Kitchen Renovation – Part 3 – After

September 13, 2018
kettle, jug, rose gold, black

kettle, jug, rose gold, black

Hello there!  At last, here is the long-awaited ‘after’ post for the kitchen renovation series.  We’ve had the kitchen and dining rooms painted since the kitchen was completed.  Then we’ve had some dull days which were no good for taking photographs  (too dark) and then of course, I’ve been sick.  Anyway, though the photographs aren’t quite as good as I’d have liked, finally here is a post to show you how it all turned out.

If you haven’t read my earlier kitchen renovation posts you might like to do so before reading this.  You can find them here (Part 1 – Before) and here (Part 2 – During).

We had our kitchen done by Kitchen Connection.  They were on the whole very good and we are happy with the end result but there was an unfortunate hiccup along the way.  The initial consultation in the showroom was great, with the staff that we interacted with being very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.  Then the design guy that came out to the house was friendly and had some great suggestions too.  A 3D design is done on the computer which is helpful for visualization.  We were then assigned a Customer Support Manager who was a lovely guy.  All the trades that came were timely, friendly, courteous, and did great jobs.

The Hiccup

I can’t review a product or service without complete honesty, and though this is not an official review because in this case the product and service has been fully paid for by ourselves, I still feel this hiccup must be mentioned.  The hiccup came during installation of the cabinetry.  The installer was a lovely guy and did a really great job.  He was very good at his job, but unfortunately we were not consulted on handle placement on cupboards and drawers at all.  I was not concerned about this and in fact barely gave it a thought because I had assumed that they would be centred on all drawers, vertically and horizontally.  When the cabinetry was delivered there were no handles on them as yet.  The installer put them on in-situ.  I wasn’t in the room when he did this as I was trying to be considerate and stay out-of-the-way with the dog and besides, it was crowded and cluttered and not the safest place to be until some space was cleared once the cabinetry was installed.  When I came in later to see how things were going I saw that the handles on the seven (7) ‘deep’ drawers had been placed at the top (vertically) of the drawers rather than centred.  The narrow drawers (by depth) had the handles centred both vertically and horizontally as I would have expected.  This disparity looked very odd to me and shocked me as I had not seen it done this way before.  When I questioned him about it, he said it was the ‘new’ way and that ‘some people prefer this way, some people prefer the old way’.  I was never given the choice.  I think he realised his mistake in not consulting me about this.  I have to be honest – I was very upset, quite distressed about it actually.  The kitchen was costing us a lot of money and from the get go something happened that wasn’t right and it rattled me.  Interestingly, all kitchen drawer photos I see on their social media have the handles placed exactly as I had been expecting mine to be.  To wrap the story up quickly – to correct this handle placement would mean to replace the 7 x deep drawer fronts (not the whole drawer – just the drawer fronts).  They would not do this free of charge for us.  It would have cost us approximately an additional $800 which we were told was heavily discounted and waiving the installation cost.  This wasn’t acceptable to us after the money already spent and this error being through no fault of ours.  We also had other expenses ahead to consider, so unless we wanted to kick up a stink and create more stress for ourselves, we’ve had to accept the handle placements as they are.  Thankfully, the rest of the kitchen is so lovely that the 7 x wonky drawer handle placement becomes less noticeable with time.  You will see what I mean if you look closely at the photos.  Onward and upward.  I refuse to dwell on it, preferring instead to protect my inner peace and focus on the good, and there is a lot of good about our new kitchen.

plant, fern, pot plant, new kitchen, kitchen,


At the time, Kitchen Connection was offering a significant discount on any appliances bought through them, so we took them up on that.  Of course, we were then limited to the brands with whom they collaborate with, which were only a few, but that’s ok, we’re happy with our selections.  We got our oven, cooktop, rangehood, sink and tap through them.  The dishwasher we bought independently after ours suddenly partially died and we decided it would be more economical to buy a new one then to spend money on the old one.

