Lyndie’s Formal Lounge Renovation – THE REVEAL

 

Lyndie's renovation first page reveal

I believe an awesome living room should leave people happier than when they first entered the space.  It should have an arrangement of furniture that would encourage conversation, reflects your personality and not be cluttered with pieces you no longer love.

Formal Lounge Before

In my previous blog about our lounge room renovation, you’ll see what our vision was for this area, as well as where we found inspiration for the decorating style.  Our lounge room desperately needed new flooring and an update in accessories.  We also wanted to create better flow from the entry and did that by removing the pillars and nib walls.  Most of the old furnishings in this room will be used in the new entertainment area extension.

Formal Lounge After

The colour scheme throughout the house was inspired by a painting by Karen Tabak, which we purchased at the Kings Art Show last year.  We decided to purchase sofas in a lighter colour, as the room needed a light and fresh palette.   There’s a large possibility that these sofas will be covered in plastic sheets before our red wine drinking friends arrive.  Some of them (you know who you are), might just be banned from the area entirely… 🙂

marble coffee table accent chair

No living room is complete without a few decorative items to make it feel homely.  I stuck to the colour palette and added a few quirky bits to complete the picture.  It was love at first sight when I spotted the slatted accent chair, which works perfectly with the Modern Country/Colonial theme.

removal of pillars in lounge room

The feeling of openness was finally achieved by removing the decorative pillars and low nib walls.  The view from the lounge room to the entry is now unobstructed and creates a better flow through this space.

View from Formal lounge to entry

Formal Lounge Renovation

Formal Lounge Renovation After

New timber flooring was installed throughout the first level and lends a wonderful warmth to the interior.  The pewter side tables were purchased in Berry in the Southern Highlands on a recent holiday and the table lamps we found on another scavenger hunt in a small town a number of years ago.

White sofa Abstract Painting

If you’re struggling to find your style direction or need help putting a room together, book a consultation today!  If you’d like to see how we renovated the other rooms in our home, follow the links below:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

How Lyndie changed her Formal Lounge Room

How Lyndie Changed her Lounge Room

Our front door opens up into an entry area and the first room to the left, is our formal lounge room.  Previously, this room connected to the formal dining area, where we usually hung out during winter when entertaining.

Lounge room before renovation

The room started looking a bit dark and dreary with dark leather sofas, dated carpet and accessories that looked a bit tired.  The pillars, which we disliked from the moment we moved in, didn’t add to the ambiance.  Pillars do have their place in society and fit homes from Georgian to Federal to Greek Revival to Italianate to Romanesque to Classical Revival.  They can provide privacy or create an ambiance of openness. In our house, they looked old fashioned and only created obstruction between the entry and formal living room, so they had to go.

Lounge room renovation plans

The other pillars, between the new bar area (old formal dining area) and formal lounge area, housed supporting beams, so we decided to encase the beams in 1m nib walls on either side of the room.  This plan was ideal, as cabinetry for the bar butted up against this new wall, but it also created a definite divide between the bar and formal lounge area.

lounge room pillar removal

The pillars and low nib walls were removed and we couldn’t believe what a difference that made to the space.  Luckily, our builders knew what they were doing and the ceiling didn’t come tumbling down!  Always check with your builder or structural engineer before removing any pillars or supporting walls in your home.

lounge room renovation process

We removed all skirting boards and architraves in the downstairs area and replaced it with a higher profile to suit the new style.  The old carpet was removed and solid timber yarrah floorboards installed.

Lounge room Inspiration Mood board

My biggest source of inspiration for this area was a painting we purchased at the Kings Art Show last year.  The artist is an ex-South African, Karen Tabac, who’s abstract landscapes focus on nature without human interference (which you’ll see in next week’s room reveal).   It fitted the new style of our home, which has Colonial and Modern Country influences, but also provided a fresh aqua and bottle green colour palette to take throughout the house.

If you would like see some of the other changes we’ve made to our home, follow these links below:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal.

Don’t miss next week’s reveal!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Did PINTEREST replace Decor Magazines?

