In December 2017 our large renovation project began. It was 5 years in the making and I was beyond excited, at the end of the project the entire upstairs of our home would be completely renovated. We were getting all new bathrooms (ensuite and guest bathroom), all the walls, ceilings, skirtings and windows painted, all new internal doors, painted, new double floor to ceiling wardrobe, new fittings and lighting, new curtains and blinds, new flooring and best of all a new kitchen, not just any kitchen, the kitchen of my dreams!!
In November 17 I shared the renovations plans so it's time now to share the completed renovations. In this post I`ll take you through the kitchen renovations, sharing our journey and there will be lots of befores and afters.!
As mentioned above the renovations were 5 years in the making. This is simple because we moved into the house 5 years ago and our goal was to renovate at the 5 year mark. This meant that we had plenty of time to work out what would be the best kitchen, or rather how a kitchen would work better in the existing space. We were fortunate that the existing kitchen and dinning space were all open and there was plenty of space to have a large kitchen. In fact the exisiting kitchen, albeit being old (as in it was installed in 1986), was actually a well designed kitchen and on the whole worked really well. In the end it was not difficult for Pete and I to come up with a layman's design of our new kitchen. We planned for the sink, fridge, pantry and oven to be in pretty much in the same position as in the old kitchen. The main difference with new layout was that we removed the L shaped bench and installed an island.
Pete and I had also made decisions on the colours of the cabinets, the cabinet style, bench top. Like I said before we had waited 5 years for this, so we knew what we wanted;
- Grey/blue colour cabinets
- Shaker style cabinets
- White stone bench top
- Same flooring throughout the kitchen and dining room
The Big Decision
By far in the biggest single cost in the renovation was going to be the Kitchen so we wanted to choose carefully who we were going to part our hard earned readies with. We decided to get quotes from three companies. We made it clear that we were getting quotes and meeting with each of the companies to help decide who would be the best to work with. It was an interesting experience. One company never returned my call, one pretty much came in and "told" us how we should have the kitchen, ignoring our own plans and thoughts. Which left us with the third company Kitchen Studio North Shore . Our first meeting was with one of their Designers, Natasha Wright. It was not a difficult to make a decision to go with them as Natasha really took the time to listen to us. She looked at our simple non designer plans and simply added to these with that designer touch. The key thing for both of us was that Natasha got to know us first , understand us and what we wanted and in the end we got the Kitchen we wanted. The other great thing with Natasha, she was very realistic with the full cost, in fact her estimate was pretty much on the mark with the final cost. The entire team at Kitchen Studio North Shore were great and delivered on time and on budget with excellent customer service.
Before you get to have a new kitchen ...you have to destroy the old!
The journey to the New Kitchen
The best and fun way to take you through the journey to the new Kitchen is with pictures. I will put in as many before pictures as I can for you, so you can get a sense of what it was like before and the transformation that has occurred.
First up, the coffee station! This was on the top of the wish list for the new kitchen. Both Pete and I wanted to have this set up for Pete's little hobby or rather addiction!! For me I just wanted a separate sink that meant no more coffee grounds in the main sink and all over the bench top...soooooo sick of that.
And there it is, in all it's shiny coffee machine glory! Plumbed in, so endless supply of water.
Moving on to the cooking area. Pretty much everything stayed in the same "location". And we got gas !!!! Pete and I love cooking with gas so it's been fabulous getting back on the gas hob!.
I have to say for its age, the cook top and the oven were actually pretty good to use. And I sort of loved the retro look of the splash back. I was thinking of somehow incorporating it into the new kitchen, but the style was not right and it would be really hard to remove the tiles with out breaking them.
The pantry design and layout took a bit of working out, but Natasha got it all sorted for us. The new pantry is a bench top and the doors are bi folds which means that you can fully open up the area. Lovely deep drawers and a massive corner Mondo corner unit. (all the details about the inside of the cabinets, set ups and organisation will be revealed in my Kitchen Organisation posts, coming up at the end of July and August).
The kitchen area leads into the dining area, and it's all open plan. In the old kitchen, these spaces were separated by carpet and the L of the L-shaped kitchen. We wanted to make the kitchen and dining space feel more open and have ease of movement between the spaces so we now have a island parrellel to the kitchen sink and the same flooring all the way through. It has made a huge difference to how open and big the kitchen feels.
To be honest this was never going to be a cheap kitchen, so brace yourself!! the kitchen cost, excluding all appliances, tiling, plumbing and electrical was $45,000(NZ).
- Cabinets = $19.3k
- Cabinet and drawer accessories and sinks = $2.1k
- Benchtop = $10.3K
- Installation = $2.7
The electrical, plumbing, painting, tiling was all part of the total renovation cost so I could not say what was specific to the kitchen.
Additional costs were for the floor and wall tiles which ran at approximately $3k and the curtains $500. An unforeseen cost was the kitchen window which we had to replace as the original one was rotten. It had to be made by a local joinery company, it's not small so there was no change from $3k.
