Thursday, 5 January 2017

Kitchen Makeover

We took the 'kitch' out of our kitchen.

We now have an elegant, modern and functional kitchen that works well for us. The old kitchen was not only ugly, it was also stupid. By stupid I mean it had several usability issues that can only come from a house that was renovated to sell. Once again, children: JUST SAY NO TO A RENOVATED-TO-SELL HOUSE.

Key changes we made to rid ourselves of the ugly and the stupid were:

1. Removed cabinets either side of the rangehood and above the fridge, adding open shelving:
  • Reduced the over-supply of cupboards without compromising storage space.
  • Floating shelves open up and modernise the space.
  • Allows us to be creative and add colour and interest.

2. Replaced the drawer fronts and cupboard doors and added handles:
Come on. Milky green glass cabinetry? REALLY? It looked like a hospital. And it turns out, solid glass is heavy (one door recently fell off its hinges). We liked the existing layout and cabinetry so we did a makeover. This involved getting a cabinetmaker to replace the drawer and cupboard facades, update the drawer rollers and cupboard hinges and add handles. Handles... oh how I missed you. What a difference. Everything is so light and easy to open and close. Plus the shaker style is modern but also a little traditional so it complements the villa.

3. Replaced the sink, tap and benchtops:
  • A simple, elegant gooseneck tap is all we need. The previous tap was fussy and ugly.
  • We installed a single stainless steel under-mounted sink. The old white plastic double sink was impossible to clean and not very durable. We went through tubs of baking soda trying to keep it from going grey. Beetroot, curry and tumeric were all banned. No way could you place anything hot in there. And it was slightly raised above the bench so food and crumbs would gather beneath. It was also huge, taking up about a third of the work space. And finally, the idiot who installed it put it in the wrong way around. JUST SAY NO!
  • Nasty plasticky white flecked benchtops from the 1990s have been replaced with handsome black granite, breaking up all that white.
  • We also added a double power point to the kitchen island. This allowed us to put the microwave in a cavity under the bench out of sight and we can now plug appliances in at the main island bench. Now I can whip up batches of prune truffles more easily...

4. Added bookshelves to the kitchen island cavity:
  • An easy way to add a bookshelf.
  • Similar to what we had in our previous home.
  • Adds warmth and texture to the space.
  • Great use of 'dead' space.

We had the most amazing contractors working with us on this project:

DL Cabinetmaking
Dean from DL Cabinetmaking has just been great. As a former Project Manager, one thing I really appreciate is a project plan. Dean provided all costs, schedules and timings really fast for our multi-faceted project. He also kept a pre-Christmas space open for us as we waited on other things to be confirmed before committing. He was open to our ideas, but provided sound professional advice and direction where required. We are so happy with the result and with Dean's approach to his work and clientele. He'll definitely be building our bathroom vanities next year!

Luxury Living Builders
Owner Chris Foley managed a range of contractors for us so the gib-stopping and painting parts of the job got done. Amazingly, his guys were able to carefully extract the top layer of subway tiles off the back wall after Dean had removed the cabinets and then colour-match the mystery white paint!

Sanders Plumbing
Johnny was such a professional, going the extra mile for us - and a hell of a nice guy too.

Granite Benchtop Company
Wiremu and T hauled our massive slabs of granite and set in our sink for us - all with grace and poise! It looks amazing.

Hall Electrical
We've used Hall Electrical for years and they're fantastic. Pat is our regular Electrician and he's the best. A friendly guy who knows what he's doing. We love all the changes Hall Electrical has made to our house since we moved in.

Trinity Interior Design
We needed short bursts of professional help and guidance for a number of projects, including the kitchen. We had used Trinity before for our Roman blinds in both this house and our previous house. Rachel Brown gave us concise and confident advice and worked to a close budget so we knew exactly how much time was being billed. She was always available to advise on the smallest matters.

Befores and Afters

Sit back and enjoy the amazing before and after shots. First up, the kitchen in all its green glory...

And now, the afterglow...