Oven:  Westinghouse Stainless Steel Multifunction Oven

Cooktop:  Westinghouse 60cm electric ceramic cooktop

Rangehood:  Westinghouse 60cm slide out recirculating rangehood

Dishwasher:  Fisher & Paykal Double DishDrawer Dishwasher, 14 Place Settings, Sanitize

Sink:  Oliveri Monet Double Bowl Undermount Sink

Tap:  Oliveri Vilo Pull-Out Spray Mixer – Santorini Black

I have to say that out of the above listed appliances I am most in love with my tap!  It’s a real indulgence but worth every cent.  It is fabulous!  We stuck with the pull out rangehood, even though they’re not exciting, because we didn’t want to sacrifice cupboard space.


Caesarstone Oyster

Other Details

Splashback:  Smoked Mirror Glass

Pendant Lights:  Beacon Lighting (see here)

My gorgeous kettle and toaster are Morphy Richards and were a birthday gift (there’s no way the old toaster and jug were making it to the new kitchen).  You can see them at Myers here > kettle and toaster.  I love the black and the rose gold accents on these are so delish.  

Bar Stools – KMart (see here)

Step Stool for the vertically challenged such as myself – Ikea (see here)

Plants and PotsBunnings

Wrap Up

Regardless of our ‘hiccup’ I would still recommend Kitchen Connections, because they were otherwise very organised, punctual, friendly, professional and efficient, but I would do so saying to please be aware of ALL the details and do not make ANY assumptions.  DO check with the installer regarding handle placement.  DO ask about sealing around the cabinetry kickboards.  We had to ask for this and get them back to do it.  DO speak up if you’re not happy with something. I had to with a few things – nothing as major as the ‘hiccup’, and they did come back for these and correct at no extra charge.

Ok, so here are some ‘after’ photographs for you!  We think our kitchen is gorgeous, but you won’t be seeing a kitchen of the kind you see on ‘The Block‘ – no butlers pantry for example – we don’t have that kind of budget unfortunately! 

new kitchen, kitchen, renovated kitchen

Bar stools were $25 each from K-Mart. Pendant Lights are from Beacon Lighting.

kitchen, new kitchen, renovated kitchen

kitchen, new kitchen, renovated kitchen,

I’ve added more plants to the kitchen since this photo was taken

plant, moroccan, bottles, bottle, kitchen

I have a bottle fetish – love collecting them in all shapes, colours and sizes. I am also fond of all things Moroccan.

kitchen, new kitchen, renovated kitchen

Everyone was home the day I took these photos, hence the trusty bread board is out and a few dirty dishes were hiding in the sink – shhh!

kitchen, new kitchen, renovated kitchen

When I unpacked my kitchen boxes, I found an old rose gold coloured jug and glasses (inherited) and so put them out on the open shelf to keep with the rose gold accent brought in by my new kettle and toaster.

Not the best photo but I had to do one to use as a comparison to a similar shot taken of the old kitchen. You’ll see later in the post.

Fridge, Pantry, New Kitchen, Kitchen,

The fridge finally has some space around it and we have been able to put the skirting board back on. The pantry is not as wide but it is much better now anyway as you’ll see in the following photo. Yes that is a menu plan on the fridge – I do one every week. And yes – I adore Orangutans. That fridge is probably at least 13 years old and still going strong!

pantry, drawers, pantry drawers,

Love the new pantry with the pull out drawers. So easy to see and find stuff. Ok so we all know about my Rye Cruskit addiction. I’ve come clean in Taking Stock posts. Let’s not mention it again ok.  

tapware, tap, new kitchen, kitchen tap,

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would fall in love with a tap, but I have. Have a look at it at the link I’ve provided. It pulls out and has different spray types and it is just so gorgeous to look at!!

tap, tapware, new kitchen

Did I mention I love my new tap? At this stage of my photography session, I didn’t have the right lens on to capture the ‘whole’ of the tap unless from a great distance so I just photographed ‘parts’ of it. The brushed chrome/silver bit on the end pulls out and you then have a hose like situation with two varying spray choices which is very handy indeed!

candle, candle holder, new kitchen

Well what do ya know? The gorgeous PartyLite candle and candle holder given to me as a birthday gift by one of my sisters is rose gold – so it’s come to the kitchen to play! The candle is ‘cinnamon woods’ and apparently smells gorgeous!

Here’s a few BEFORE and AFTER comparison shots, just for fun!

