It has been almost 4 years ago to the day that we moved into our Fixer Upper and, after cooking in a non functional, cheap and ill fitted kitchen which, lets be frank, met no standards, we finally can reveal our sparkling new hub of the home.
The original 1940’s kitchen was renovated in 2000, the owners at the time choose a creamy, slightly mushroom pink in some lights, cabinetry, topped with a cream speckled bench top which was accentuated by square cream tiles. Out of the ball park styling, actually so far out, it was never in.
Whilst the colour choices were something we could live with, the bad design, gas cook top that blew out when the AC was on, cupboards that had warped with damp and didn’t close, the awful tap that never worked properly, too small sink and plumbing that did not flow on a slope so there was a backlog of 18 years of muck, which resulted in a smell that 50kg of Draino couldn’t even omit.. those were things that we could not wait to be rid of.
What did it look like you ask? Well here’s some before shots from the day we viewed the property and, when we declared we were keen to make an offer, my Mumma said.. You kids have some vision!
And vision we did. We saw a kitchen that was a great size, located in the middle of the home, with good flow and the potential for lovely light.
We spent about a year designing our new kitchen, with a working plan we touched on every couple of months, really thinking about what we disliked about the current layout and what would make life easier with 3 children.
After much research we decided on Ikea cabinets, there was one in style in particular we loved and we also were impressed with the warranty period.
We had a strict time frame of a month without a kitchen, with 3 children, in a small house and in the middle of winter, we felt this was the longest time we could ‘glamp’ for.
‘Glamping’ Maxted style, lets all take a moment to look at Ivy.. when did I suddenly get obsessed with indoor plants?!
As we project managed this renovation ourselves, after concreting plans, obtaining quotes and ordering materials, we wrote a timeline, leaving realistic gaps for the work we would need to complete ourselves in between trades. After booking in the trades there was only one thing left to do.. demo!
I cannot tell you just how satisfying it is to gut a room you cannot stand. I can also tell you that we are huge fans of free child labour in our home.
We uncovered some treasures..
And a lot of orange
The asbestos man was called and the few asbestos sheets were taken away, the half wall was taken down and then the old horsehair plaster was removed to reveal our old lady’s bones. Finally, one Saturday night we put the new plasterboard up, but not before my tireless and meticulous husband had packed out the old timber frame to make the new walls flush. When we say pack them out, everything was packed out, I’m not sure they had levels in the 1940’s.
Now we get to talk about the skylight, oh the skylight! There was a skylight in the roof already, it was tin, square and had a magnificent yellowed perspex top. There was also a hideous grate in the ceiling of which a ceiling fan was the feature, complete with a light.
We had a gorgeous new skylight installed, new down lights and, with a lick of paint, looks smashing, as well as flooding the kitchen with clean, crisp, natural light.
We wanted black cabinets, something that would be classic but not standard white. They also had to have a vintage twist to keep with the style of our home. Therefore we choose profile cupboards and kept the overheads glass, both to keep an airy, open feel and also to keep it from being too modern.
Selecting the tiles for the splash back was somewhat tricky as I knew what I wanted, I just had never actually seen any. I had fallen in love with a friends 70s shower tile, which, although purple, were the perfect blend of retro, vintage and pretty. I wanted 70s tiles. It is 2018, I couldn’t find any. Until, trawling the internet I discovered Tile Cloud … and I fell in love.
To complement the most beautiful tiles I had ever laid eyes on, we choose a white stone bench top to keep the room from being drowned by the black cabinets, purposely choosing a 20mm thickness to keep a retro vibe.
The final finishing touches, which, lets be honest, we all know is what I love best about interiors, are a black macrame plant holder for Ivy the 2nd, in pride of place above the fridge, some crocheted plant holders as a feature above the sink, 3 black legged faux cowboy leather stools and, the most beautiful glass pendant from Zanuii, which makes me unbelievably happy every time I look at her.
Have a look for yourself ..
We love the depth of the black against the warm jarrah floors and the contrast of the white bench and tiles. We love the huge stainless steel sink which is more like a trough, it fits even my biggest platters. We love having a dishwasher, 8 years without one is a tad too long. We love the soft closing cupboards and drawers, and the well thought out storage. We love it all.
Our hub of the home is now just that, its a functional, cohesive space, that allows for the 5 humans who inhabit it to interact, cook, eat and just … be.
It was worth the wait.