Can houzzers help me renovate our 1980s kitchen?

Miranda Elliott
November 8, 2017

We're in our new (1980-built) home and keen to get started on making it our very own space.

The kitchen at the moment is a small U shape, with about 3/5 of the room carpeted and used as a living space. We want to turn the entire room [which is about 6.5m x 4m] into one big kitchen. I've attached a few inspiration pics to show the vibe we're going for. We have purchased one item so far, a 2.5m stonemill table from 1825 interiors (https://www.1825interiors.com.au/stonemill-2500-dining-table). Bit unsure what seating I'd like to pair it with - benches are a bit awk to use and fabric would get ruined quickly in our household.

I'd love to get some feedback on the best way to do this. I guess I'm hoping to hit around $15,000 total spend on this project including flooring but we're a bit flexible. We had one company come out and quote $9500 for about 4m of new cabinetry and replacing benchtops on the existing part, or $11500 to do it all in Caesarstone. I haven't had any other quotes to compare this to yet to know if it's a good deal or not, but have a supplier coming out on Tuesday to do a quote.

Discussing it at work today, my boss told me that if we go with Kaboodle cabinets from Bunnings, he'll come help us install them as he's pretty handy and has done it before. He said to not get Ikea cabinets as the back panel on them is pretty thin. I'd love to hear some more opinions on flatpack cabinets?

Aside from cabinets, I would very much like to strip the mint green paint off the ceiling beams and stain the wood. They are very rough to the touch and have been painted with a glossy paint - what are my chances of being able to restore these with a chemical paint stripper? Should I cut my losses and paint them a brown woody colour instead?

Comments (28)

  • oklouise

    what a great room, the raked ceiling is such a great feature and this floor plan is based on the photos but please explain where all the doors lead to and where is your fridge?? ( i've included an image of the new table to show it to scale in the room what do want in the new kitchen eg wall oven, mw, dw, pantry, size sink & fridge, island...

  • PRO
    Dr Retro House Calls

    One of my client's had a simiIiar pokey kitchen to yours and the solution was resolved by a similar layout to what you are proposing. I don't think that your table is the right table as it is too low to use for kitchen preparation work.

    Our client loves her finished kitchen, but part of the design was that the central table was still a good height so that it could double as workbench space for the occasions when there wasn't enough preparation space under the windows. The doorway in this photo leads to a spacious butler's pantry which contains the fridge and microwave so you will need to consider how these are placed in your kitchen if you want to achieve a similiar strong horizontal emphasis.

    Your mint green rafters are probably a rough sawn oregon and due to the grain it will be impossible to restore them to the original look with a paint stripper. Sanding them back will be a long and arduous job, but will smooth out the texture. I would be painting them, possibly the same colour as the ceiling.

  • siriuskey

    Full marks to your boss, go with him and the Bunnings Kaboodle kitchen will look fantastic and save a whole heap of money. If you are wanting to use your table to work on, just add lockable trolley wheels also from Bunnings this will give you extra height and add to the look you are wanting to create, you will need to use stools instead of chairs.

    We have an 80's house as well, paint the ceiling white and the beams beige, I will show you a photo. OKlouise asked a few questions that would help, also any measurements,

  • siriuskey
    The original kitchen we inherited

    our kitchen being built with Kaboodle cabinets, the island has 3 x 900 2 drawer and 3 x 900 3 drawer, 2 smaller draws suitable for cutlery/spices/mugs/trays etc and 1 deep drawer for pots plates etc. The whole floor was tiled and the kitchen built on top, the island isn't fixed to the floor so can be moved up to 500mm in each direction, it's not going to move by it's self, much too heavy.

  • Miranda Elliott

    Door 1 - laundry/mud room/pantry & fridge currently out in that room. Probably about 4x4 - it's a good size!

    Door 2 - step down into living room

    Door 3 - hall entry to front door

    Door 4 - sun room which has sliding door access to outside undercover area.

    We want to have a sort of farmhouse/industrial vibe. The house is on a few acres on the edge of town so it suits that style. We would really like a farmhouse sink installed in the current sink location, we want to put a dishwasher in next to it and remove the return bit that juts out. Want to install bottom cabinets and an open shelf along the wall between doors 2 and 3 and put the fridge there too I suppose, as there's not enough room beside the oven in its current location. I haven't really thought about what to do on the far wall where the heater is - although there is central heating now and that wall one can be removed. Maybe some free-standing shelves and some wheely ikea benches.

