Written by Suzanne Brown
Putting in a new kitchen was
part of the overhaul of our old
terrace house, which involved demolishing
the outdoor bathroom, turning an
original bedroom into a bathroom
and building two new bedrooms.
One of the new bedrooms was to
be constructed over the kitchen, so
the whole area was almost completely
demolished and rebuilt to allow for
the lowering of the floor.
My partner Mark especially
liked the original configuration
of the kitchen but agreed we
needed to add storage and
counter space while updating the
much loved but impractical old
Kooka stove. We wanted enough
space for both of us to cook.
To replace the wall that ran
alongside the courtyard we wanted
bifold doors that could be opened
up to create a big summer room.
The architect suggested
aluminium-framed doors but we
wanted to keep the rustic feel of the
original kitchen so opted for Stegbar
customized wood doors in a French
A concrete floor had always appealed
but because we had a floating floor
we didn't think it would be possible.
Then friends mentioned a new
product called Pandomo, that looks
like concrete but is softer underfoot
and can be laid over timber in a layer
as thin as 1/5". It's used in restaurants
and commercial premises so we went
to see it in situ and were impressed.
We chose a neutral shade, laid by
Concrete Artisans, to complement the
countertops. The result is ultra-modern
and seamless, it feels great underfoot
and is more forgiving of dropped
glasses than standard concrete or tiles.
We'd seen a picture in a magazine
of doors and drawers with recycled exotic
blackbutt wood laid horizontally and
brushed stainless steel accessories.
The kitchen companies we
approached dismissed it as too difficult
so eventually we engaged a joiner to
build the carcasses, countertops and
backsplashes then my father Russell,
who can make just about anything,
took on the doors and drawers.
We decided against blackbutt as it
would have been too dark and chose
NSW spotted gum decking boards instead.
They were machined to 1/3" thick
and delivered to Russell where he mounted them on melamine. He installed them with brushed stainless
steel handles from the old cupboards.
Within a week the humidity had buckled the beautiful doors and some wouldn't open properly. We
shipped them back to Russell who relaminated
them onto exterior plywood and varnished them again.
It was hard to beat the old Kooka stove
for character but we soon fell in love
with a cobalt blue enamel Ilve stove
that had to be ordered from Italy and
took three months to arrive.
We bought all the appliances from
a housewares store that agreed to hold
them for us until installation.
We hung pictures and displayed
lots of blue items to match the stove.
We thought more wood would make
the room look dark so decided on
Raw Silk CaesarStone countertops with
Antique White glass backsplashes.
Russell took on the job of making
wood shelves, using spotted gum stair
treads. He made tongue-and-groove
joints and laminated a 4" piece
onto the front to make it look like
a thick wood shelf without the weight.
The new kitchen has added value
to our house financially but as the
heart of the home it's contributed
to our lifestyle with lots of storage
and workspace plus a stove that can
cope with cooking for a crowd.
The natural light through the
French doors has made a difference
to the ambience of the room and we
love opening up the entire 13 feet
of them for a huge indoor-outdoor
room with the courtyard.
We did manage to stick to budget,
although if Russell hadn't made the
cupboards we would have blown out.
The bill for labor and materials.
No one’s said anything yet! Log in or
create an account to be the first.
© 2012 Reiman Media Group, LLC.