Then you can`t forget the cost of the appliances. We actually brought the appliances a number of months before we started the renovations. Pete and I made the most of the annual Auckland Home Show and got the dishwasher, oven, hob, and rangehood for $6.4k, from The Jones Family Business, which I thought was pretty good. The fridge on the other hand....I love that fridge soooo much..however it was not the cheapest option...nor the smallest but it's what I wanted. And in this renovation Pete and I were both agreed that for once we would get want we actually wanted (within reason). I did managed to get a good price on it at $3.2k from the 100% Appliance store in Albany, their service was excellent and they delivered it for free.
So yep it was by no means cheap!!! I do find it interesting the costs that get disclosed in the magazines for Kitchen renovations. I am sure that they do not include all the "hidden" costs that occur, especially in an older home.
As much as I can I`ll provide the names and links to all the materials, equipment and appliances that we purchased.
- Fridge - Fisher & Paykel French Door
- Oven - Smeg under bench oven
- Gas Hob - Smeg 5ring burner
- Rangehood - Smeg rangehood
- Dishwasher - Asko
- Tapware - Methven gooseneck
We have used Smeg appliances before and have always found them great and so far have not had any issues. The fridge is a total joy and having the filtered water is a real treat, never get sick of that.
The only change which Pete and I have had to get use to is all the appliances are electronic now, so no more dials....so we have a had to get the instruction books out a few times for setting clocks, timers and working out settings!!! Needing to read instruction books is a frustration in Pete's book!!
Cabinets, benchtop and tiles;
There were some struggles with both the bench top and the cabinet doors. Firstly with regards to the stone benchtop, I had chosen a more marbled looking stone, however the quote come in at $15k. So we had to rethink that option, that was just a bit rich for our blood. Natasha, the designer from Kitchen Studio was great at helping us, or rather me, to find something in our price range but that we would like. I was very nervous about what we chose as it was not what I pictured in my head, however Natasha reassured us that we had made the right choice. I now think that I love it more that my original choice, so am quietly pleased that it was too expensive.
The other issue was with the cabinets. Both Pete and I wanted the shaker style cabinets and so these only come in Thermalwrap, which means that the colours are more limited and unlike the lacquered finish, can't be painted to our specifications. The challenge was finding the right cabinet colour, it had to be the right shade of bluey grey. The samples held were all brown grey and this was not going to work.......we could get the specific colour however it could not be in a shaker style cabinet.....dilemma cabinet style vs colour which to choose!!!! In the end Pete and I decided that we would not compromise on the cabinet style however maybe rethink the colour. However as luck would have it Natasha and I found a colour on the cabinet makers website, which at first didn't look right but once we got the sample it was the perfect colour. So in the end we got the cabinet fronts and colour we wanted.
It was our builder that put us onto the tiles for the floor. Neither Pete nor I were sure what we wanted on the kitchen and dining floor. However we did know that it had to be the same all the way through both rooms as it was an open space, and absolutely no carpet near the kitchen and no lino! Our thoughts were to have a floating floor, laminate flooring like the sunroom, however were not sure about durability in a really high use area, ideally real timber flooring would be best but we are not millionaires so that was out of the question. So we checked out the local Tile Warehouse and they actually had the floor tiles down as display as you walked in and we instantly knew this was the flooring we would get. Perfect colour and perfect style...all thanks to our builders !!! As a side note at the Home Show, where we got the appliances, we also got a 25% voucher for the Tile Warehouse which we used for when we purchased the tiles. It was a great discount and not only that but we got great service from Kalun at the Tile Warehouse
The day the tiler finished the subway tiles and the tile flooring was one of the best moments in the renovation, I could not believe how much they transformed the kitchen, took it from a construction zone to a completed zone!!!
Both Pete and I found the kitchen renovation exciting, there were a few challenges along the way however nothing that was major or a game changer, deal breaker. In my previous post about our renovation experience I talk about tips to survive renovations. The number one is great communication. For the kitchen renovation we had to work with our builder and the kitchen company and our builder had to work directly with them as well, especially at the installation stage. Graham, our builder was doing all the electrical and plumbing and "build" part and Kitchen Studio were making the cabinets and bench top and installing. To get this to all come together successfully it was really critical to have great communication across everyone , and make sure you can be on site at the critical times, like the day(s) on installation.
One thing that was very helpful from the Kitchen Studio was the explanation and details that you got on the "process". This meant that you had clarity of each step, who was doing what and by when and it was all documented. Any changes were updated and everyone got this information so there was never any confusion.
Over the next two months, my post will bring you more details on the Kitchen organisation and the set ups of the drawers, shelves and cabinets. If you want to make sure that you get notified about the posts and other helpful tips from yours truly make sure that you sign up below for my newsletter, just have to pop your name and email address below so I can email you the newsletter
I hope you found this interesting and helpful especially if you are renovating. As always I love to hear from you about any of your renovation experiences and tips.
If you are after inspiration, just check out my Pinterest board where I have keep all my kitchen inspiration and other renovation ideas. Make sure you follow to see all the new pins and inspiration I send your way.
Take care my friends