its official – the kitchen is underway

You’ve all heard me complain about the kitchen, right? (And the bathroom, the living room, the bedrooms…)

But I put the kitchen at the top of the dream make-over list cause its the room we spend a lot of time in, its the heart of the home and all that.

Plus, our oven stopped working over 3 months ago and I’m over not being able to chuck quick meals in the oven when its my turn to cook.

Not to mention that Wayne always hated our 54cm rental quality electric stove which seems to have no low heat setting on the hotplates.

So. We’re getting a new kitchen.

This is kind of how it happened:

The oven stopped working. I had a dish to bake. I gave it to the chickens.

I asked ‘Is it worth looking at fixing it?’

Wayne said ‘No.’

He was pretty emphatic. So, we decided to buy a new one.

I started doing research. I wanted a double oven. I love the handiness of having the two ovens. No need to heat up a big oven just to heat up pies for dinner…

We both love cooking with gas. I wanted an electric fan forced oven.

I wanted a bigger stove than the one we have now, 60cm.

I wanted a bigger, better stronger rangehood cause the under-cabinet one we have sucks.

Or doesn’t suck, which is the problem.

It took me months to make a decision and act on it.

Why you ask? Well… I looked at the kitchen and measured it and thought about it. Even if we left things exactly as they are, putting the new stove in the gap left by the old stove (the gap is big enough for a 60cm stove), I’d have to remove all the top cupboards to fit the rangehood. And it still wouldn’t fit cause of the window!

This is what our kitchen looks like now. I removed the cupboard doors on the left to make the kitchen look more open. There’s a window above the sink on the left which looks into the mud room (the small porch we enclosed). The window on the right is hard to look out so there’s no way to easily look out to the gate when you’re in the house and the dogs go bezerk in the yard.

I put small strips of melamine between the stove and the benchtop to stop food falling down into the gap. The corner cabinet hinges have both ‘dropped’ and the handle on one has come off and the I need to pack the holes with matchsticks to put the handle back on. We’ve gotten used to using our toes to open the door so I never bothered.

I hate the laminte tile sheeting on the walls. I hate the lino flooring. I hate the benchtop.

Other than that, its fine.

This is the other side of the kitchen.

Ignore the half chalkboard pantry door. Given that we’re redoing the kitchen I can’t be bothered trying to fix that stuff up.

This is the left hand side.

There’s a tiny entry way behind the first half of that wall – we keep the fridge in there and I’ve put in the cupboard I removed from the living room. Its now an extra pantry. Its a great walk in pantry. Its a dark and dingy room when have to come through to enter the house.

Cause in country houses you always come in through the back door.

The front door is on the opposite side of the house, nowhere near the gate or driveway.


This is the right hand side.

The ‘window’ into the living room is handy cause we can watch TV when we’re in the kitchen. We’re not cut off from the rest of the house. Heat from the wood heater circulates into the kitchen.
Smells from cooking fill the house.
I had big plans. 
1. Remove the windows and put in one window in the middle of the front wall.
2. Move the stove to the left hand wall, move the sink to the front, under the new window.
3. Knock out a section of the wall on the left so that when you enter the house you enter straight into the kitchen – the short side of an L.
4. Remove the failed chalkboard pantry and replace it with one of my antique kitchen dressers.
A lot of work. A lot of money.
That’s why it took me so long to get on with this. I had to figure it out. I had to convince Wayne.
Eventually I got started. I have a family friend who’s works for a kitchen place. I asked for his help in designing the kitchen. I got quotes from electricians, plumbers and gasfitters and a builder.
The result is that we’re going to get a new kitchen but its a compromise. Of course. Money is always the issue. And Wayne does a lot of cooking. Need I say more?
My kitchen guru designed an L shaped kitchen which will go along the left wall and the front wall. The stove will go on the left, the sink in the middle of the front wall. The wall between the entry and kitchen will stay (I’ll have to work some magic in there to make that space work better). We’ll move the windows, getting rid of the small one but keeping the bigger one on the left, saving on a new window.
Naturally, one job leads to another 2 or 5. In order to put the window in the middle of the front wall, we need to move the water heater. 
But I won’t bore you with all the gory details (yet). Lets get to the fun stuff.

When looking for stoves, I found two I liked – the Belling and the New World. Both of those aren’t the exact models I was looking at, close enough though. I know 3 people who have a Belling and love it so that was what I was leaning towards.

When we went shopping we ended up with this:

Dont you just love it?? I do! We got it half price as its a floor model. Its a cream Euromaid.

I wanted a canopy rangehood.  This is the one we’re getting. Stainless steel and glass.
I’m getting a Bosch dishwasher (YEAH!) and a Franke huge single bowl sink with single drainer. I love double bowls, but I’ll have a dishwasher!!! Both are stainless steel. 
As for the design, I did what I saw on the DIY blogs. I collected photos of kitchens which inspired me and made me want to live in them. Then I printed out the photos and looked at them. I found the things that came up again and again. That told me what I want in my kitchen: 
White. Painted timber walls. Natural timber benchtop. Wood floors. A mix of old and new. Open shelving.

These are some photos I’ve collected in my Pinterest dream kitchen board. You get the drift.

The kitchen design is going to be L shaped bottom cabinets only. I’m still deciding on the colour/type but they will be laminate doors in a shade of white. (Compromise, remember? I need easy to clean and not expensive. Especially since I want an expensive benchtop.) The benchtop will be solid timber. I want to timber line all the walls*. I want to lift the crappy lino and hopefully find old floor boards I can fix up for the floor.

*today the kitchen, tomorrow dado rails in the whole house!

I saw a man down the road who mills his own wood and has some minor species timber in his lumbar yard. I’m negotiating on some pieces of timber for the benchtop.  I’m considering some 40mm planks of Tasmanian myrtle. Other options are eucalypt or blackwood. He says the myrtle is a better quality timber for benchtops and has an entire kitchen made out of it. Its a pinker/redder type of timber and I’ve always loved it.

So there you have it. I’ll be updating progress as we go along. It should be interesting. Wayne and I have never lived through this type of ‘invasive’ rennnovation before….

Lets see who survives…


PS. Feedback needed on my blog layout/look. Do you find the links easy to find/see? Do you think the type should be a bit bigger. Being a graphic designer I tend to go for the look I like. Small type looks neat but may not be so easy on everyone else’s eyes.

2 thoughts on “its official – the kitchen is underway

  1. Oh good luck on the kitchen remodel. Mine is just finishing up. My blog is behind on the progress but take a look for inspiration if you like! It is a awful process and said I will never do a full remodel again. I can't wait to see how it comes out, and I love your range!


  2. I am both dreading it and am excited about it. I wish I could afford a FULL remodel in terms of blocking in doorways and moving walls. But reality dictates that 1. I can't afford it and 2. It way too much work and money. LOL


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