If you don’t know what Pinterest is, you probably live on a deserted island with wi-fi one day a month. The world is so full of screens and social media and everyone is looking for a quick result and quick fix for all their decor  problems. The same goes for decor solutions. Pinterest is great, because it gives you the chance to pin images to albums, for free. Do you still have to buy decor magazines or decor books for your coffee table? That’s one of the reasons that blogging became so popular, because people still want to read stories, get advice and gather information while browsing on their computers. With blogging, these stories are quickly available through social media and the internet and can be accessed everywhere and anytime.

So why should you still buy decor magazines and decor books?

I will always continue buying decor magazines. There are a lot of information online, so I’m very picky lately to which magazines I buy.  Here are my favourites that I’m willing to share some me-time with: Home Beautiful & Inside Out. They have real homes, with images and furniture and solutions I can relate to. No hoity toity fancy stuff real people don’t buy or can’t afford.

decor magazines sydney, home beautiful, inside out, vanillaslatedesigns

Social media and Pinterest don’t give you the story behind the pictures, how homeowners came to their decisions, their obstacles during their renovation process or shopping tips and the latest furniture trends. Magazines do! Even though we blog ourselves, and we try to share with you our personal stories and advice, we still love spending time with decor magazines and a cup of coffee. I put on my music, kick off my shoes and fall down on my sofa with a magazine and a (few) chocolates. It’s my time to relax and  create some me-time. When I’m working on my computer, I can’t help constantly checking Facebook, Instagram, my emails and Pinterest. Suddenly I have 10 or 12 websites open, working and checking and browsing everywhere at once. When I lie on my sofa with a magazine, I can focus on one thing only and actually relax completely.

So even though Pinterest is free and might give you quick solutions, I don’t see it as the only problem solving solution for decorating. Otherwise you’re just copying rooms and other people’s photos. If you read decor magazines and books, you slowly change your mindset, get inspired and give yourself a chance for a new style to develop slowly and steadily, that will represent YOU.

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

LYNDIE’S KITCHEN RENOVATION: The Reveal

Kitchen renovation reveal

If you’ve been following our home renovation, you’re probably eager to see the end result of our kitchen!  To see the first stages and how the renovation progressed, follow these links:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day, Kitchen installation begins.

kitchen before renovation

This photo was taken just before demolition began – it’s amazing how quickly everything is stripped to the bare bones of the house.  We removed this benchtop that separated the informal dining and kitchen, to allow the dining area to become more part of the kitchen.

black and white kitchen dark timber floor

We went for a black and white colour scheme, but warmed it up with timber elements to resemble a country kitchen.  The old butcher’s block, which accompanied the butchery we purchased 16 years ago, was restored by my father-in-law.  It’s exceptionally heavy, so we fitted it with wheels in order to cart it where needed.

kitchen bifold window before

Here’s the kitchen stripped of all cabinets and benchtops – only thing remaining…those beautiful splashback tiles with depictions of fruit… We widened the window and replaced it with a bi-fold window to create better flow to the new entertainment area extension.

kitchen marble benchtop

Great improvement, even if I have to say so myself 🙂  The oil painting of our family beach house in South Africa, was a gift from my Mum for my 40th birthday and takes pride of place in our new kitchen.  The beach house reminds me of hot summers and an ice cold ocean, late night dancing, crawling through a window after curfew (and getting caught!), eating freshly caught crayfish with lashes of mayonnaise on newspaper and skinny dipping at sunset with my aunt and cousin.  This was what Christmas time was made of –  days at the beach with the entire family (only rarely fighting over who’s turn it is for cleaning the dishes or how the kids never help with washing the laundry – by hand in those days).

freestanding oven before renovation

What a beautiful sight, our yawning oven door and laminated cabinet doors.  How ever could we improve on this look?

freestanding oven and rangehood

Aaaah, that’s better!  My husband and I love entertaining and cooking, so we needed a proper oven and plenty of workspace.  The oven is now big enough to hide all my dirty dishes –  not just the plates –  when unexpected guests come over, jippeee!  I decided on white cabinets for the top half, as the black would’ve been too overbearing. To keep a unified look, we used brushed nickel handles, that works well with all the taps and accessories.

kitchen dining before

This is the old informal dining area off the kitchen during packing up phase.  We bought the large timber shelf that’s hanging against the wall at a scrap metal yard in Richmond.  It was used to be a display shelf at an antiques store.  Because of the size of it, we had to close up the door cavity that led into a guest bathroom out of the dining area, otherwise it wouldn’t fit!  What we’d do for timber shelves with character…  I decided to paint it white to fit the new scheme, as the timber imparted too strong a country feel in the space and didn’t have the same tone as the new flooring.

