The great kitchen makeover

For the first time in 10 weeks, our house is a tradesperson-free zone. There is no need to scramble out of bed before they arrive, no need to skirt around ladders and buckets of plaster and dropsheets. It’s lovely.

There’s more chaos to come in a week or two (flooring) and we are still missing a bedroom door (among other things), but at least the kitchen is done. The best part is that the kitchen has one of those those sleek bespoke kitchen doors. And now I can show you!

Here’s ‘the journey’ as Kevin McCloud would say….

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It wasn’t a majorly fancy makeover – we – or rather, the nice builder – knocked out the old pantry, then we got a new one installed on the other side of the kitchen. It might take a village to raise a child, but it took five men more than two weeks to get the pantry sorted. Well, actually, in the end it took one man who knew what he was doing about half an hour to sort it. He was a top bloke.

Major credit also has to go to my beloved, who replaced all the horrible 80s melamine joinery with nicely painted plywood facings, which ended up costing about $200 rather than the $2000+ we’d been quoted elsewhere. He also ripped out the grotty cabinet above the bench by the sink and got rid of the grimy shelf on the other side. Oh, and he carefully crafted a wooden benchtop wotsit to cover the hole where the old extraction unit was. Even the builder was impressed by that.

The only task left is to sort out the cake tins and that cupboard where plastic containers and empty jars go to breed. If you have any tips on dealing with those issues, I’d love to hear them.



  1. March 19, 2014 / 8:08 am

    well done – you must be so happy! things have to get worse before they get better, especially with house renos, of any kind!
    and ah, the great plastics conundrum, and storing cake tins, which never seem to stack neatly and seam to tangle as if they were made of chicken wire! i use boxes/crates to contain and conquer them! that may be worth investigating. and beign brutally honest if you need all those containers with missing lids…
    glad you have a beautiful kitchen, cooking will be a pleasure!

    • March 24, 2014 / 5:34 pm

      Thank you! Yes, it's like everything, you have to go through hard to get to easy. I think the same must apply to plastics and jars…

  2. March 19, 2014 / 9:46 am

    Looks great Lucy! It's always a pain having work done but it is all worth it in the end. Here's to many happy hours in your new kitchen! 🙂

    • March 24, 2014 / 5:33 pm

      Thanks Susie – it is so nice to have it back in working order (and looking so pretty!) that we hardly know ourselves.

  3. March 19, 2014 / 11:44 am

    it looks great! I'm doing something similar at the moment so I really sympathise. Definitely worth it. And a pantry! So exciting! What do you keep in yours? Is it for tins? Love the sound of a pantry (I want one!) but never entirely sure what they are.

    • March 24, 2014 / 5:31 pm

      Thanks Claire! I really wanted a pantry that was big enough to house the kettle and toaster etc, with those fancy pull-out shelves for spices, but quickly realised a giant cupboard in which we could store foodstuffs and glasses (well, we had to put them somewhere after the Mr got gung-ho about ripping shelves out) would be nearly as good (and MUCH cheaper!)

  4. March 19, 2014 / 12:58 pm

    Your kitchen looks beautiful and even better to hear you are happy with it because you need to work in it. We had a tiny renovation in our kitchen a few years back and it was a nightmare so I empathise.

    RE the plastic tubs, I have a couple of boxes that I store mine in and actually have one for the big tubs and one for the smaller ones and love the plastic tubs that stack which saves heaps of room – they get out of control every now and again and I give them some attention and they usually settle down. But it is a constant struggle

    • March 24, 2014 / 5:29 pm

      Thank you Johanna – and thanks for the plastics tips. I try to audit them every now and then, but they breed while my back is turned, I'm sure.

  5. March 19, 2014 / 8:46 pm

    Hurrah! And no more making of umpteen cups of builders tea and umpteen opened packs of biscuits around the place for dunking!

    • March 24, 2014 / 5:27 pm

      Actually they were very self-sufficient – once they got over the fact that we didn't often have milk in the fridge. The builders even had their own microwave!

  6. March 26, 2014 / 10:03 am

    Excellent – you must be so glad that's (pretty much) all over. One thing that puzzles me about having a new kitchen is that I quickly put things away, intending to come back and organise properly later and it doesn't happen. My kitchen was 5 years old before all the spices were put in the same cupboard. I'm so impressed that your builders had their own microwave. I find it difficult to get builders to turn up with their own tools. Actually, turning up at all would be good.

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