We bought this house almost five years ago. It was the most stressful experience and the only thing I could do to quell the stress was to eat junk food. Yep, breakfast, lunch and dinner – a complete diet of snickers, twisties and magnums. I was a walking mess but we did it and now the house is ours. A lot of you who come to visit ask us what we have done to the place. Not much really, the house was already ‘renovated’ (and I use that term loosely) and had been extended to include a kitchen, bathroom and lounge area. The people who owned the house before us didn’t really care about quality and it shows. We had three different grades of flooring, the bath is installed lopsided and the quality of the fittings and fixtures were cheap (and ugly). I have been meaning to show you the before and after photos of the biggest changes we made to the house but with how busy we have been, I just haven’t been able to. I thought I would change that today with the kitchen.
Here is the before:
Can you see how bad it is? The oval oven, the brass fittings, the carriage light and the mexican tiles? I can’t express to you the horror, oh the horror. Given how much I like to cook (and by this time I was really in need of something more nutritious than a picnic bar) I just couldn’t face it. We had left our flat with its brand new kitchen to this…it was devastating. On top of this, when we moved in, it was more important that we get the office and meeting rooms set up. It had to wait. And wait. And wait. Until one day when Jason was out on a wedding and I pulled down the top cupboards. It was a country-kitchen coup – I was possessed by something so strong that I couldn’t fight it any longer. (Plus I knew once I had done it that the kitchen would suddenly be right at the top of the list of priorities and finally get done.) So here is the in between:
As you can see here I also was starting to obliterate the wood with black paint. I am a bit of a fan of black paint as you can probably guess. It is cheap and it really does make a startling change to the feel of a room. I like that kind of contrast and feel comfortable being bold with colour. It was, however, a mother of a job because I had to sand, prime, paint one coat, paint two coats, front and back of each and every door and drawer. And let me tell you there are a LOT of doors and drawers in this kitchen. I spent one whole Easter weekend sitting cross legged under the house painting these things. We ended up replacing the cupboard doors (of course we did) but it went a long way to helping me cope with the kitchen for a little bit longer till we redid it somewhat, properly. And now here is the after:
This isn’t how it is currently because the floor is now whitewashed and the stainless steel bench is now a cupboard. (And this bench is now our display table for the bridal expos we attend!) But Just look at the difference and it is purely cosmetics. We replaced the lighting with standard halogen down lights, the cupboard doors with a timber veneer called Navlam, the bench tops with white laminate (which I wouldn’t do again as it just isn’t hardy enough for us) and stainless steel splash back. We also got new appliances which I LOVE especially the Highland Cooktop which is Australian made and has the burners in a row instead of a quad formation which means you don’t ever have to reach over a hot pot. We splurged on the Barazza Square Sink and the Caroma Mixer Tap which are very modern. Pretty impressive hey? Also a lovely lick of Resene Alabaster Lumbersider Paint helps a good deal. We did most of the work ourselves except the splash back and bench top installation but we probably could have done those also. I would definitely recommend anyone giving it a go – it is an amazing transformation for really not a great deal of cost – and so, so, so great to cook in!