black and white kitchen table

The crisp white shelf has a fresher feel and creates such a nice backdrop for all my pretty knickknacks (crap, in my husband’s words… he knows nothing of decorating ;).  The small 6 seater dining table suits this space perfectly and is great when it’s just the four of us for dinner.  It was another council pickup find, which I painted black and white.

kitchen dining, painted shelf

A small sink and tap for quick rinse ups and a kettle for a cuppa and girly catchups complete the look.  I’ve used aqua as accent colour throughout, that was inspired by a painting in the lounge room.   Some of my knickknacks are from local retail stores, some are handmade and others from Salvo’s or Vinnies second hand stores.

Kitchen renovation, Kitchen dining

So this is the kitchen done and dusted.  Items used in this renovation:

  • Solid timber, prefinished yarrah flooring
  • Polyurethane cabinets with shaker style doors
  • Ceasarstone Statuario Nuvo 40mm mitred benchtop
  • Devon super white matte subway tiles from Beaumont Tiles, Castle Hill
  • Kethy handles
  • Wall paint – Dulux Dieskau and Vivid White for the trim
  • Farmhouse style light – Beacon Lighting
  • Provincial style taps in solid brass from Marina Isles, Castle Hill.

Next week, I’ll show you a new room with a new look. If your home is starting to look a little bit sad, give us a call to give you guidance for a freshen up.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

FROM ART NOUVEAU TO IKEA: MODERN DESIGN TRENDS EXPLAINED

If you want to be able to pinpoint your style inspiration, it’s helpful to know the major furniture design trends from the last century, and therefore, we need to sometimes look back and discover how today’s designs were born. It will also help you to sound very informative and super designer-like the next time your friends visit! Today’s blog post is kindly presented by BROSA FURNITURE, where designer pieces are delivered straight to you from the makers, without the expensive price tag. They are based in Melbourne.


If you have a look around your house, you are bound to find furniture inspired by a great design trend of the past.  Whether you got that furniture new from a retailer, or second hand from an Op shop, it will have a story to tell.  If you want to be able to pinpoint your style inspiration, it’s helpful to know the major furniture design trends from the last centry.

ARTFUL INFLUENCES

Slide4

From 1900 to the 1940s, there were several trends that would go on to inspire much of the design we know today.  Art Nouveau was classically beautiful, with flowing lines and ornamental designs.  This trend resulted in some very pretty furniture.  In Germany in 1919 Bauhaus sprang forth from a famous art and design school.  It couldn’t have been more original.  Focused purely on functionality, the simple forms were easily mass-produced.  Inspired by post-war life, Art Deco took over.  The style was present in fashion, art and architecture, making it very recognisable.

WHERE MODERN BEGAN

Slide3

Mid Century Modern design was straightforward and no-nonsense.  While we might call it “retro” now it was unlike anything that came before it.  It was minimalist and functional.  Materials used in the past were more often than not dark, polished woods.  But Mid Century Modern called for modern materials like chrome, formica and vinyl.  With modern materials came the ability to mass-produce designer furniture.  Furniture like armchairs began to resemble pieces of art.  Many Mid Century Modern pieces are now collector’s items.

SCANDINAVIAN INSPIRATION

Slide6

Scandinavian design was present during much of the 20th Century.  It lasted from the thirties until the seventies.  But it has continued to influence much of the furniture we see today.  Being Modernist, Scandinavian furniture was both functional and could be easily mass-produced.  The designers of Scandinavian furniture thought it important that good furniture be available to all.  The affordability of Scandinavian design owed a lot to modern improvements in cheap materials.  Lighter coloured woods and simple, natural shapes were important to Scandinavian design.

DESIGN REBELS

Slide7

Late 20th Century Rebellion became hip in the sixties lasting until the eighties.  Rebellion was loud, bright and unapologetic.  Designers used clashes of bright colours and wild patterns to inspire.  Colours like yellow and green were hugely popular.  Patterns from paisley, polka dots to stripes became the norm.  Towards the end of this period, monochromatic rooms were livened up with bright and unusual armchairs or sofas.

