Photos, at last!

Here is the kitchen, posing a bit for a special photo or two (i.e. this is what it would look like if no people lived here).






So there you have it! There’s still a few finishing touches yet to be completed, but nothing major or urgent. The kitchen has been a pleasure to cook in so far!


Week 9 (!!): Aaaaaand it’s done!

On the same day Game of Thrones Season 4 came to a close, so did our kitchen renovation. I was hoping to be able to post this last week, but unfortunately a couple of small things were done incorrectly last week.

It’s all the tiny details that make the difference. The moulded deco strip at the top of the wall cabinets really adds a final touch to the kitchen, but unfortunately despite providing plenty of material to do this without joins except in the corners, our installer left an ugly join right in the middle of a door. Why why why?? I assume i’m just fussy and that everyone would accept this, right? Or do they do this because they’re lazy and hope you’ll accept sub-standard work?

Also, the rounded deco strip that borders the base of the wall cabinets was installed flush with the front of the doors, and with a small gap between the base of the cabinets and top of the deco strip. This looked…. odd. Opening the doors gave a view through this gap at the brackets and looked really cheap and dodgy. When i turned on the under-cabinet lighting, you could clearly see all the brackets that held it on. Once installed, I commented to the installer that the deco strips were a necessary evil. The more i looked at it, the more i felt it had ruined the look of our kitchen. That seemed melodramatic, so i waited until James got home to get his opinion. He agreed it looked bad, especially where the deco strip protruded out past the front of our open shelving.

Some googling revealed that every other deco strip ever installed was set back flush with the cabinet and that there was also a sealing strip that should have been placed between the deco strip and the cabinet.

So we (well, James!) made that awkward phone call to tell them we weren’t happy. They said they always installed the deco strip flush with the doors. I didn’t really care, that’s not where i want it (nor where anyone else in the history of Google image search and Pinterest has ever installed it!). They also said they didn’t use the sealing strip because it looks “crap”. Well, it looks rather shizenhausen without it, lemme tell you!

Yesterday the installers came back to rectify the problem. Totes awks after criticising their work! It was also the first time all three had been in my house at once. Gosh, we could have been finished in half the time if they’d worked like that from the start!!

So that’s it, deco strips are in. No more tradespeople in my house, woohoo!

We still need to resolve our architrave vs sliding pantry door issue, and do a bit of painting, but then we are done diddly done!

Photos are in the offing!

Splashback is in, we’re on the home stretch!

After a couple of week lull in proceedings while we waited for the pressed metal splashback to arrive, we are almost, almost done!

The splashback is in and looks pretty good!

We weren’t allowed to go near the surrounding benches for 24 hours while the glue formed a skin. We were also not allowed to wipe it over for a week, so i’ve had to be a bit less splattery than usual in my cooking!

Tomorrow the installers are back to finish off bits and pieces. Our windowsill needs cutting down to fit behind the new tap, the deco strip and cornices need to be fitted to the wall cabinets, and there’s a couple of pieces of kicker to go under the dishwasher and maybe oven. Also, the plumber forgot to hook up the rangehood ducting, so that’s on the hit list too.

Will be nice to get the last few boxes out of the dining room and start just living in our house again. We seem to have done so much packing up, unpacking and shuffling in the last seven weeks!

Week 4: Power and lights and substrate, oh my!

So after my impatient post, quite a bit ended up happening last week. Our installer returned and finished the fridge cabinet, the kicker drawers and put on the last two doors. He also installed a substrate aka MDF benchtop (which will be the subject of a future ranty post!).


The electrician was meant to return that day too, but as i’m learning is often the case, he was delayed and didn’t come until the next day. When he did return, he hooked up our oven, under cabinet lights and power points. Between the substrate and power points, we can almost use the kitchen. The lack of a sink is still irksome, but hopefully the end is near!


On Saturday we visited Period Details in Hawthorn to check out pressed metal for our splashback. My initial thought had been to get a “brick” pattern which resembled tiles (but with no grout to clean). James hadn’t been keen on the more decorative pressed metal, but once there, it was clear that the brick pattern was just too industrial for our home. It looks amazing in the more edgy, modern warehouse renovations, but in a Californian Bungalow in the suburbs? Probably not quite right!

Brick pattern:

In the end we chose the Mudgee pattern. It still resembles tiles, but slightly softer, more traditional tiles.

The next conundrum was the colour. James’ fear of a white box is still strong, so we had been considering a “greige” something like the plasterboard that is currently in place! This was completely kyboshed when we brought home a sample of “Shoji white” coated pressed metal. With it sitting next to a sample of the benchtop and the undercabinet lighting on, it just kept making me smile. I try to be accommodating of James’ opinion as it’s not all up to me, but i just couldn’t compromise on this. The colour made me happy, so that’s what we’re going with!


