Part Two: George & Tenielle's First Home Renovation [Rehashed]

By George Skentzos,Sunday, August 27, 2017

Part Two: George & Tenielle's First Home Renovation [Rehashed]

 

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When it came to designing our new kitchen, it was very much a case of putting my money where my mouth was after spending years at Caesarstone exposed to amazing kitchens from around the world on a daily basis.

George Skentzos

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As we would quickly find out, the kitchen of your dreams and the one you can afford doesn't have to be worlds apart but rather it's a matter of doing your research and choosing the right materials.

 

 

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Our kitchen design process began before we'd even bought a house with a growing collection of kitchen design inspiration collected on Pinterest from Caesarstone and other projects around the world. 

It became a great mood board for both of us to refine our design choices and a fantastic way to convey to the kitchen designers during our various consultations about the overall look we were trying to achieve.

We were on a level playing field when it came to choosing a kitchen company who could produce the design we wanted on a budget we could afford.

We spent countless afternoons and weekends in and out of kitchen showrooms around Sydney getting as many quotes as we could, and with the difference between the cheapest and most expensive quote an astounding $10,000 it certainly pays to do your homework.

I'm a firm believer that a kitchen is the heart of the home so we weren't prepared to compromise on quality or design, but still needed something at a price we could afford.

We eventually decided on Eddie from Attwells Kitchens, an independent cabinet maker who bucked the trend of shiny Macbooks and flashy computer renderings and instead quoted our kitchen the old fashioned way with a pen and paper. With decades of experience and the ability to fabricate a completely custom kitchen to our exact specifications and design, we knew we had made the right choice.  

 

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With the quote accepted the race was on to finish the space before the kitchen was installed which meant wiring, plumbing, plasterboard and painting - like a little Block of our very own!

 

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We left the wiring and plumbing up to the professionals but decided to take on the task of hanging plasterboard on our own. For our first attempt, I think we did quite well, with most of our mistakes covered up by a very talented plasterer who we hired to set the joints.

Less than a month later - not counting the Christmas break - our kitchen was finished and ready to be installed! Once all the cabinets were brought inside, the first step was to level the plinths which the kitchen would on. As it turns out our 50-year-old floors were far from level.

 

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This would be the first time we would see the footprint of our kitchen in the home. Given that we had completely relocated the kitchen from the other side of the room we were worried about the layout but already we could see how beautiful the space would become especially in the morning sunlight.

 

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The kitchen quickly took shape with the pantry and oven cupboard put into place. We opted to leave room for a bulkhead above the kitchen rather than take it right to the ceiling as we felt this created the illusion of height in the room, luckily with 2.5 metre ceilings in the space we already had a little extra room to play with.

 

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I installed the ducting for the flush-mounted range hood the night before, a quick check measure confirmed it was in the right location for the overhead cupboards to be put into place.

 

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A bit of a trick of the trade was screwing temporary hangers onto the top of the overhead cupboards, meaning all Eddie and his team had to do was slip it between the pantry and oven cupboard then they could take their time fixing it to the wall.

 

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It was incredible to see how quickly the kitchen came together. Pre-assembly at the factory meant everything fit together like a glove.

 

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Some of the panels were routed on site to house wiring for the powerpoints in the island bench and either side of the splashback.

 

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The kitchen island disappeared as quickly as it had appeared, with the finishing panels removed after they had been test fitted to make way for the new flooring. This would mean we didn't have to contend with moldings along the base of the island after the flooring has been installed for a more seamless finish. 

 

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With the overhead cupboards in place, the pre-fabricated MDF bulkhead was lifted into position in two parts. A cornice would later be applied then the entire piece would be painted white to match the walls for a completely integrated finish. This also meant the overhead cupboard doors were cut down slightly to clear the bulkhead.

 

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With the other side of the bulkhead in place, it was finally time to install the doors and drawers. Along the wall, we decided to use drawers only to keep pots and pans within easy reach, while the island used normal pull open doors to take advantage of the deep cupboards. We also chose an integrated waste management system - better known as a bin drawer - along with a fully integrated dishwasher.

 

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Continuing our seamless theme, we chose a shadow-line finish in Dulux Natural White - it's actually more expensive than just using handles but we felt the end result was worth the cost. We also increased the width of the island with two rear-facing cupboards which allowed us to create the look of a wide, solid island while also creating a nook for a breakfast bar.
 

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To bring warmth into the kitchen we chose Polytec Natural Oak doors for the overhead cupboards as a feature with an asymmetrical open shelf. We would have loved to continue the timber around the island but decided to play it safe with the mainly white cabinets instead. Fortunately, if we ever change our minds it is a relatively simple process to have the doors and finishing panels remade and fitted in the Natural Oak colour.

 

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Discover More of George & Tenielle:

Instagram: @tenielle.george

 

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It may have cost us a bit extra, but we feel that the integrated appliances are well worth the cost and create the high end look we wanted to achieve.

 

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As you might have noticed we are still short a few benchtops and a splashback - not to mention a tap, sink, and stove. As is the renovating life, before any of that can happen the flooring still needs to be installed meaning Eddie (centre) and his team from Attwells Kitchens will be paying me another visit in a month or so. 

 

 

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Discover More of George & Tenielle:

Instagram: @tenielle.george

 

Discover Part 1 of George & Tenielle's Renovation

Discover Part 3 of George & Tenielle's Renovation

Comments on "Part Two: George & Tenielle's First Home Renovation [Rehashed]"

  • Narelle

    Narelle
    February 12, 2015
    6:34 PM

    its lovely and you have surely done the research to create something, modern , high end and practical. Congratulations on a beautiful space!! Look fwd to the next blog

  • Leonie

    Leonie
    February 14, 2015
    6:37 AM

    Looks amazing guys. Can't wait to see the finished product. Well done to you both you should be very proud.

  • Angela

    Angela
    May 07, 2015
    11:03 PM

    Hi George - I've been eagerly awaiting the final kitchen story to see which stone you've chosen...??

  • Action Property Inspections

    Action Property Inspections
    July 31, 2015
    10:16 AM

    I really like the look of those overhead cupboards in the kitchen. Ive never like the idea of any timber in the kitchen but its a really nice colour and not too overdone.

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