A New Kitchen at House of Simple

 



So the kitchen in our 43 year old home was the original. Think 1978 faux laminate pine cupboard doors with an apple green laminate bench top – clearly all the rage in ’78. The underlying chipboard was swollen and rotting with 42 years of absorbed moisture (cockroach heaven), the benchtops had clear evidence of hot pot burn marks, food colour staining, sun fading and oh-so-scratched. The layout was truly atrocious including a pantry in which only half the shelves were accessible and four corner cupboards that required me to roll myself up like a hedgehog to reach whatever was up in the back corner. The only saving grace was that it had running water and a sink that did not leak too much.


1978 eat your heart out


 We lived with this for over 2 years whilst we researched and saved for a new kitchen. We ended up deciding on a self-install modular kitchen that we could buy flat packed from our large local hardware (Bunnings in Australia). It was to be simple and functional with a free-standing island bench on wheels from IKEA. We were just about to pull the trigger on this (in fact we had already purchased the new cooker and range hood) when my work colleague Rechelle told me that I really should ring the kitchen company her husband worked for – just for a second opinion. We shrugged our shoulders and thought why not?  It wouldn’t hurt. We’d made our decision anyway ….. so we were unlikely to change our mind. Wrong. So wrong.


 The owner, Brian, came around within 48 hours to give us his thoughts on our kitchen design.  My colleague had warned me that Brain was a straight shooter but knew his stuff when it came to kitchens as he had been doing kitchens for decades. To cut a long story short, in 15 minutes flat Brian had relegated all our 2 years’ worth of plans and research to the trash and had come up with a new design for the kitchen!


There were some classic one-liners of Brian’s that will stay with me for a very long time e.g. “That’s a terrible idea, how long have you been using a kitchen for?!” and “You’re not getting any younger, you’ll be thankful for a wall oven so you don’t have to bend” and “There’s not enough room for an island – at your age you’ll break a hip banging into it” and “I’m not doing cupboards, it going to be all draws – you’re too old to be fossicking on your hands and knees in the back of a cupboard” and “A deep pantry is a stupid idea. I’m doing you a slightly shallower wider pantry so nothing gets lost” and “No, you want nice wide handles. Your arthritis will thank me one day” and “Black cupboards will show every single finger mark so I’m not selling you that”.  What a legend!


After a minute of M and I putting our egos back in their box, we had to admit that what Brain had designed for us was far superior to anything we had planned.  In essence, for an extra 20% additional cost to our budget, Brian had given us 50% more kitchen with far better quality hardware and fittings, a large stockpile pantry and a stone benchtop and also lined us up with a plumber, electrician, installer and stonemason.


  The lesson here is that sometimes, just sometimes, it is worth paying a bit more.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still as tight as a new jam jar lid, but I could easily see the value in scrapping our DIY plans and going with Brian’s design.  I’m also very glad I listened to my colleague Rechelle and made that call too.


Better still, Brain had the kitchen built and installed in time for Christmas 2020 and we did not have to lift a single finger – pretty darned good I say.


We still have to paint the windows, remove the old exterior canvas shutters on the eastern window, install simple roller blinds, sand and stain the wood floorboards and install the new range hood before we can say that it is 100% finished – but hey, what’s life without the ever-present to-do list?


Enjoy the pictures. I make no excuses for the lived-in look of the new kitchen – it’s a working kitchen, not a show piece. It feeds a lot of people every day.


Mignon in dinner time mode.
If I get in the way I'll get a job to do!



The dishwasher is a water saving model
and has a cutlery draw which we love.


The sink looks small but it has a draining board
that fits over either of the two deep sinks.
It also has a chopping board and draining baskets


The wall oven (for when we are old!)
Our first new fridge in 12 years
You can see the 8 door pantry in the background


The stockpile pantry is now where there
used to be a useless old faux fireplace


Satay skewers for dinner by the looks


This busy corner used to be a
useless old pantry corner


We love the old wood floors against the new kitchen
It softens it somewhat



Take care and stay nice

Phil


P.S. Predictably, the microwave blew up yesterday, so the space above the oven will soon have a new black microwave.


Comments

  1. Wow! Very very nice. We haven’t got room for a wall oven as our boiler is in the kitchen. We have a normal cooker and only use the top oven so not too much bending.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is nice and we are very grateful. This kitchen is to last 42 years like the last one, so it will see us out :-)

      Delete
  2. your new kitchen looks fabulous...we are planning on redoing ours early next year..I've been planning it for years and still haven't got a straight plan of what it will look like!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Yes, the design part can go around and around in your head I know. Keep us posted when you start your new kitchen fit out.

      Delete
  3. How exciting to have a new kitchen and I remember the 70's...we had the brown kitchen with orange trim. Sounds like a good investment and lets face it you are only going to do your kitchen once so doing it well and making it function for your later years is perfect. After all a kitchen design person specializes in kitchen design so is going to be more experienced than say us. I totally agree with everything they said and did. I have a wall oven and it's great. I only have cupboards where you bend down to get stuff and it's a pain in the neck so I get why drawers are the way to go. I'll bet you don't know yourselves in your lovely kitchen. Have a good week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the very first new kitchen we have ever had in 32 years! We are sure loving it.

      Delete
  4. Sensational.....I would so love to cook in that. And, the pantry is awesome. I see you have a themomix......do you use it much, is it worth the money....silly question, it must be if you bought one...haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have a big family and cook for many people daily. The 'thermie' gets a daily work out. I would not recommend it for smaller families but certainly it has cut our prep time significantly. We bought an extra pot for it so we do not have to wash up one pot before starting another recipe.
      Plenty of people buy these and they do NOT need them, but we certainly get excellent daily mileage out of ours.

      Delete
  5. Nice kitchen! We were in the process of replanning/replacing the kitchen when Covid started. There is a cabinetmaker/joinery in our little country town that I need to visit and he has a good reputation. Our kitchen isn't as large as yours though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our kitchen looks (and is) much larger now that the reno has been done. I was amazed how a great design can nearly double the usability of our given space. I wish I had taken detailed 'before' photos so you could see the transformation of space.
      P.S. I miss your blogging - are you blogging still?

      Delete
    2. I ceased blogging as my blog had some problems that I couldn't rectify and I was unable to reply to comments and interact with followers. I haven't bothered to start another blog as I was so disappointed that Blogger couldn't/wouldn't help me correct the problems and nothing on the help forums worked.

      Delete
  6. Not only beautiful but functional too. Enjoy your new space!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - we are enjoying it. It is a 40 year investment and will sustain us well into old age. The challenge was to not make it look too new and dazzling so the rest of the house blended in too

      Delete
  7. My new kitchen is 12 months old now. We love it! Your slooks amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - yes we feel very spoilt. We've never had a new kitchen before.

      Delete
  8. Lovely! Do you have 2 ovens or just the 1? In my next house we will have a new kitchen and like you it will have to last as I refuse to do it again. (sorry blogger wont let me sign in at present) Good to see you back blogging. Sol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sol. Just just one oven. We lived for 9 weeks using camping equipment set up in the laundry as a makeshift kitchen waiting for the installation to be completed - it was a bit rough

      Delete

Post a comment