I’ve decided to do a short series of posts to cover the Kitchen Renovation, rather than try and cover it all in one post, for a couple of reasons:
- if I were to wait until it is completely finalised, it could be quite a wait, and
- to cover it all in one blog post could end up very long!
At the time of typing this, the kitchen is now functional again, but not complete. Appliances are in and electrical and plumbing have been reconnected. I’ve partially moved some stuff into the new kitchen but not fully. Splashbacks are not due to be installed until 31 July, and there are a few little problems/faults to be fixed yet. There is also some painting to be done! The bulkheads and cornicing are new and raw (not yet seen a lick of paint) but the walls and ceiling will need to be painted too. You see now why it could be a while before absolute completion!
So let’s look at a bit of background to our kitchen …
We bought this house in 2007 when it was already 10 years old. We’ve been here 11 years, so the house is 21 now! We’d sadly outgrown our previous home of 17 years. I say sadly because we built that house in 1990 and the children were born to that home and spent their formative years there. It was very hard to leave that house but it had become too small, had very little storage space, and quite frankly – it was a hot house in summer!
Our new home was much bigger, had loads of storage space, a lovely in-ground pool and ducted air-conditioning, and most importantly, was close by to the children’s schools! Tick, tick, tick, tickedy tick! Ok, so it was not a brand new modern home, but it felt warm and welcoming and had everything we needed. When we moved in, our youngest was in her final year of primary school and our twin boys were in their second year of high school. I was working full time in my previous corporate life. We had enormous expenses – an increased mortgage (due to buying a bigger, better home) and 3 x private school fees. Home improvements, apart from the inexpensive DIY type, were not possible.
Since then all kids have finished high school, graduated with University degrees, and are adults in the workforce. We’ve done a few DIY projects around the place, had the roof repaired and spruced up, solar panels installed, but this kitchen renovation is the first big ticket interior renovation we’ve ever done.
So, the kitchen is very 1990’s. Cream/beige cabinetry and a ghastly green laminate benchtop. Additionally it had the raised breakfast bar (is that what you call it?) on the island bench. I quite liked the handles we had in that kitchen. I thought they were quirky. So, I’ve kept them and might re-purpose them. The green theme runs throughout the house. Slowly but surely I’m getting rid of it! I actually do like the colour green, some shades of it, but not this one! The kitchen laminate is also used in both the main bathroom, the ensuite, and the laundry! The pool fence was green but it is now painted black. The guttering of the house is green and a few other accents on the exterior of the house are green. Slowly but surely, we will get there.
Here are the BEFORE photos.
What problems did you pick?
As far as kitchens go, this one is not too bad really, is it?! It’s only when you look closely you might notice a few things, like the following:
- Squeezed in fridge! The space is not wide enough. We had to remove the skirting board in order to fit that fridge in (if you look closely, you will see)!
- Broken Rangehood. Hangs down on one side. Ugh!
- Very 90’s raised breakfast bar. Cuts off the room and also the underside ends up accumulating clutter!
- Ghastly green laminate benchtops!
- That pull down cupboard over the microwave was stiff and heavy and a real nuisance! It also blocked access to the cupboard above. You would have to pull it out a bit in order to open the cupboard above. We never chose to have it down to hide the microwave, so it really served no purpose.
- Timber trims – very 90’s.
- Strange powerpoint above the windows (was there when we bought the place).
- Ugly hook from ceiling near windows (also was there when we bought the place)
And here is the pièce de résistance, the scorch/burn mark on the bench top from when an electric frypan decided to self combust! This is actually located on the benchtop just to the right of the pantry.
What will be different in the new kitchen?
- The new kitchen will mostly have the same footprint as the old one.
- The fridge space will be widened by 10cm (or 100 mm) in the new kitchen. We couldn’t widen it any more than that because to do so we sacrifice pantry space and we can’t widen the pantry on the other side because there are windows there.
- There will be gorgeous Caesarstone benchtops. The colour/name will be revealed in due course!
- There will be the same style of rangehood installed (but brand new and updated) as we’re not willing to sacrifice cupboard space for a fancier kind.
- The island bench will not have the raised breakfast bar and will be a larger surface area.
- The drawer configurations will be slightly different.
- No pull down cupboard over the microwave!
- The cooktop position will be more centred then before, which changes the configuration of the cupboards above it slightly.
- New appliances – oven, cooktop, tap, sink, rangehood, and dishwasher. We intended to keep our existing dishwasher but one drawer decided to die on us just a few weeks before the renovation was due to start. The cost to have it repaired was not worth it, considering the dishwasher is as old as the house (well it was here when we bought the place anyway), so we bought a new one.
- The new sink will be a double sink but won’t have the drainage area. This will give us more bench space. Lovely accessories come with the sink that provide drainage solutions.
- Powerpoint above windows and ugly ceiling hook near windows will be gone!
- … and more lovely stuff but you will have to wait and see!
In a perfect world, where money was no object, I would love to cover the floor tiles with floating timber floorboards but these tiles are throughout the whole house (apart from the lounge room and bedrooms), so if I were to do that, I’d need to do the whole house and somehow I think that might blow the budget somewhat! So, the existing tiles will have to do.
Stay tuned for the next kitchen renovation post where I’ll share a few phone snaps and explain the DURING process.
Ciao for now,
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