One look at our working kitchen and I nearly fell to the floor weeping. I know this is a tad dramatic for an opening line, but as you will see finishing this room felt almost impossible. We almost made it to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro waving our frypans, and then COVID 19 hit. So 10 weeks in lockdown, all we could do was look at our beautiful kitchen but not use it. All we needed was our tradies to turn on the gas/water and the home fires would be burning – literally! Getting this close to the finish line was gut retching, but in comparison to what was going on in the world, waiting for a few more weeks was a trivial price to pay.
We started dreaming about our new kitchen four years ago. While the present kitchen had some interesting Art Deco features with custom rounded cabinets and pelmets, it just didn’t speak our language in terms of design or functionality. Plus, it was completely dated, with creme paint tinged yellow with time, and sad 1970’s vinyl lining the drawers. The cupboards were also extremely deep and hard to reach. In fact, when I first moved in and Mum and I were cleaning the cupboards, we kept finding sprouted potatoes everywhere – ewww!
As you can see, the layout is tight. There is a laundry room to the left, which we moved to the other side of the house. This allowed us to take down the wall and move the fridge and coffee station to the back wall. You can see the laundry transformation here.
All I can about this room is, at least the view is pretty…
Cupboard doors were missing and in some places not enough cupboards, so dishes and trays were stacked on the floor.
Paul and I agreed that we wanted a timeless and classic kitchen, but with a modern twist. This style is known as Modern Traditional. Two of my favourite designers, who nail this look are Joanna Gaines and Shea McGee. Here are some kitchen remodels that I used as inspiration for our starting point.
Now armed with all these ideas, who was going to make this a reality? We did toggle with the idea of going down the Mitre 10 route or Bunnings, but after crunching the numbers we felt the extra dollars spent here would buy a kitchen that would last a lifetime, not just a good time. We ended up using the crew from Alicetown, Lower Hutt, called Bastian. Right off the bat, our kitchen designer, Kevin interpreted the vision and made it happen. Paul said when I saw the plans for the first time, I was drooling.
Here are the initial designs. Interesting enough the only thing we debated was the colour of the lower cabinets. Every last detail was considered, even my white oak shelves in the glass cabinet.
First, we went all-white, timeless kitchen cabinets. Did you know that 80% of Pinterest searches for kitchens are white?
A long view of the kitchen with our cedar door. I love how this 3D model captures the greenery and sunlight from outside…
I was determined to fit in a coffee station, because I saw it once in a magazine spread and I loved the concept. The irony is I don’t even drink coffee – giggle
In the end we choose dark blue/grey on the bottom cabinets and white on the top. I felt the kitchen needed some pop with the marble tiles.
As soon as we had the plans and measurements, Paul was off to the races. Walls were coming down, new walls were going up, and there were pink bats everywhere. This is always the part of the renovation where Paul is giggling and I’m just plain horrified.
Before the ugly stage started, Paul was clever enough to set up our makeshift kitchen in our dining room. I refer to this time as our glamping days. You really have to put a positive spin on everything, otherwise, you would just go insane!
The fun part begins – ceiling and walls go up…This is where you can finally see the room take shape.
We are on the homestretch now and it’s goodbye makeshift kitchen!
Now replaced with this beauty…..
Here is a close up of those gorgeous Marble Carrara, subway tiles. We ran the same theme in our bathroom, to keep the consistency flowing between the rooms.
Our pride and joy – the coffee station. We haven’t quite got the funds to splash out on a flash coffee machine for Paul yet, but I think Santa is going to reward all his hard slog at Christmas :).
The kitchen tap was another splurge item in our kitchen. We loved the warmth of the polished Nickel finish, as it ties in nicely with all the wood elements.
I am so enamoured with our white oak shelving. The grey/blue wall colour is a Benjamin Moore paint: Stonnington Grey.
All in all, we are very satisfied with our custom kitchen. There are a couple of areas where I think we missed a design opportunity, but I am going to save these learning lessons to share with you on another post. Now it’s time to pull out the red wine and start cooking with gas!