Saturday, February 19, 2011

Visiting the Kitchen Designer


Big thanks to Kek, Magda and Liz for commenting on my last post. I'll try and make my posts a bit more personal, starting with this one!

This morning I had an appointment with Karen at Better Bathrooms & Kitchens. I chose them because the layout of one of the kitchens on their website really appealed to me (see below), and because they are on the same train line as us, so it made it easy for me to visit them.

pic from Better Bathrooms & Kitchens

After listening to what I had in mind, Karen estimated that it would probably cost about $5K more than what I had budgeted for. Most of my budget would be taken up by taking out two walls (one of which is probably load bearing) and tidying up the floors and ceilings once the walls had been removed, then adding benchtops, cabinetry and appliances. Then there would be plumbing and electrical work, as well as the cost of the cabinets for the laundry.

I decided to go ahead with getting a more detailed quote anyway. I thought I'd rather save for a bit longer and get exactly what I want instead of spending less and not being happy with the end result.

At that stage I got out my measurements and we tried to work out the best layout for the new kitchen, given the fact that two walls would be missing, another wall has a huge window in it and the fourth wall is quite short.

Karen's kitchen design experience became apparent when she was sketching and making suggestions about what to put where. Her sketches were in perspective so it made it feel as if you were in the kitchen and could 'feel' the space. I wish I could show you the sketch we ended up with but it's with her so she can make up the quote.

To give you a rough idea, the layout will be a bit like the pic below, with a bar fridge, dishwasher, sink, pot drawers and a corner cupboard all under the long window. The oven will be in the same position, but to the right of the oven there will only be room for pull-out cupboard for oil and spices, and a single fridge. The pantry will have to stay over near the laundry.

pic from Better Bathrooms & Kitchens

Under the island bench there will be drawers for plates and cutlery, and the microwave will probably go there too, like this

pic from Better Bathrooms & Kitchens

I'm still keen on the ivory benchtops and wooden cabinets, like this

pic from Great Interior Design

but the type of 'wood' will make a big difference in the price. Laminex is cheapest but I think it will look 'fake' against the wooden floorboards. Timber veneer would look nicer but won't be as durable as the Laminex. Solid timber would be lovely but I think it's completely out of our price range. I've brought home some Laminex samples to see what they look like against the flooboards. Karen is going to quote me on the Laminex and also on timber veneer in 'Tasmanian Blackwood'
pic from Tesrol

Hopefully we can have the grain running horizontally along the cabinets, parallel to the floorboards, like this:

For benchtops I've brought home a couple of Caesarstone samples:

Ivory (a classic neutral shade consisting of a finely textured pattern on a warm creamy base)

Raw Silk (with a warm and natural appearance, is characterized by a fine, delicate texture)

I'm leaving them on the kitchen bench for now to see how much glare they give off in the early-morning sun.

Hopefully I'll have a quote in the next week or so.

Thought I'd leave you with this pic of TJ. It's a bit humid here today and usually he takes refuge in the bathroom when he's hot. It's the first time I've seen him in the shower though!


Kek said...

Have a look at Tempo kitchens in Thomastown if you're able - they did our kitchen reno back in 2001 and were very good. The more quotes and ideas you get, the better. Impala in Essendon might be worth a look too - I think that's on your line?

We went for Tassie Oak (solid doors and end panels, veneer elsewhere) and it was lovely BUT... steam, water and cleaning products will take their toll over the years.

Some of the woodgrain patterned laminates can look really striking as a feature, mixed with plain solid colours. Plain white can be lovely too, with warm timber floors. Have a stickybeak at some of the display homes over your way, lots of ideas there.

We have our microwave under the bench and I love it tucked out of the way.

Charlotte Orr said...

Awesome - thanks heaps Kek! Always good to have recommendations.

Kitchen Benchtops said...

I love looking at these and seeing how many of the same inspirational pictures I have in my style file.