The Big Renovation

I am getting ready to share our kitchen, dining and lounge area with you, but I thought I should start with the “big renovation” which we undertook in 2011 with a 6 month old baby. Stupid? Probably!  We started off renting this house from my parents-in-law in 2004 before purchasing it from them in 2009. This is what those areas looked like back then.


The kitchen is behind the wall shown in this photo.


The original kitchen.


My in-laws and Dad above showing the dining room and beech coloured furniture.

My in-laws love knocking down walls. Seriously!  My sister-in-law’s roof nearly caved in due to a structural wall being knocked down without the proper supports in place.

My parents love walls!  Have never knocked one down in their lives.

My husband wanted to knock down all the walls in our home. I was hesitant so we knocked down half a wall and created ‘windows’ in the adjacent wall in 2009. This lasted 2 years and then I agreed to full wall removal.


We commenced removing all the gyprock and preparing for stud removal. On one occasion Dad was visiting he was sitting on the lounge and came up with the solution of the new layout of our lounge/dining area from this:

To this:

Pretty obvious really to have the dining table next to the kitchen but when you’ve been living in a space for a long time, I think you get used to how it’s been and keep going along.

We installed the beam between the kitchen and dining room and got a builder in to install the larger beam between the lounge/old dining room.

Now that the studs were gone, and the house hadn’t caved in, I was really excited.

We spent time looking at kitchen designs. I spent hours playing around with layout software for kitchens on Bunnings and IKEA. I knew due to budget that we would need to install the kitchen ourselves, but I knew we could do it!

We also spent time selling our old furniture (was only 5 years old but I’d moved on from beech coloured furniture), looking at new items for the dining/lounge and looking at hardwood floors.

We decided on the kitchen and furniture from IKEA (of course) and Blackbutt hardwood flooring.

We also planned everything to time with my sister-in-law going away for three weeks so that we could house sit her place whilst we did all the work at our place.

We needed to pack the whole house up, remove the slate and current flooring, getting the house back to concrete slab ready for the flooring to be laid. We hired a storage pod that stayed in our front yard for a few weeks with our household contents inside. This provided a great opportunity to declutter. It was like packing for a house move.

In steps:

1. Packed up/emptied house into storage pod

2. Removal of all flooring, back to concrete slab in entire house (except laundry, toilet,

3. Pulled kitchen out

4. Removal of all skirts and architraves

5. Extension of single pantry to double pantry

6. Reconfigured downlights and power point layouts

7. Had hardwood flooring installed

8. Spent a day assembling kitchen cabinets from flat pack

9. Spent a day or two installing the kitchen cabinets and appliances

10. Had the floors stained

11. Engaged plasterers to repair cornicing on knocked down walls

12. Engaged a builder to install all skirts and architraves in whole house

13. Had stone countertops installed

14. Painted

15. Unpacked

As you can see, a big job. But a job worth doing! It probably took us 4 weeks but when you consider my husband was still working throughout this period (shift work at the time), it was quite impressive that we managed it!

Next week, I’ll be back with our kitchen. I’m very excited to share it with you!!!

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