then and now – the kitchen

While its still fresh in all our memories, here are some then and now photos of the kitchen.
This is what the kitchen looked like when we viewed the house for the first time – with the old owner’s stuff in it:
And here it is now:
This the side with the window/pass/whatever you call it into the living room on the day we moved in:
Here’s the same wall now:
Here’s the basic layout the day we moved in: 2 windows in awkward places due to the upper cabinets, stove in the middle of the front wall, sink to the left.
This is the layout now: big window in the middle of the room, sink under window, stove the left, no upper cabinets. 
I took a set of photos showing walls so I can sketch on and work out where to put my shelves. I’m thinking 3-4 on either side wall, all same length on the left and staggered from shortest to longest on the right. I’m thinking the top shelf will run across over the window as well…
I’m thinking tassie oak shelves, matching the benchtop in colour and finish.
The entrance to the house is through the mudroom, the pantry and the kitchen. (Don’t ask!) The door to the kitchen and another door leading to the rest of the house create a funny corner with two doors. This is how it looked the day we moved in:
This is how it looks now:
Naturally, I made small changes to the kitchen along the way to make it more me… which basically means cramming it full of collectible old bits and pieces… I hated the top heavy upper cabinets so I removed the doors on one set to create open shelves.
Here is the same area with the open shelves:
Here is the same corner now.
The plan is to put some kind of pot rack on the wall next to the door…
We had a large built in pantry in the back corner of the kitchen. Very handy admittedly, but when I moved the pantry to the old entry, I decided I wanted something prettier there… Here it is with the ill-considered and badly executed, huge fail chalkboard pantry doors:
Now my antique kitchen dresser pretties up that corner. With its extra support legs which need staining to match! Its old and was sagging in the middle so it needed some strengthening. 
When designing the new kitchen I looked over all the gadgets I owned and decided I didn’t need half of them. I’m streamlining. I still need to sort where to put some of them, but I’ll get there. I haven’t even started on the pantry yet…
The kitchen bench then – always full of stuff:

The bench now:
I love it being clean and uncluttered. We used to drop everything on the corner as we came in the door. I’ve outlawed that now. We have a phone station for phones, I’m making a key rack, and I’m thinking about how and where to create a drop zone for other stuff. 
For Wayne mainly.
I’m over his constant search for his wallet, glasses, keys, etc.
So, here’s what we did to achieve this transformation:
Removed 2 inconvenient windows.
Put in a new window in the middle of the front wall.
Bought a new stove, rangehood, dishwasher and sink.
Had new cabinets custom made.
Had a solid timber benchtop made (which I finished)
Moved the hot water cylinder to another spot.
Moved the electric power meter to another spot.
Put in new wiring for the new stove and rangehood.
Lifted lino and masonite and I refinished the original timber floor.
Fixed the uneven original timber floor.
Moved the sink/plumbing to another spot.
Lined 3 of the walls with pine.
Painted all the woodwork Dulux Antique White USA.
Painted the whole kitchen a Dulux China White 3/4 strength.
Mounted an old tempered glass door behind the stove as splashback.
Painted the doors a minty greeny aqua colour I made up.
Did I miss anything? The months of mess. The months of having nothing to cook on… waiting for tradesmen… the frustration when things didn’t work out or we discovered unpleasant surprises when doing something we considered a ‘quick job’…
So there you have it.
To celebrate, today I’ve spent HOURS cooking up a storm to try out the new fan forced large oven which promises to cook 3 dishes at once evenly. I made lasagne, spanakopita (greek spinach pie) and baclava.
I’ll let you know how they go.

6 thoughts on “then and now – the kitchen

  1. Hi Zefi,
    I have just bought a house, and while randomly googling ideas for refurbishing the kitchen, I came across your blog. I laughed when I realised you lived in the Derwent Valley. I have just moved from Brisbane, via the Tasman Peninsula to New Norfolk and bought my own house in need of paint and my love of power tools …

    I would really like someone who lives locally, to learn more about the area and particularly (as you have done the hard work already) any tradesmen you can recommend. I need a Handy Bloke to help me out with a few things… I'm a handy girl – but sometimes, a lopsided 'near enough is better than expected' result is not structurally sound ….

    I would love to meet up with you and buy you lunch at the venue of your choice. My email address is patscburke [at]



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