This “reno-crazy” couple relied on DIY, with help from family and friends, to create a stylish open-plan kitchen in their 1950s New Plymouth home
This kitchen renovation is all about functional style with a dash of glam
Who lives here?
Shay Starrenburg, web developer, John Starrenburg, construction foreman, plus dog Coco and cat Ebony.
How much of the work did you do yourselves?
Shay: We did basically everything ourselves (with a little help from family). John being a builder meant anything was possible. Plumbing and electrical were completed by friends.
Describe the style you were going for.
Palm Springs, plant-crazy, bright, happy, with a hint of glam.
What was the biggest risk you took?
We ordered the kitchen bench from the tiniest sample at Mitre 10,which was a big risk being that it’s a marble pattern that changes vastly from a tiny sample to a large bench, but we were really happy with it when it turned up! We went with laminate which was $1600 (the next option up was over $7000).
What were you wanting to achieve with the makeover?
We wanted somewhere that’s a great hub for entertaining friends and family – that was really tested this Christmas as we hosted two Christmasses in three days with more than 20 people at each!
What’s your favourite feature of the new space?
Design-wise it’s hard, as I just love it all. Functionality-wise, neither of us had ever had a dishwasher so that’s been life-changing!
What was your budget?
We didn’t have a set budget, just renovated as we could afford things. We’ve done time without a kitchen, two winters without ceilings, about six months living in the basement, and a few months living completely out of a bedroom. It’s been crazy but so much fun.
What did you save on?
John being a builder was the biggest saving. But we saved on most things. We bought all our kitchen carcasses from Mitre 10 and did all of the panels with premium MDF. I love the look and feel of these and I’m known for changing things up, so it’s simple enough to repaint.
Total: Approx $11,000
Kitchen carcasses and Duropal benchtop in Statuario Venato laminate from Mitre 10; front panels in MDF, painted in Resene ‘Dark Knight’; splashback in pressed-tin panels from Ico Traders; sink from Cabro; brass tap from Collected; door knobs from Early Settler; pendant light from Lighting Direct; stools from Cintesi; table and chairs from Harvey Norman; walls painted in Resene ‘Quarter Black White’; door painted in Resene ‘Vista Blue’; flooring is original rimu floorboards.
Words by: Fiona Ralph and Alex Scott. Photography by: Jane Dove Juneau.