    We have a big family and frequent gatherings so the table is going to be used a lot, I used to be in the island bench camp but I've recently decided I really like the homeliness of a big beautiful table in the kitchen. I do like the look of the wheels on the bottom of the table legs !

  • Miranda Elliott

    sirius key the white and beige eaves look fantastic! I wouldn't have considered that as an option but I really like it.

    I had a look online at kaboodle kitchens last night and I didn't really see any cabinets/doors in the walnut sort of colour and finish I'm after. But we're headed to Sydney next weekend so I might go to the big Bunnings that has a bunch of kaboodle kitchens on display and see how we go.

  • oklouise

    here's a rough version of the kitchen you described...note how the minimum walkway when the fridge is moved to the side is the same regardless of the position of the door into the laundry but moving that door would allow much better use of the pantry wall for extra counter space closer to the kitchen work area..

    another idea could be to close off the single door from the living area and create a wider opening further along which would allow the big table to be rotated

    OR with such a generous laundry mudroom it could be worthwhile to consider incorporating more of that space into a super generous kitchen

  • siriuskey

    Hi Miranda Have you checked Kaboodle kitchens online, I have done a rough layout for your new kitchen. You could have included a WIP Pantry in your mud room but I think you just might need that space for family/friends & pets.

    I have given you a whole wall of pantries 400deep x 800 wide, this allows more space around the table and great storage as 400 deep pantries are much easier to find things in.

    You can add wall cabinets in the cook top sink area with you want.

    I have also added a two door fridge as these doors take up less space when open. The fridge has also been placed for better access from both inside and out..

    The double wall oven can also have the MW, or you could just have 1 oven with MW

  • oklouise

    much improved layout and allows better walking space around the big table

  • siriuskey

    Thanks OK,your plans came up when I posted we must have been working on this at the same time and gives Miranda a couple of options.

    It will be a lovely family kitchen and I think that the current lounge would look lovely on the end wall. By adding wheels to the table replaces any need for an island bench, but also reduces storage hence the bank of pantries. cheers

  • Miranda Elliott
    Thanks so much for all the input! I hadn't even considered space around the table to be an issue.

    I think my rough plan is to have someone come remove the return part of the existing kitchen (and use some Ikea trolleys for extra prep space in the meantime) then paint, then have flooring done, then new cabinetry and benchtops installed... We are leaning towards a pale washed out vinyl plank and getting quotes of $90sqm - does that sound OK?
  • siriuskey

    Hi there Miranda,

    Yes your beautiful table is large, the Pale flooring sounds great , I love the photo you posted for Industrial, farm house look kitchen.

    Taking out the island could cause problems for you if it's not tiled under the cup boards? It would be best to wait and remove all the cabinets at the same time so that the tiled floor can be removed which I think is best, or were you planing on going over the top of the tiles?

    Not sure re price of the Planks depends on quality and Brand, the laying usually costs as much as the planks, you would be best to get several on site quotes to help you decide.

    Apart from electrical work you and hubbbie should be able to demolish or sell your old kitchen and have it removed.

    You mentioned going to Sydney, have you been yet. It would be a good idea to make an appointment with Bunnings Kitchen Dept. so they can do you a computer layout of what you want along with estimate.

    Good news is that they now offer cut to size so that you can reduce the depth of cabinets to suit.

    In My plan I have a row of 5 x 800 x 400 deep pantries which would need to be cut as they come in 600 deep, as with all base cabinets. If you didn't want to go with that you could have 5 x 800 x 400 deep base cabinets with 450 bench top and 5 x 800 x 300 wall cabinets above. Or just the base cabinets with an open shelf.

    I would recommend the pantries for storage as by losing the island that also reduces your storage.

    The new floor plan I have for you, has removed the wall oven and unit and now has an under bench oven.

    This gives you a longer benchtop, you could have a range hood of your choice but I prefer the square simple with the flu. You could then have your open shelf either side of this, giving you your Industrial vibe.

    I picked up that you were looking to match your cabinets to your table like in the photo you posted. That would be very difficult as in the photo it looks like both cabinets and table were made by the same person.