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I was hoping to get more photos (close ups of the gorgeous sink for example) but ran out of time.  It was more important to get this post done and published and if you’re reading this, then it looks like I’ve finally done that!  Yay!

Hope you like my kitchen.  She’s elegant and stylish and so much more efficient than before.   I love her!

Ciao for now,



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  • Reply Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond September 13, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Hi Min, your kitchen looks lovely and I’m sure if you hadn’t mentioned the handles no one would notice. It is very disappointing though that the company wouldn’t correct their mistake. Kitchens are so expensive – that is why we are doing ours a little at a time – we have new benchtops now and next will be splash back and doors probably next year. Did you want to use your kitchen when it was finished? I didn’t want to get the benchtops dirty LOL:) Everything looks so shiny and new and I love the view from your kitchen window. Thanks for sharing the updated with us. #Lovin’Life

    • Reply Min September 13, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks Sue, yes I know the handles are probably not noticeable unless pointed out. It is disappointing though and I do believe they should have corrected the mistake without any expense to us. However, I’m just gonna have to put it behind me and move on. Life’s too short to dwell on things like this. I am happy to use the kitchen but I am pedantic about keeping it clean and tidy and everything in its rightful place! lol Everything has to be just so and I can’t stand a thing out of place. I’m also a lot more driven to wash up, clean up etc so I can restore the kitchen to its beautiful tidy state. All the best with your kitchen renos! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Vanessa September 13, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Very nice looking! I thought the handles would look odder after reading but they look pretty good.

    It is a shame they didn’t ask you, especially seeing as you were there! A good lesson for anyone reading that a simple question at work (whatever you do) can prevent a lot of headaches.

    • Reply Min September 13, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      In the whole scheme of things I know the handles seems like a minor thing. It was rattling though to have something like that happen right at the beginning! When you’re spending a lot of money, you want everything to be perfect. Yes, I hope my experience forewarns someone else to be aware of details and make no assumptions so they don’t have the um ‘hiccup’ experience that I did. LOVE my kitchen though! 🙂

      • Reply Vanessa September 13, 2018 at 7:54 pm

        I have been a little over the stories of businesses who don’t listen to consumers when if it was business to business, they’d have to fix it. Or businesses being able to do things that employees can’t… it is an inequity in our system that has been bothering me recently!

        • Reply Min September 15, 2018 at 2:28 pm

          It is a pain in the butt but I don’t have the strength to fight these things anymore. The stress of it makes me unwell. SO…I do what is best for me and my health and in this case it was to let it go and focus on all the good! 🙂

  • Reply Natalie September 13, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Hi Min – Your kitchen is beautiful and you’re so organized. Thanks for sharing your ‘after’ post and photos. Hope you’re feeling better.

    • Reply Min September 13, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks so much Natalie! I’m still unwell but much improved. Next week will be a better week for me healthwise! 🙂

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl September 13, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Thanks for sharing both the beautiful photos of your new kitchen and the details about the appliances you chose. I am sorry you had that bad encounter regarding the carpentry. If you hadn’t mentioned it, I would not have picked it up in your photos.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Min September 13, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      Thank you SSG – I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the photos and details/links etc! Yes I know the drawer handles would most likely not have been noticed if I hadn’t mentioned them. I had to include the ‘hiccup’ though because it might save someone else having to experience the same ‘hiccup’ as me and also cos I’m an honesty freak! LOL 🙂 xoxo

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit September 13, 2018 at 9:58 am

    I want your kitchen!! Pinning this page for inspo – coz – same floor tiles!
    And re the drawers, they look perfect to me! I wouldn’t have noticed anything “odd” had you not mentioned it. Perhaps orange really is the new black. Or top really is the new middle. Life is better on top … #teamlovinlife

    • Reply Min September 13, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      Yay! Pin worthy at last! haha I’m glad the drawers look ok to you. 🙂

  • Reply Leanne | September 13, 2018 at 11:52 am

    It all looks lovely Min – and the drawer handles are really small potatoes. I am as OCD as they come and I think the handles look perfectly fine – I’m not sure there’d be a spot where they actually looked any better in comparison to the narrower drawers – so it’s not really a hiccup at all IMHO. You are going to walk into that room with a huge smile on your face every day for many months to come (until you forget how it used to look – which was still pretty good – but nowhere near as good as it is now!)