MINIMALIST LIVING

As we prepared for the new millennium, design seemed to nurse its Rebellion hangover with Minimalism.  Like in Scandinavian design, woods were lighter and fabrics were calmer.  Furniture took on a more comfortable form.  Subdued colour palettes of neutrals and pastels became popular.

Slide5

MILLENNIAL MIX

The new millennium didn’t give us silver-clad sofas or digital wallpaper like in the movies.  Instead, we reflected on past trends and embraced those aspects that best suit our modern lifestyles.  Sustainability is now an important factor when choosing furniture.  Mass-production made the coolest furniture available to everyone.  And replica furniture means we can have a little piece of design history for a fraction of the price.

Slide2

From the intricacy of Art Nouveau to the natural materials of Scandinavian, there is a little of everything in the furniture design of today.


WE THANK BROSA FURNITURE FOR EXPLAINING TO OUR READERS THE HISTORY OF DESIGN TRENDS AND HELP US ALL IMPRESS OUR FRIENDS!

PLEASE NOTE, THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST & WE DID NOT RECEIVE ANY FINANCIAL GAIN FROM BROSA FURNITURE.  PLEASE VISIT THEIR WEBSITE AND VIEW THEIR AMAZING PRODUCTS.  YOU COULD  EVEN TRY YOUR HAND AT DESIGNING YOUR OWN OWN BED!

See you next time,

Eriana & Lyndie

xx

BROSA WEBSITE
VISIT THE BROSA FURNITURE WEBSITE

DIY PROJECT: Turning Stair Risers into Cutting Boards

Blog DIY Cutting boards

After our recent stair renovation, I had a few of these solid timber planks left over.  Mmm, what to do… would prefer to not just chuck it in the bin!  As we love entertaining and always looking for an interesting way to display cheese, desserts or meat, I decided that cutting boards would serve our household well.  Here’s how I did it.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

diy timber cutting boards template

  • Handy husband (or know your way around a jigsaw – which I do, but I pretended that I didn’t)
  • sanding paper
  • masking tape
  • paint brush
  • paint
  • wax

THE TEMPLATE

cuttingboards_template

Cut a template for your cutting board out of brown paper and place it on the plank for easy tracing. Follow this line with your jigsaw.

CREATING PATTERNS OF YOUR CHOICE

diy timber cutting boards patterns

First, sand down the boards to avoid splinters in tongues (not that I have friends that like licking boards, but one can never be too careful – friendship groups tend to evolve).  Create different patterns with masking tape, or use a stencil from your local art shop.  There are endless possibilities, just use your imagination.

PAINTING

diy timber cutting boards painting

Paint the boards in the colour of your choice, you don’t have to stick to just one colour.  I used this aqua colour, as it’s present in a painting that gave direction to the colour scheme throughout our house.

SEALING

diy timber cutting boards wax

I wanted a bit more depth to the colour of the boards, so I used this dark beeswax to seal it.  A clear version is also available, the only skill you need is elbow grease for this final step.

SERVE

diy timber cutting boards display

Voila!  How simple was that!  These can be used instead of placemats, to serve cuts of cold meats, hold condiments, or what their name suggest, a cutting board!  Have them handy for serving a delicious slice like brownies, or impress your friends with an array of cheeses and biscuits.  Even comes in pretty handy during a fight…just to frighten, not cause bodily harm, of course  🙂

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Lyndie’s Kitchen Renovation – Installation Begins

A kitchen is that tricky room in your house that needs detailed thinking and extensive planning to get just right.  A well functioning kitchen doesn’t just make the cooking hub of your home more functional and easier to navigate, but add value to your home (so no pressure there…)  After a few weeks of cooking in an electrical frying pan in the garage in the middle of winter, installation day finally arrived (and not a moment too soon)!  This is how it went down:

Lyndie's Kitchen Installation

DEMOLITION

Kitchen demolition

The layout of our kitchen has changed quite a bit, so we (no, didn’t get my hands dirty) had to demolish the entire interior.  We (I use the term “we” quite loosely, my husband, nor I never touched any equipment) removed the benchtop that separated the kitchen and informal dining area to create one large open plan area. We also changed the position of the oven and fridge.  The dishwasher and sink were left in their original positions.

