Case study: installing a brand new kitchen

The owner and mastermind behind this fresh and elegant designer kitchen shares the pros, cons and money-saving tips for creating a kitchen that fulfilled her needs and budget 


Who lives here? 

Stacey Stanborough – founder of interior design company Grace By Design.

You have installed a new kitchen on a tight budget. What was important in your layout and how did you choose your design?

I devised a new, detailed kitchen floor plan, swapped a dark, dated and impractical palette for a cool palette, and opened up the space to allow for an elegant Warren Platner dining table to add another element of luxury. My main objective was to have a functional, modern-looking kitchen with minimal lines and at the lowest cost. The Carrara marble hexagon splashback plus the honed Carrara marble benchtop softened the stark white cabinetry.

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What were your splurges?

I love my hexagon marble splashback from Tile Space, Parnell.

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Best buy?

Marble benchtop from Architectural Stone in Glenfield.

Where have you saved money?

Definitely by shopping around. I got 10 quotes for my marble benchtop and saved around $3000. Buying refurbished appliances saves thousands – make sure you get a minimum five-year warranty.

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Pros of your kitchen design and layout?

Clean lines, fresh, elegant and simple.

Cons of your kitchen design and layout?

The marble does tend to stain and scratch.

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  • Marble benchtop $3000
  • Cabinetry $5000
  • Splashback $2000
  • Appliances $3000
  • Labour $2000
  • Design (free, done by Stacey)


Fact file: Kitchen designer – Stacey Stanborough of Grace By Design. Builder and plumber – Mike of Kiwi Builders, specialist in bathrooms and kitchens. Benchtop/tiles/splashback – Architectural Stone, Glenfield. Sink/tap – Reece Plumbing. Appliances – Appliance Outlet, Pakuranga.

Words by: Annick Larkin. Photography by: Emma MacDonald.