This delightful renovation of the kitchen in a century-old Queenslander added functionality while maintaining the home's character and staying within budget. The project was the winner of best kitchen makeover in our D.I.Y. July competition to find Australia's best D.I.Y. projects of 2022.
My husband and I recently took on an exciting DIY project to transform my parents dysfunctional and ugly kitchen.
Before: Original kitchen to dining
We aimed to create a more functional, beautiful space that was sensitive to the age of their gorgeous Queenslander whilst adding all of the modern amenities we expect in kitchens these days.
Before: Kitchen sink and cooker
They wanted to keep the stove alcove, and Mum has wanted a plate rack for years - so we had to add one to the design. We also wanted to add a walk-in pantry with functional storage for a 'clean counter' kitchen.
Before: Dining room
Here's what we did...
We opened up the entry into the kitchen to create more light and flow.
We knocked down the wall between the kitchen and dining area to create an open-plan kitchen with a walk-in pantry. Giving us more space for the kitchen design and a whole lot more light.
During pantry build
We up-cycled circa 1920 French doors (in fitting with the house) and hung them using barn door hardware. The doors were a great feature to keep in fitting with the house's age and save space.
After: Dining and pantry
Enlarging a window above the sink and repainting the kitchen using Dulux Vivid White allowed more light in the new open-plan zone.
We added VJ panels to tie in nicely with the rest of the house and tiled the back of the sink area.
We added a pot filler by the stove to make cooking easier for my parents.
After: Sink and cooker
The alcove housing the stove stayed, but the light green laminate counters and tatty cabinets needed to go.
After: DIY pantry shelves
We designed and built custom shelving for their pantry using Bunnings wood for shelves for food storage and Bunnings Acacia hardwood project panel for the countertops to allow small appliances and a coffee station to sit.
After: DIY pantry shelves section two
All that's left is to finish the flooring.
We did run into a few problems. I always like to say "always expect the unexpected".
When we removed the original kitchen we realised there were oversized holes in the floor where pipes and electrical had been drilled previously leaving free access to a family of rats who made a nice home behind the sink. By the amount of droppings, it looked like they'd been there a while and had been eating well. (My parents had only just bought the house).
We had different floor levels between the kitchen and original dining area so when we removed the wall we needed to create a transition. Rather than create a step down we created a slight slope for the transition using a ripped-down, extra-wide floorboard.
A previous DIY'er had removed the belt rail, which is important to the structure of the single-skinned VJ walls, we decided to reinstall it in the room behind.
There were a number of damaged VJs, you expect that from age.