Most of you have probably heard me talking about our kitchen makeover. Well, I can’t help it, it’s a big one. It’s more than just the kitchen. If you’ve ever done a significant or even tiny reno, then I’m sure you know what’s going down over here.
I’ve had lots of people ask me how it’s going, asking about my choice in finishes, colours and in particular what appliances I’ve chosen to kit out my kitchen. There’s been lots of photo sharing with family and friends. I consider you as my friend, so I’d like to share with you what we’ve been doing.
When planning this kitchen makeover as most people do I’ve had to juggle the costs on what I want v/s what I really need. Well, I think most of us want shiny things, but we all cant afford the shiniest. If money weren’t an issue, I’d have it all, so it’s all about weighing up what you can live with and what will make you love the space.
We decided to hire a builder to project manage our job. I’m so happy we went with this decision, it means they source all the trades and make sure they’re doing what they have to. I found Glenn at Dymond Projects so easy to talk to and contact. If I called and he wasn’t available he was calling me back within 30 mins. Brilliant.
Getting back to cutting costs but still getting what I want. How did I do that?
I went along to my cabinet makers with my plans. I chose all the things that looked pretty and waited for the quote. It arrived, I almost had a heart attack, then quickly moved to swap to more affordable solutions in the areas I thought I could live with. They were very helpful in that regard if yours isn’t, then move on and find someone that will help
For instance, having 2 pack doors is one of the most expensive options, they look brilliant but if you can live without them, you can save considerable costs here. I decided to drop mine and go for laminate. I know, I know but I checked out a lot of display homes and they’re using laminate. Laminate is so much better than it used to be and it comes in all sorts of colours and surfaces these days. Not that shiny orange or pink stuff that comes to mind when you say laminate. It’s fairly tough and easy to clean.
Another change I made, was the bench tops. Another range of surfaces that have a huge range in cost. I wanted Stainless, but the cost was pretty high. I’ve opted to have a mix of surfaces. Now you might think that sounds weird, but I think it works. I’ve got stainless around the outside edges in my kitchen and bar areas. For the centre island bench, we sent with Caesarstone with a waterfall at one end, and in the butler’s pantry, we’re having the same Caesarstone but not as thick. That makes it cheaper.
I have to say the Stainless bench tops are brilliant. I was astonished to see them being tig welded together in position. Excellent job and so neat. One of my regular students at the school said she thought it would look like a morgue, but I’ve changed her mind as I have done with Brussel sprouts. hahahaaa It’s all about how you put it together or dish it up in the brussel sprouts case. 😉
Ok, so what was it that I really wanted.
My old kitchen didn’t really have much of a pantry. There was one there, but it was in a tight corner, and you know how it goes, the things at the back get lost and forgotten. I wanted my pantry to have narrow shelves but long shelves. So you can see everything at a glance. It drives me crazy when I’m recipe developing, and I cant find something. Yes, the Bake Club girls know about that one. They must be sick of hearing me say “Put it back where you found it and if you don’t know stick it on the trolley or ask”.
Week one and two we had the pull-down.
As you can see below, we had a lot of dado wood panelling, and although it’s nice in the right place, it did suck the light out of our rooms. I considered leaving it and painting it in a light colour although walls needed to come down and I figured that would be a nightmare to patch in the right places. So away it goes.
When the walls came down this is what we had to work with.
See how tiny my kitchen used to be! Not good for all the stuff I have. Both the windows in the old kid’s area and kitchen are being replaced to work in with the new space we’re creating.
Kitchen gone, new long windows in and walls going up for the new butler’s pantry. Looking so different already.
Yes, butler’s pantry, so excited, never had one of these. I’ve always had a decent sized kitchen but now a butler’s pantry. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to leave this home.
You can see on the ceiling where the walls us to be. The same with the bar area on the right. There was another room there that just made the place seem more pokie.
Can you see that tiny skylight in the above photo? Well, we’ve replaced it with this. I’m loving it!
These are a couple of fantastic skylights, what a brilliant feature. They’re pretty costly, but I think with all that they do for our Kitchen they’re well worth it. We decided to not have opening windows in the kitchen and butler’s pantry, so the skylights open by remote control. How cool is that! They also have a blackout screen that can be closed on scorching hot days. By remote control no less. Getting really new age now. 😉
Originally the skylights were going to be put in with two shafts leading from the ceiling to the roof because of the beam that’s structural in the middle. I didn’t like that idea, and I’m so glad my builder was available to talk to any time I wanted. After a discussion, we opted to change the opening to one large box. I’m not worried that it shows the structural beam, it lets in so much more light.
You’ll see later on how we made a scruffy old pine beam look a little more attractive without costing the earth. When I say that, we did discuss laminating the wood beam in something a little less scruffy, even stainless steel was talked about. But a splash of dark stain worked wonders. You’ll see.
I’ll write a bit more soon on how it all progressed. 😉