Bonnie’s kitchen before and our kitchen remodel goals

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Original kitchen

For those that have been watching our stories on Instagram, you will have seen the renovations we’re doing at Bonnie’s house — taking it from 80s brown to on-trend and airy.

The kitchen is the first space you enter at the property, and this poky and dated kitchen was urgently calling for a makeover!

Measuring just 2 x 1.1 metres, the original kitchen was far too small to be functional for a young, entertaining couple. And looks-wise, it really didn’t have anything going for it, ha ha.

Here is Bonnie’s kitchen before in all its glory!

Kitchen window placement

Little storage in this kitchen remodel

Poky kitchen

The space

As mentioned above, the original kitchen was teeny tiny and not practical at all — there was no pantry to speak of, very little usable bench space or storage cupboards. There was also an awkwardly positioned kitchen window that created void space in that corner of the kitchen.

Below you can see the floor plan of Bonnie’s house.

Floor plan

The kitchen was so unusable that Bonnie ripped it out within days of moving in — deciding a camping table would do the trick just fine until the new kitchen is installed.

We decided the new kitchen would have to be larger but not too large that it would overshadow the living and dining spaces. To keep reno costs down, we will be trying to work with a similar floor plan (so no need to move plumbing about) and as many existing features as possible. While a huge gas strut window opening out to the front courtyard would have been a dream come true — it’s nowhere near in sight of our budget.

In our next blog post, we’ll talk through the design process in detail but wanted to give you a sense of the area we’re working in.

Inspiration

We always say it’s best to start a new project with a mood board and gathering your inspiration before locking in your design or selections. So we began with design magazines, kitchen stores, IKEA and other sources to find our inspiration.

Doing this let’s you see everything that’s available — latest kitchen gadgets, new kitchen finishes and materials, different layout ideas and so much more. It’s also an opportunity to dream big and get all your ideas on paper before having to consider any constraints of the project (more on this below).

It was in the ‘Home ideas’ section of the IKEA website that Bonnie found a large, bright and white kitchen that formed the basis of our mood board below.

She also loved the idea of open shelves (seen on display in an IKEA kitchen) where she could style cookbooks and ceramic pieces she’s been collecting. Matte black tapware and beautiful pendant lights were also little luxuries she wanted to bring to the space.

Bonnie kitchen
Image credit (top to bottom): Black tap by Astra Walker, under sink organisation by IKEA, white pendant light by Crompton, open shelving image by Mattie Tiegreen, white kitchen by IKEA, and kitchen vignette by My House My Style

This mood board shows the early stages of our planning and the feel we wanted to achieve. Don’t forget that grey wash brick wall we did runs through the kitchen so it would be a beautiful contrast of white on grey.

Goals and constraints

Here are the features Bonnie was desperate to include in her new kitchen:
– finding a space for a pantry cupboard — a MUST!
– integrated dishwasher — she had not had a dishwasher for years and wanted to be able to put away items easily when entertaining and loved the integrated option with cabinetry at IKEA
– lighting under cabinetry — this can create a luxury feel at night in the kitchen
– clever storage solutions — lots of drawers so it was easy to access items, with soft close
– induction cook top — there is no gas connection to the property and Bonnie has been dreaming of an induction cooktop too!
– stone benchtop — this creates such a different look and feel to laminate.

But of course, we had constraints too:
– renovation budget of $8,000 – $15,000
– narrow kitchen space
– existing fixtures we needed to work around (such as the placement of kitchen window)
– structural problems and costs to remove old kitchen that needed to be factored in (the ceiling had fallen away from the batons and had to be repaired).

Stay tuned for our next post where we’re going to talk through the design process for Bonnie’s new kitchen, explain how we decided on the different finishes and materials, and ways you can save when renovating your kitchen.

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