The interior of Casa Nova House is just a few finishing touches and some final tweaks away from being complete.
The historic homestead in Oamaru’s Alt St has been undergoing a major renovation and restoration since it was bought by Katrina McLarin and Brenda Laverick in October last year.
Ms McLarin said they were very close to finishing the inside of the property and expected to be done by early December at the latest. They would then turn their attention to the building’s exterior.
All going to plan on the outside, the pair expect to open it as a luxury bed and breakfast in January, with a tapas restaurant to follow soon after.
They were very keen to make the place available to the public again.
“So many people have an experience and a memory here,” she said.
“We’re trying to bring it back for the next generation of Oamaruvians to have a memory. There are so many possibilities.”
The existing footprint of the building has been maintained and Oamaru stone “viewing niches” in each guest room were an effort to share the heritage features of the building.
“These will give guests an idea of the stone masonry skills used in 1861 and highlight how extraordinary and exceptional this build was for its time,” Ms McLarin said.
Different sections of the house have been named in another nod to the building’s rich history and the people who have had a part to play in that.
The Noble Wing is named for the original 1861 owner, Mark Noble, with the Grenfell and Glass drawing room named after the building’s architects.
The bedrooms are named the Borton Chamber, Dunn Chamber, McMullan Chamber, Graham Chamber and Taylor Chamber.
Builders had replicated the historic doors and architraves to make sure everything matched and was in keeping with its heritage roots.
“We have been fortunate that locally we have been able to use very talented tradespeople who have all brought their exceptional skill set to this project,” she said.
“Our three boutique guest rooms . . . have all the modern conveniences expected today of Wi-Fi, mini bars and luxury bedding, but maintain the heritage values so important to this building.
“Shortly, we move to the exterior of the house to start some much-needed repairs to the woodwork and guttering and double-hung sash windows.”