A kitchen renovation tale

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From Old-Fashioned To Party Central: A Kitchen Renovation Tale

For this busy family with older kids, the kitchen was becoming a cumbersome and clumsy space to deal with all the comings and goings, entertaining and general cooking that comes with a busy family.

The old kitchen, right next to the exit to the deck was hardly ‘heart of the home’ material. With a focus on creating more space and a central socialising area, this family set about a major renovation of their kitchen.

Congratulations on your new kitchen, it looks amazing! As it was a renovation, what were the main drivers to transform the space?

It was an old-fashioned kitchen that doubled as a thoroughfare to the outside. We were looking to modernise and makeover the whole kitchen and dining space to create an efficient kitchen area as well as opening up the outdoor flow and make the most of light and sunshine. So…not a lot really!


What were the main features you wanted in your new kitchen?

Definitely a large island for dining and entertaining. Also a butler’s pantry and efficient spaces/zones were on the must-haves. It had to be modern, yet timeless, so it wouldn’t date.


We love the coffee and bar zone! How does this change the kitchen dynamic?

We love it too! It has created a specific use zone that doesn’t interrupt the remainder of the kitchen function, so it adds a great cooperation value! It is also a genuine feel-good feature that our guests love!

Or maybe he’s saying, “Another coffee Dad?!”
Basically, if you stand still in the kitchen for long enough, Monty is there expecting a treat!


Were there any stand-out moments of the design and build process?

The first real standout was receiving a photorealistic render of what our new kitchen would look like. Suddenly we were mentally living in the new space and couldn’t wait to get started! Following that it was walking into the Mastercraft showroom and seeing a ‘walk-through’ video of our kitchen playing on the TV. We were hooked!


Then the installation process blew us away. Our installer was a perfectionist and whilst I thought he was slow at first, I soon realised it was because he wanted us to see a perfect result. This was when the true value of having a bespoke kitchen designed and installed came shining through. Onsite fixes were easily taken care of and the kitchen fit the construction like a glove! Things like scribing all the filler panels and toe kicks to the ceilings and the floor is something I could never achieve, even though I am a keen DIY’er.


What has made the biggest impact for your family?

Just the sheer liveability of the space. Whilst we’re virtually empty nesters, when the family is around we are now congregating and dining together like we never have before. We’re very grateful for what this renovation has achieved.


Everyone loves it! The first time they see the space as a whole reminds us about the changes we now take for granted. The most positive comments are about the splashbacks, island and access to outside. We like to entertain and it is setting a new benchmark as the go-to party house!


What could you now not live without?
  • Drawers instead of cupboards! What a difference it makes to have easy access to the entire space of the cabinetry. Suddenly everything is much more accessible.
  • Also the island, extra bench space, storage and a family/friends dining/gathering hub.
  • Oh, and rubbish bin drawers! Who knew?!

What has having a new kitchen meant to you personally?

We are just grateful every day to have such an awesome space to live in. We didn’t renovate for show or ‘re-sell’, we renovated to make our living better, and this has achieved that in spades.


Renovating a kitchen is a big project, do you have any nuggets of wisdom for others wanting to do the same?
  • Plan, plan and plan again!
  • Lengthen your expectation of how long everything takes. In a whole lot of ways, the longer the better. Why rush something to gain a few weeks, when you’re living in it for years?
  • Be ready to live amongst a kitchen renovation. By that I mean ensure you have arranged cooking, washing up and dining in a way that you can cope for weeks on end. Better still – move out!
  • I barbecued every night through a few weeks of winter and we were able to plug the dishwasher in undercover, outside, connected to the hose tap. Essentials like the fridge, toaster and microwave went in another room.
  • Make your wish list long (you can rationalise it later) and be sure to think of the things you do not have now such as LED feature strip lighting, smart features like data cabling, power points everywhere you might need them (I forgot about the island and now need to retro fit an outlet).



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Jes Gordon

Jes Gordon

I have been designing kitchens since 2006. Initially in my hometown of Tauranga, I ventured off to work in Europe as a kitchen designer, working on high end and entry level German kitchens. Since returning to the Bay in 2009, I have been with Mastercraft Kitchens, taking a few years out to start my beautiful family. I was always going to return to the job I love, as I am a self-confessed “kitchen geek” and property fanatic (having built and renovated multiple times.) I bring a practical approach to design, and a knack for working within budget to make your dreams a reality.

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