Those who have visited our little cottage will know that the kitchen was a bit shabby. It was forty years old and showing its age (rather like its owners). We had obtained several quotes for a kit form replacement from local suppliers but these were all to expensive. Whilst I had built a kitchen from scratch before, including all the doors and carcasses, I didn’t want to do that again so we put the new kitchen on hold.
Subsequently on a trip to Bunnings we saw a display of flat pack kitchens. The quality of these flat packs looked very good, better than local suppliers even. The only negative was they were made in China, however at less than half the price of locally produced kit kitchens we decided to purchase what we needed from their extensive range. So a few days later our local carrier picked up 32 packages from Bunnings for us.
We gutted the kitchen completely, removing the existing plumbing and electrical power points and repainted the walls. We then installed a cork tile floor to replace the old lino floor. Whilst pulling up the lino we discovered pages from the Hobart newspaper dated 1961 so you can see how old the kitchen was. Putting cork tiles down took up about a week as we had to first lay cement sheeting underlay then lay and glue the tiles and finish them with three coats of estapol with sanding between coats. This was not only in the kitchen but inside the front door as well. The work and time was worth it, the cork floor looks and feels fantastic.
It was about this time that Vicki tripped over the new vacuum cleaner we had just brought and broke her wrist. So we only had three hands to finish the kitchen with. Installing the new flat pack furniture was pretty easy although the walls and floor were not square or level and we had to constantly correct for this. We built the bench ourselves as we didn’t like Laminex and couldn’t afford stone. So as we had done in previous homes we tiled the bench. We also tiled between the bench and the overhead cupboards using a strip of glass feature tiles between the whites wall tiles. An extractor was also added.
We tried to keep the kitchen light and colourful so used an aquamarine colour paint for the walls with white gloss kitchen and aluminium trim. Some of the overhead cabinet doors are also aluminium as are the kickboards and power points. Whilst it is still a very small kitchen it certainly is a big improvement on what we had before, both in appearance and functionality.
It is certainly a kitchen from many countries as amongst others the flat packs came from China, the bench tiles from Malaysia, the wall tiles from Spain and the cork floor tiles from Portugal.
When we come back from our upcoming trip to Western Australia we shall probably overhaul the bathroom as that is as much in need of a remake as the kitchen was.