Bifold window installation

The window cavity that overlooks the entertainment area was widened and we installed a bi-fold window with a narrow benchtop on the entertainment area side. This will give us the benefit of a serving bay for placing food platters, a place for kids to sit at meal time, or keeping the host company while washing dishes (Yes, I did mean that the guests will be washing dishes 🙂 Our builders, The Swedish giant, Dan and Aussie hero, Pete (who sings like a nightingale) has done a magnificent job and has obviously done this many times before (the building bit, certainly not the singing).

CABINET AND FLOORING INSTALLATION

Timber floor installation

After some consideration whether we should install the solid timber flooring on top of our existing tiles, we decided that we didn’t want to lose any ceiling height and ripped everything out.  Although it created more dust than a sand storm in the Sahara Desert and we’re still finding some in untouched crevices (I’m usually not big on looking for unnoticeable places to clean) , it was well worth the effort.  The new flooring has made a huge difference in our house and created wonderful contrast to the dark kitchen cabinets.

BENCHTOPS AND TILING

Ceasarstone benchtops

The arrival of the benchtop created quite a tummy flutter.  We decided on Ceasarstone that has a feint vein – this combined very well with a matt white subway tile that looked almost handmade.  Step by step, these finishes brought us closer to the desired effect of the final design.  Seeing all these elements in place, just the way you pictured and planned, was quite an exciting moment.

Next week, I’ll show you how the kitchen turned out in the end. Don’t miss our other room renovations – just follow the links below.

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Lyndie Farewells her Kitchen

Take it from someone who’s been through a renovation:  The planning part of a renovation is a lot more fun than the actual renovation.  Especially if you decide to stay put during the entire process.  I can deal with builders at my door at 7 each morning (they’re extremely punctual), I can deal with the noise, the constant digging, the removal of walls, roofs and ceilings, BUT… when they rip out your kitchen, things get real very quickly…

kitchen before renovation

As the hour didn’t allow for any other beverages, I farewelled the kitchen with a cup of tea and a friend.  I know that you secretly think there’ll be lots of time to remove kitchen utensils to set up elsewhere.  THINK AGAIN!  These guys are pretty quick.  They demolished that entire kitchen, floor tiles included,  quicker than it took me to pack everything up.

Kitchen Demolition

Hard to imagine a brand new kitchen in this mess!  After months of planning, one can only hope that it will turn out the way we imagined.

Garage kitchen setup

Mmm, this is our best efforts at building a new kitchen – it’s our set-up in the garage for the next 6 weeks (possibly longer…).  As you can see, we have somewhere to sit and have dinner, we have a fridge, microwave, storage, but most importantly, we have wine… If you’d like any recipes for cooking in an electrical frying pan, please give me a call 🙂

Next week, I’ll show you the progress in the kitchen. If you’d like to see how we changed some of the other rooms in our house, follow the links below.

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

 

 

Best tips you will ever need for a Hamptons Style Home

Most people fail when they try to decorate in the Hampton’s style. Why?

We visited a new client this week, and she loves the Hampton Style for her project. So I thought maybe I will share the Hampton’s style with everyone today.

Two key features are usually overlooked when decorating Hamptons:

  1. GO ALL THE WAY HAMPTON’S – or give up now. It’s about creating the style throughout your home, and not a theme you create in your living room only. Hampton’s style is creating an overall timeless look for your entire home, that represents a classis, sophisticated look. Don’t combine it with other styles in your home, as it wants to be the hero. Hampton’s is not a theme, but a lifestyle. It’s also important to have a lot of natural daylight in your home.
  2. INVEST IN HIGH END ITEMS – after all, the Hamptons style originate from the upper class elite and their holiday region in Long Island, New York. Not some beach town somewhere in nowhere.
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
TIPS FOR HAMPTON’S STYLE

 

Two focal points all Hampton styled homes must have:

  1. DRAMATIC ENTRANCE – Hamptons style insists on making a first impression. Either you have a beautiful staircase, or a double volume entrance hall with a huge pendant light. If you can add a small table with a huge bunch of fresh flowers that look like your butler has just arranged it, you’ve got a winner!
  2. HAMPTONS KITCHEN – The kitchen forms the centre point of the Hamptons design style. It will define the style for the rest of your entertainment areas. It’s actually easy to create a Hamptons kitchen with just a few elements, e.g. panelling or shaker doors, white subway tiles, crisp white finishes and glass pendant lights.
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
Image source: Entrance Hall
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
Image source: Hamptons Kitchen

