes to the detailing. Take note of things like stained glass, window pannelling, the lighting as Cameron has bought back the character that was once stripped from his home.

Who Lives here?

Currently just the wardrobes and a few paint cans, however, 28 year – old Cameron Nimmo, a sheep shearer from Oamaru and his Grey Hound have plans to move in over the next year as the reno comes closer to being livable.

The style & year of the home and why they chose it

Cameron always wanted a character home, the high ceilings, grand spaces and wanted a project that I could put his mark on. Location was a huge deciding factor, being a country boy the main roads and hustle and bustle of cities didn’t really speak to him so where better than the hills of Oamaru?!

The vision Cameron has for his home

Keeping with the age of the house is always front of mind when beginning any part of the reno and to restore what had been ‘modernised’ over the years so things like the plaster on the exterior needed removing, the floor plan needed to change to move the kitchen and bathroom. Anything new going in has to look like it could have fitted in originally. Antique auctions have been great for picking up great furniture pieces and also trademe for second-hand house parts. Cameron has plans to live in this house so that vision is important.

What made you renovate?

For insurance reasons, Cameron had to remove and reline the walls as they were all scrim. The Reno was a must for that reason and also to bring his vision to life. While the walls are off it’s the ideal time to upgrade everything but also inspired the removal of the plaster on the exterior of the house, revealing for the most part – weatherboards in good condition so a HUGE job but worth it. It would have been quicker to build new and possibly cheaper but that wasn’t something Cameron was interested in because there is something satisfying giving this place a new lease of life.

The original renovation was never planned to be at this scale (hence why it has taken longer) but Cameron has ensured that he keeps true to craftsmanship and does his best by the house.

Where do you draw styling inspiration from?

Walking through the renovation with Cameron, it soon becomes apparent that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to character homes. Drawing inspiration from older homes in the UK and heavily influenced by a teacher he worked with on a gap year in South Africa who introduced him to William Morris and all his designs. Cameron also turns to Pinterest and Instagram to plan and inspire his projects.

Down the hall, antique lights hang from the 3.4m ceilings that Cameron acquired from local auctions and he has quite the collection of furnishings that compliment the grandness of the aesthetic ready to unveil when the renovation is finished. The Kitchen which is a Pinterest dream come true has a beautiful tap sourced from Perrin & Rowe the brass lights he worked with the team at Design Federation to find and the cabinetry also includes a fully integrated Dishdrawer by Fisher & Paykel.

Any regrets?

“I don’t think I have any regrets, but if I was to do a similar project again it would definitely be a quicker process”. You learn a lot when renovating DIY, especially when doing a project of this scale. Cameron has learned a lot about old houses and the best thing is that they are not perfect, nothing is straight and it really shouldn’t have to be. It all tells a story and gives the house character.u

Oamaru House
Avon Villa

Favourite things about your home?

For Cameron the house is his labour of love, so he’d be lying if it wasn’t the whole project as it’s coming together nicely. The Kitchen painted in Resene double Foundry and crafted by a local joiner is very clearly a statement but the new flow of the house after knocking down a few walls and changing the floor plan avoids separate spaces like original villas had. The kitchen and living now flow and the spaces are going to be more liveable now making the function of the home more enjoyable.

Where everything is from:

Wallpaper Wallpaper direct
Paint by resene Black white on cieling and trims, Double foundry in kitchen and doors, exterior is Karen Walker periclacial Bluewith black white and tapa for the bottom trim detailing and Grey Friars for the roof.
Joiner – Rycole Joinery
Tiling and stone work – Nehoff precision
Kitchen lights and curtains (TBC) – Design federation
Kitchen flooring – Flooring xtra


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