    • Reply Min September 13, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      Thanks Leanne! The handles in my opinion should have been placed on the ‘deep drawers’ in the same position as they were places on the ‘narrower drawers’ (centred) BUT I’m moving on from it now as I don’t want to waste any more emotional energy on it! lol I love the kitchen and as you suggest – it sure does make me happy every time I walk in there! 🙂

  • Reply Natalie @ Be Kind 2 You September 13, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    The before and after look amazingly different. What a transformation.!! The house I am currently living in has a kitchen that wasn’t fit for a family of 6 people so we renovated it before actually moving in. There is always some hiccups but it is so nice to see the end result.

    • Reply Min September 15, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks Natalie! We moved in to this house just over 11 years ago. Things didn’t seem so dated back then and besides with 3 kids at private schools we couldn’t have afforded any renovations at the time anyway. I’m not used to spending that amount of money and I’m not used to hiccups. I admit – it rattled me! I’m ok now though – survived to tell the tale! lol

  • Reply Denyse Whelan September 13, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    My husband was a kitchen designer, maker and installer in the 1990s to late 1990s. I cannot believe he would have told someone like you ‘that is how it is done now’. It needed to be by consultation Min, and in my case, I would find that hard to let go. But, you have accepted it to move on. I hope you are happy over time. It is such a treat getting a new kitchen. When we sold our Sydney house, my husband came out of retirement and over many months, made the new to the market kitchen which helped well the house. I am a big fan of drawers as is he. In this place we are renting, which is only 3 years old, there are only 4 drawers..because they are expensive! Denyse x

    • Reply Min September 15, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      I’ve had to accept it, let it go, and move on Denyse. The stress within my body was making me feel very unwell. I’m pleased that I have learnt to recognise what is no good for me and how to adjust my thinking to help myself. I do love my kitchen regardless of the hiccup! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Kathy Marris September 14, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Wow! Your new kitchen looks very smick indeed. I would never have noticed those handles on your kitchen drawers, so I wouldn’t be concerned about them. I have just designed my new kitchen in our new house being commenced in around a month’s time. There were so many decisions to be made with colours, finishes, appliances, etc., so I will also be very nervous about seeing the end result. Great job!

    • Reply Min September 15, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks Kathy – glad you like it! You must be so excited about your new house. My next house I’d like to build I think. I don’t want to have to renovate or update again. I’d like everything as I’d like it from the start. SO many decisions to make with these things aren’t there. Does your head it but fun watching it all come together! 🙂

  • Reply Candi Randolph September 14, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Your Kitchen renovation turned out beautifully…I especially love the tap, the counter tops and the touches of copper!

    • Reply Min September 15, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks so much Candi. I’m so glad you like it! 🙂

  • Reply Sue September 17, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Min it’s lovely! I probably wouldn’t have noticed the handles if you hadn’t pointed it out, but after reading I checked the handle position in our new kitchen and noticed that they are all positioned at the top of the drawers. I do remember being asked at the time, and I know the installation guys used a “jig” to get them all in the same spot. It’s a pity the company wasn’t prepared to replace the drawer fronts and acknowledge their mistake, but I think your decision to let it go in the interests of your wellbeing is the wise one. We had a similar issue with our glass splashback – the colour on the sample was the one we chose (very carefully) to go with our stone benches but when it came in the enormous pieces for installation, it looked quite different. The company did remove a small piece and took it back to the factory for checking, only to find it was exactly what we’d ordered and there was nothing to be done. Something about the way the light comes in around the edges…………. just a pity the samples don’t truly reflect the end product. But now (especially since we’ve ditched the little sample so have nothing to compare) it looks fine.
    When all’s said and done, you must be delighted to have your new kitchen up and running. Hope you have many joyful hours of cooking, sharing meals, and building relationships in the “hub” of your home xx

    • Reply Min September 20, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks so much Sue. I’m really glad you like the final result! Yes, my wellbeing is too important to me to hold on to stress and feel unwell. Best to let it go. I do love my kitchen! 🙂 xo

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