I unfortunately missed a call from the benchtop installers on Friday and unbeknownst to me, my voicemail was not working. If only i’d answered it, i would be typing this post with my iPad resting on lovely stone instead of MDF!! They had hoped to come on Saturday but as they couldn’t get hold of me, obviously it didn’t happen. At this stage, Tuesday is looking like when the benches will go in, but am waiting on confirmation. Hopefully the plumber will be available to come out soon afterwards to install the tap, dishwasher and water line to the fridge.

We also have to deal with the line of exposed old timber around the kicker.


I had someone come out this morning to quote on sanding and refinishing the floor who said their isn’t enough left in our old baltic floorboards to sand them. A damn shame as i love these old boards. I guess down the track they will need replacing or a floating floor over the top of them. The flooring guy said he would be able to fix up the part near the kicker but would have to be super careful with the other areas and basically give them a very light sand one coat of polyurethane. They’re not going to look much better, but at least we’d be preserving them. Just one more thing to worry about!!

Week 3: Impatience is setting in!

I think i’ve done quite well up until now. I’ve been serene and calm and patient waiting for the kitchen to be finished. Dining room dismantled and full of boxes for a couple of weeks? No problem! Washing dishes in the laundry for a fortnight or so? A necessary evil! No oven for 3 days? Easy peasy! Laundry contents moved to study for a few days? Oh please, all in my stride!

If only reality equalled my expectations. Dining room out of commission for two months now, and counting! The electrician that i expected would return at the end of our three day kitchen install hasn’t been seen since Day 1 (two weeks and counting). That means no oven, no microwave, no power in the kitchen at all. Trying to cook AND do dishes in the laundry is just a pain (two weeks and counting)! Plus there’s the laundry that needs to be done – please no one look at my laundry pile! Mind you, I’m getting quite creative with my wardrobe in the absence of my usual favourites!! I can’t get to my desk in the study because of kitchen cupboard contents (Dear Employer, Now would be a really bad time for an OH&S audit of where i work at home!! Love Nicole). I’ve made makeshift benchtops out of pantry shelves that i’ve replaced with wire baskets, so i could operate in the kitchen, if only i had power!!

So yes, starting to get itchy waiting for things to progress. A whole week with no progress makes Nicole a cranky girl!

All that said, we still wouldn’t be completely ready for kitchen action as the benchtops are around 1 week away. I would like to bake some cupcakes for a friend that has had a particularly challenging couple of days, but i can’t just yet. Hopefully she can wait until i have an oven back and that the gesture won’t come too late!

I’m over days: let’s say week 2!

So we’re into Week 2 of the kitchen renovation.

I made a trip to Ikea on Friday to pick up the missing bits we needed, get some (10 rolls of!) drawer liner and get a couple of baskets for the top of the pantry. At the time, I was still undecided on drawers vs shelves in the pantry, but after starting to fill it up, i definitely want drawers.

There has been some progress with emptying out the study of pantry goods. The new pantry is glorious! Love the fully-extending drawers and have only jammed my finger in the sliding door once (and yes, i was doing something dumb!).

I’m still a little restricted in filling some cupboards and drawers up as the power points are yet to be connected. We’re currently waiting to hear when the electrician will be back. So the bedroom remains half-full of boxes and half-full of dining table and chairs! And the bottom shelf of the linen cupboard is full of wine glasses for a bit longer!!

I saw on Pinterest and/or a blog somewhere the idea of putting in extra drawers behind pullouts and large drawers. As i’ve started putting things in drawers, it’s making sense to do this in certain places.

James keeps asking me if something is wrong when i’m standing and frowning at something in the kitchen. I guess that’s just my contemplative face (to go along with my Bitchy Resting Face!). I am being quite fussy about where i put everything, so a lot of frowning is required! Perhaps a preventative shot of Botox should have been part of the budget!!

Yesterday the company who is installing the benchtops came to measure up. This is distinct from the company who is manufacturing them. This part kinda sucks. The manufacturer is in Queensland and believes there is no need for a substrate/substrata. The installer here in Melbourne “strongly insists” that we have a substrate/substrata. Honestly, get your shiz together people! The guy who came out to measure up looked completely freaked out when i said i would be speaking to the manufacturer and Ikea to make sure they got their stories straight. Despite the installer’s “kind” offer to install a substrate/substrata for “$275 including GST” (how convenient he knew that figure off the top of his head!), we are getting our cabinet installer to do it. I would rather give them the extra cash, as they’ve worked hard for 3 days already installing the kitchen, and are coming back anyway – might as well make the trip worthwhile!

Sub-thingo aside, we also discovered that our new sink, new tap and existing windowsill cannot coexist. We’re electing to shave a bit off the windowsill to make it all fit. Sorry windowsill, but that pretty tap ain’t going nowhere!