When I bought this little apartment all I could see was brown. The kitchen was just a giant sea of dark brown timber, and in such a small space it felt quite oppressive. The splashback, rangehood and cupboards, while all clearly of high quality, also felt quite dated.
My aim was to transform this kitchen and make it more current and fun. However, being on a budget, I wanted to reuse as much as possible and retain the kitchen cabinetry and marble benchtop.
Because I was keeping the creamy yellow benchtop, I needed cabinet colours that would complement it. I immediately thought about a shade of green. With some help, I finally landed on Dulux Great Void for the cupboards (with the Dulux Renovation Range primer) and decided to have a second, lighter shade, Dulux Coalition, to break up the Great Void as there were just so many cupboards.
I removed the dated yellow glass splashback, the rangehood and cupboards on the side of the rangehood to put in a new splashback using distressed white subway tiles and oak floating shelves. It made the space fresher and more modern, opened it up and let in a lot more light through the windows!
I also added Lane's brushed-brass knobs to all the cupboards, once again to add some depth and break up the paint colour.
I also removed some drawers under the stovetop to allow the electrician to fit a new 70cm oven. Lots of room for roast dinners now!
Using some of the old cabinetry, I enlisted a carpenter to help me make a door to cover where the oven previously was (under the microwave), giving me the perfect spot to hide my air fryer and kettle.
For the flooring, to save money, I didn't actually replace it. I got an industrial sander and found a flooring guy to bleach the parquetry with an acid to take the brown colour right off. Just sanding it back wouldn't have been enough; it would have retained a bit of the yellow-orange undertone of the original floor.
Then it was just a clear, natural protective finish on top.
And just like that, with budget-friendly paint, some tiles, floating shelves and a new oven (plus reusing some old cabinetry) I was able to say goodbye to all the old brown and hello to 2022!
Before and after
The old splashback and overhead cabinets darkened the space.
The tiled splashback and floating shelves brighten things up.
Drawers beneath the cooktop made way for a new oven.