A two-toned cabinet design combined with a hand-poured concrete benchtop give this kitchen a stylish X-factor
What was wrong with the old kitchen?
Bridget Yeoman: It had a dated look and layout, poor use of space, and the appliances didn’t fit in the cabinets. The surface colours and textures didn’t work together and we were desperate to escape looking at them.
How did you solve these problems?
We ripped everything out and started with a blank slate. We changed the layout and recreated the space so that all the elements work together.
What were your priorities?
We wanted to enjoy using and looking at the kitchen, so aesthetics and functionality were our main priorities.
How did you achieve these goals?
We chose a palette that would show some personality but be classic and not date too quickly.
How did you manage your costs?
My partner Andy is an ambitious DIY-er and took on the task of pouring the nine-metre, U-shaped concrete benchtop using fibreglass-reinforced concrete. Hours of research went into creating this benchtop and it has paid off – we absolutely love the result.
Quotes for a professionally poured concrete benchtop were around $10K, so we were really happy with the savings we made by doing it ourselves, although it was very challenging and took over a month to complete. We consulted the local Resene team to find the right sealant for the bench so it’s warm to touch, unlike traditional aggregate concrete.
We also stuck with the same kitchen layout to avoid moving plumbing and wiring, and went with flatpack DIY cabinetry from Project Kitchens to ensure we stayed within our budget.
What finishes did you choose and why?
Concrete benchtop, olive green lower cabinets for a grounded feel, custom powder-coated IKEA drawer pulls to match, white tongue-and-groove top cabinets to lift the eye, and cork tiles for their softness under foot and thermal properties.
Did you DIY or use tradies?
We used tradies for the critical parts – electrical, plumbing, relining the walls, architraves and tiling. We did all the demolition work, cabinetry installation, painting of the cabinet doors and walls, fixture fitting and cork-tile-laying ourselves.
What do you like best about your new kitchen?
The concrete benchtop is a great feature and the functionality of the layout works really well. There’s plenty of storage so it’s easy to keep tidy.
Top tip: “Just do it. It took us ages to get around to the project and it’s always a bit scary making expensive decisions and hoping all the design elements come together, but it is so satisfying when it’s done.”
Pipe Masters Plumbing, Reid Electrical
Photography by: Claire Mossong.