Kitchen Renovation

From this:                                          To this: 4 Years. (and worth the wait)



Time now to tell you the story of the kitchen, the kitchen renovation and life without a kitchen.  Aren’t you excited? Well, you should be :)

Part 1: The OLD kitchen.

I am going to start with the kitchen it it’s form originale.. the way it looked when we moved in.   You are going to be totally surprised when I tell you it was… dirty. Really dirty. (See? I knew  you would be shocked!).


This is *exactly* how they left it for us. Yes, bottles, jars and all. Even a cruddy old dinner set in the cupboards.   We were especially fond of the wrought iron lacework mounted across the eavespace where the old wood stove had once stood. (You may need to click and enlarge). And see the 70’s woodgrain doors?   They were so swollen with wet and fat and whatever, particles of chipboard fell out when we opened or closed the doors to clean them. Gross. We refused to unpack any kitchen goods, and ate take away for the 3 days it took us to clean this room enough to actually put the fridge in and unpack some dishes.

What we did, was remove the doors off the cupboards, and after several cleans with sugar soap, bleach and ammonia (oh yes, we were so environmentally friendly) and then I gave the cupboard frameworks all 3 coats of white gloss enamel.  I unscrewed all the wrought iron lacework, washed down the walls. You can see the difference in the above and below shots. 


Whislt  I was doing this, the head renovator removed the old oven.  It was one of those old ‘side by side’ jobbies, and was sitting on an old laminated stereo cabinet in the corner left vacant by the woodstove. I was all for throwing it away then and there, but the HR thought he would have a go at cleaning it up so that in the event we may need an oven, it would be there – and at least we could use the cooking elements for pots and pans.  I will certainly give him kudos for elbow grease! That’s 3 cans of oven cleaner and a bottle of ammonia. It didn’t matter – we threw it away along with the revolting old stereo cabinet!) and ‘found’ a second hand upright stove to see us through the next few years.


The kitchen stayed like this from 2002 until 2005, when we were then able to gut that whole corner of the house, and rebuild.

Part 2: The Demolition.

To prepare for the new kitchen was not a simple job of replacing cabinetry. The whole quarter of the house was to be remodelled, so we were removing a kitchen, a laundry, a toilet, a set of stairs and a dining room. We were then going to frame and design a whole new layout for the area, that included a much bigger kitchen, a laundry, a utility room and relocate the back door. It also meant readjusting some internal walls and relocating them to accommodate a walk in robe and ensuite – these would back onto the new kitchen and be half of th old dining room) and also remove a supporting wall from the kitchen (where the white cupboards are, above) which would eventually open into the new meals area. (The new meals area was the old 4th bedroom. Have I confused you?)

So, first things first, comes the demotion of the old. Knock out the back wall, then the side wall (to the right of the 2nd photo is the old laundry lean-to and the thunderbox) leaving the left wall for now.


This was essential, as there was no way of locking up the house if we removed the left hand wall straight away. Remember – this is all done owner builder, so it took several weekends to remove.  Of course, one still needs to cook and eat while this is happening, so bedroom 4 became a temporary kitchen for a few months. It’s amazing what you can cook in a slow cooker, frypan and microwave. (what you see in the first shot is the other side of that left hand wall).


Once there was nothing left to remove but the supporting wall, it was time to get serious. So – where does one cook, and wash, and do dishes, when one has no kitchen or laundry? Here – on the outside patio.
And where does one store their foodstuff, and plastic wear etc? Inside, on the buffet and kitchen table for a preparation bench. Now remember folks, this one was 17 weeks of cooking and washing and living this way. Looking here, you can see the washing machine, sink (with running water), dishwasher, stove. Out of view is the dryer. This is all on the old cement patio outside. You can also see the doors installed that will lead out to the deck eventually.  


Next step – build new framework as the old sunken outdoor laundry, thunderbox, old galley kitchen and dining rooms are turned into one big room, and then divided into 4 to become new (bigger) kitchen, indoor laundry (luxury!) walk in dressing room and ensuite of master bedroom.

Part 3: The new kitchen

2006 started with a bang, and we were ready to build. The framework and new flooring took a while, but there is no room for error in this type of construction.  If you are wondering what it is you are actually seeing: Left hand shot looks from new kitchen into new ensuite (far left) and robe space, on the right. If you were standing in my kitchen today you would see a pantry, fridge and freezer here.  Right hand shot looks into new ensuite on the right, new laundry on the left, new back door. If you were standing in my kitchen today, you would be looking at the oven, splashbacks and I’d be telling you to get off my island bench!


One the framework was done,  the sheeting followed quickly.  Shot one looks at the new laundry, shot two looks at the new kitchen sink area, shot three at the fridge / freezer area.


A few weeks later, come kickboards, cupboard carcasses and finally, cupboards. It’s almost a real kitchen!


And it’s in, just waiting for glass splashbacks, electricity, floorboard sanding and paint job. It was painted in 2008, as were the floors sanded. It was a long haul and took a while, but we are very happy with our kitchen. What do you think of our kitchen?


 Specs:   Kitchen designed by us, (our kitchen was nominated for an award), Jarrah benchtops and carcass made by Jacaranda Kitchens, and solid timber doors whitewashed in ‘Cafe au Lait” Made by Farmers Doors. Glass splashbacks are in ‘Chalk White’.  Gas cooktop, electric chef oven and fully ducted extraction system by blanco (self installed).  Bifold kitchen windows look out over the deck, pool and entertainment area. The island bench is powered.

You can see the whole batch of  kitchen renovation photos here (along with the finished house, if you like).