    I suggest that you look at black of dark grey cabinets with laminated timber bench tops to tone with your table, also from Bunnings which are very well priced @ approx $100, they're not in the kitchen brochure or in that dept

    Not this range hood, the lights look similar to your photo
    Shelving above bench and either side of range hood
    This style of range hood looks great with shelves running both sides level with the wide canopy
    or this range hood

    I will post my new plan next cheers

  • siriuskey
    I need to get the 2D as well, My program is old but I just wanted to show you what the range hood and shelves might look like

  • Miranda Elliott
    Thanks for all the suggestions guys! We had a quote from a local kitchen company for a brand new kitchen including Caesarstone benches that came in at under $15000, so strongly considering that. The only thing is the upgraded benchtops adds quite a bit to the cost - when I talked to my mum about it she said that given the location and potential of our property, we should invest in higher end finishes as we'll reap the benefits -which is easy to say when you're not paying the bills!

    I've attached the floor plan that they have drawn up - I was very insistent on having the bottom cabinets and an open shelf running along the top, but we cut them back to 400 deep as per suggestions on here. I think we'll appreciate the extra 200mm room!
  • Miranda Elliott
    The kitchen designer also voiced some concern over how we would fit a new ducted rangehood in, as the exposed beam ceiling is in the way. The existing rangehood is actually completely useless, as it just sucks the air away from the cooktop and sprays it out overhead, and I'm pretty sure they're illegal to install these days. She seemed to think we'd be better off with one built into a cupboard rather than an open one... I'm not even sure who to ask about that though! A plumber??

    We've also come to a bit of a roadblock with our flooring - the vinyl plank guy is quoting about $3000 for the floor prep and installation but said they won't take up the existing flooring for us (half tiles half carpet) which we can attempt ourselves or pay someone else to rip out!
  • siriuskey

    Here's another 3d showing the table you bought to scale, with the 400 deep wall cabinet

  • siriuskey

    And the following which I would recommend using 600mm deep pantries replacing the lounge and corner pantry, corner pantries can't have drawers, the others can. If you can fit the fridge near the sink it would work much better than on the end wall, cheers

  • Miranda Elliott
    Unfortunately the fridge is too wide to fit next to the sink, as we need to fit the dishwasher in there too! We're not totally happy with the fridge location but it was the best we could do with the limitations. It's still a big improvement over the current location (in the laundry, so annoying).
  • Miranda Elliott
    I actually like corner pantries, I find the shallower L shape layout is easier to arrange everything in neatly and you've got a handy step at the bottom to gain some height. useful for shorties like me ^_^
  • oklouise

    there are rangehoods that can be installed to vent out through the roof, out through the wall or out under the floor and i would start with a visit to a store showing rangehoods in working positions, identify a few that might suit, print out all the specific installation instructions (direct from manufacturers websites) and discuss with your plumber...faced with a similar dilemma we chose a recirculating rangehood built in under the wall cabinet which looks far less cluttered than the big "hoods" (i believe recirculating rangehoods can compromise BASIX scores but still meet safety regulations)

  • siriuskey

    Could you swap the fridge with the wall oven, going by your photo both fridge and Wall Oven would fit side by side. I would definately have the fridge on the cook top wall and not on the other side of the kitchen.

    I see by the photo that the timber beam could be in the way, I would speak to your plumber who should have a simple solution on ducting the range hood.

    A simple one built into a special cabinet above the cooktop can recirculate or be ducted outside by either exposed stainless tube for your industrial/country look or have the ducting boxed in, the ducting can be flexable so no problem avoiding beams.

  • siriuskey

    Pantries with draws for easy access, even short people. cheers

  • Miranda Elliott
    will it cost much for an electrician to move the oven to a different wall? I'm trying to keep things in similar layout to minimise unnecessary costs, the same reason we aren't moving any doorways or walls. I suppose I can ask one to come look and give some advice. I'd rather spend that money on an electrician fixing the lighting situation - 6 different fittings and different switches in the one room!

    thanks for advice re:rangehood, we'll go have a look through some showrooms and figure it out from there. Have a plumber friend who should be helpful too.
  • siriuskey

    Hi Miranda, it would certainly be cheaper to keep the oven where it is, the fridge should fit next to it, simple, good luck with the range hood.

  • Miranda Elliott
    We're not finished yet but these pics should give an idea of the progress we've made! Really just need to put in the backsplash, buy seats and do some little finishing touches, but they will have to wait as we found termites, and it ate away a lot of our kitchen fund :( Could definitely have been a lot worse though! Just means we need to save up a bit more to get things finished.
  • me me
    Looks really good
    Miranda Elliott thanked me me