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CMID Project: City Apartment, Thorndon

Earlier this year, I worked on an extensive apartment renovation which was completed in July. This project came about when my clients decided to downsize from their house in the Wairarapa and move to the city. They had been renting out their Thorndon apartment for 15 years so it was looking shabby and ready for a change. The initial brief when I first met the clients was a basic tidying up of the apartment so it would be suitable for them to move in. However, as we progressed through the initial design stage, the clients started to realise fully their required needs so the brief changed and ended up as an extensive renovation with structural work, a full remodel and refurbishment. We completed the building work in six weeks and finished off with a special 'reveal' to the delighted clients who had been away for the duration of the project.

I thought I would share with you some before and after photos so you can see how far this apartment has come! Today lets start with the living area. 

The living area - before

The living area - after

As you can see, it's quite the transformation! The living area is now centred around a large joinery unit on the end wall which houses the TV, books and other belongings. The joinery unit is the main focal point of the space and it has been installed nicely within the surrounding concrete column and beam. We also painted out the concrete into the same colour as the walls to make them less obvious. For the whole apartment, we kept to a tight palette of light timbers, off white, light grey and soft blue (the client's favourite colour), which I think is essential in making a small apartment feel spacious and harmonious. The soft furniture was chosen for several reasons - their simple form so they wouldn't overwhelm the space, their legs so that they are raised off the floor, and their traditional details, like the rolled arms, piping and castor feet, to add character. We also specified multi-use furniture, like the Artek stools, which can be used as side tables or extra seating when needed, or stacked away when not in use. 

All 'after' photographs by Bonny Stewart-MacDonald.



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Contact may be desirable if feasible, but there is no imperative need for it. Under many conditions rifle-fire is more effective at 5, 50, even 100 yards’ distance than in a mêlée. A victory may be crushingly conclusive without recourse to anything in the nature of a hand-to-hand encounter; but if nothing save a hand-to-hand encounter will secure a victory, the rifle provides scores of opportunities of obtaining that encounter where the arme blanche provides but one, if only the mounted riflemen are versed in that elementary part of their trade, which consists in knowing what and how to use, and when and how to discard, the horse. As compared with the steel horsemen, they are almost independent of ground. Instead of perpetually pining for level swards and open “Cavalry ground,” they welcome inequalities and obstacles, for these are the true conditions of surprise. Indeed, they make use of these obstacles, instead of allowing them to baulk their efforts. Steep ascents often aid them, entrenchments and other defences, natural or artificial, at the point of contact,—hopeless barriers, however flimsy in their character, to shock—can be surmounted by them. But supposing the ground is open, level, and smooth, and a mêlée with the enemy obtainable by quadrupeds, suppose, in fact, the only topographical conditions which can render an arme blanche charge possible, is there no r?le open to them analogous to that of the steel horsemen? Can they not charge home? I shall prove by a quantity of facts drawn from experience that they can, and under conditions which would be fatal to an arme blanche charge. Not aiming at physical shock, not therefore presenting the vulnerable target produced by close formation, they do not need the same degree of speed, nor, consequently, that perpetual 32freshness in their mounts which is the chimera of theorists and the despair of practical men. Nor is the size of their horses—an important element in genuine shock—of any account to mounted riflemen. Within rational limits, the smaller they are the better. Finally, in the process of covering on horseback this last intervening space of open, level ground, when the arme blanche, remember, even at the eleventh hour is still idle, need the rifle, too, be idle? Again, I shall bring ample modern testimony, which is fortified by much evidence from the American Civil War, to show that fire from the saddle, even if unaimed, may be used with signal effect, and in the case of the modern rifle, not merely moral effect, but physical effect. It may take the shape of aimed fire, as against horsemen at close quarters in pursuit, or against a Cavalry “mass,” or groups of led horses; while a few casualties, even from unaimed fire, in the defence, however constituted, produce great effect in daunting aim and nerves alike. Here, mark, is the crowning element of superiority in the rifle. Unlike the steel, which is used only from horseback, it can be used both from horseback and on foot. The first-class mounted rifleman—the ideal type we can construct from direct war experience—will be at home in both. He will use saddle-fire mainly in its unaimed