Walls & Floors:

  1. Stick to white walls as far as possible (Dulux Natural White is great, as it has a soft undertone)
  2. Add some white wall panelling for character if you can.
  3. Timber floors (of course) work well with either a white washed look or a deep chocolate brown colour.
  4. Add natural rugs like sisal or jute.
  5. Hamptons love dramatic but neutral curtains. You can also go for white plantations shutters or white sheer curtains.
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
Image source: Hamptons floors, walls and curtains

Furniture & Accessories:

  1. Linen upholstery – a must have!
  2. Add wicker or cane elements – High End pieces of course, because wicker can quickly look cheap and worn if not quality products.
  3. Mix old and new furniture, but in a classy way. Timber furniture must still have a classical style, but be freshly painted, in good working condition and timeless. Here you can save a lot of money if you have a keen eye for second hand furniture.
  4. Add accessories like driftwood, a few (only a handful) of shells, glass jars, a butler’s tray and a little bit of bling. It must still be stylish, even though it does not have to be expensive. Think high end… Not your uncle’s old marine rope in his shed or an anchor you bought on gumtree. Keep that for your nautical style beach house…
  5. Down lights are not really Hamptons style, but we all need them. Make sure you alternate the down lights with a few pendant lights, especially with glass and iron features.
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
Image source: Hamptons style accessories

Don’t feel overwhelmed, just remember that the Hamptons style does not mean you need to overspend, but it definitely means you need to think carefully that each item has meaning and has a flair for the high end. Proper planning is essential, and it’s best to choose Hamptons if you have a clean slate to work from.

Enjoy lying on your sun loungers with your cocktails in your Hamptons house! (Hopefully there is also a butler and pool boy to keep you company!)

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

 

How Lyndie changed her Kitchen

Over the last century, kitchen design has evolved from being a secluded room at the back of the house, entirely divorced from all social and eating areas, to becoming the hub and focal point of the house.  In our house, a tucked away kitchen can’t be further from the truth!  It’s common practice for our guests to help with meal preparation (drinking wine in other words) or just keeping the host company and chatting away.

In order to get to the entertainment area, our guests move from the entry, through the kitchen, to the entertainment area at the back.  For some reason, most of them (you know who you are…) get stuck at the benchtop that separate the informal dining and kitchen area.  Well, we needed to fix that!  Can’t have guests sitting down, drinking wine in the kitchen all night!  My husband (who needs lots of space… he cooks with more gusto than most…) and I, both love cooking and entertaining.  I wanted to create a space that would be functional for both of us to cook in, as well as a little easier on the eye than peeling, laminated kitchen cupboards and a yawning oven door…

So here’s what we’ll do:

Kitchen Changes

So, getting from the old design to the new design, quite a few changes needed to be made.  Question is, will our guests still want to hang out in the kitchen with us?  One can only hope…

New kitchen layout

I believe that your kitchen should not just be about functionality.  If you want it to be a gathering place for friends and family, you should add a touch of your memories and items you feel sentimental about.  Don’t be afraid to show your personality in the form of possessions you’ve borrowed or inherited.  Always add something that’s alive (not insects… focus on greenery such as herbs or flowers).  I knew that I wanted our kitchen to feel the way my Ouma’s (Nanna’s) kitchen felt when we visited her as kids.  She lived in a gabled Dutch style house on a farm just outside of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Her kitchen had an Aga coal stove as you walked in the door, that always had a kettle boiling with rooibos tea.  The kitchen cabinets were painted dark green and in the centre of it, stood a large timber table and chairs.  This was our gathering place, listening to stories about the gorillas in the vineyard (she was such a liar!), drinking hot chocolate and cutting pictures out of magazines.

Kitchen inspiration board

Although I opted for black cabinets (not green!), I tried to impart some of our South African heritage and rustic charm with dark timber flooring.  We reused a number of vintage and antique items that my husband and I had gathered over the years, in particular an old butcher’s block.  Other items are from Council clean up that I’ve painted (but we’ll keep that a secret), and several are lucky finds from Vinnie’s and Salvo’s (I’ll show you those later).

Next time, I’ll show you how the kitchen has progressed and where we cooked while undergoing the renovation.

If you would like to see what we’ve done with the upstairs part of the house, follow these links:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera