Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Housiversary week - kitchen wall

We are having a week-long celebration here at the Sow's Ear - celebrating our first year in this old house. So I'd like to share with you some of my favourite images from the renovations done in the past year.

As some of you may know, I was not at all keen about buying this place. It was Jason's romantic notions of owning a Queenslander which led us here. You can read the backgrounder here.

A year on, I'm definitely more at peace about living here but I don't love this house as much as Jason does. It is actually quite ironic that it's me and not Jason who lovingly writes a blog about this house (he is my number 1 blogging fan though). I call blogging my therapy and you know what, I've become fonder of the house because of it.

Today, I'm showing you photographs of the kitchen wall which was built to accommodate the new kitchen cabinetry. We had a builder do this part of the job - done effortlessly compared to an agonising Jason DIY.

As you can see from the photos above, this wall was lined with short, shallow cabinets which had been removed by the time I took the photographs.

Renovating an older home illustrates how building standards have changed so dramatically. You would never see such a shallow space used for cupboards anymore. They were about 30cm wide! What cornflake box would fit in a cupboard that size!

Also, see how much room from where the top of the cabinets ended to the ceiling - lots of potential storage space!

There  was also a small casement window in this area. We believe, the original bathroom would have been in this spot. And that's Number 2 son picking his nose, I would say.

These renders were drawn by the cabinet-maker of the proposed kitchen. We were happy with these plans and I don't think we changed anything. This is exactly what I envisioned for this particular space.

We probably could have moved the sink to the island bench to obtain the perfect functioning triangle, but I liked the idea of keeping the sink near the window. Call me old fashioned.
The builder's apprentice building the wall.

Old casement window removed on the otherside and new VJ boards added to cover the gap.

Below are photos of how this particular space looks like today. Ah, the magic of building.

Cooking area where the old casement window used to be.

A few more centimetres of wall allowed us to have wall-to-ceiling storage and cabinetry.


  1. Our old kitchen was very small too, did yours have a really low bench height? Certainly not the mandatory 900 required now.

  2. Lou, I swear the cabinets were for little people. I just don't know how they could ever have been useful.
    And thanks TTOC!

  3. Love it! You're definitely right not to put the sink in the island bench. We considered putting the sink or stove there but decided the run-off of water and oils would ruin the floors. So, now the island bench is for prepping and wine-pouring and chats. Ideal!

    Love your cream tiles too, I got carried away with these glass ones at our place that looked great in the tile display shop but look quite crap at home. Wonder if I can paint them...

  4. It looks great we had a similar old 1960s kitchen we removed and yes it had low benches and tiny cupboards.

    Re the sink at the wall, I read a US blog the other day where there was a whole post about the decision NOT to put the sink in the island bench. Quite controversial it seems which is strange because here we usually have sinks against the wall not in the middle.

  5. Your kitchen is fabulous! I can't wait to save up and do ours but I reckon it will be a few years away. Isn't it funny when you are doing the DIY thing how darn simple it is when you get someone in? Some things are just way simpler and easier to do with an experienced person :) Less swearing from the men of the house too!

  6. I always think it is nice to have the sink in front of the window...its nice to have something to look out on and day dream when doing the dishes, veges etc. You didn't include the picture of your glass vases on the wall shelf which I think is a fab part of your kitchen reno and a real brismod touch also the colours add a spark to the white walls and cabinets cheers Katherine

  7. Are they cork tiles I spy on the floor? We have them too. I think they are great, nice and shiny, bouncy if you drop things and nice underfoot.
    What a transformation. I love your kitchen, so clean and streamlined. The little fridge person matches the coat hooks in the hall, cute!!

  8. Well that kitchen alone is reason to celebrate! What a transformation. We've been in our 'new' old house for 3 years now and have no such reason to celebrate yet! A new kitchen is first on my list.

  9. Well, you know how much I love your kitchen, since it is almost identical to mine!!

    It was great to see those before shots-what a change!

    Happy Housiversary!

    Best wishes,

  10. Congrats on your housiversary!

    Love the kitchen remodel! Is your kitchen floors cork?

  11. A whole year - well done! That's a lot of patience and planning and being accommodating while work is going on around you. And it's clearly progressed hugely. My house improvements came to a halt a year ago when I ran out of steam - starting again to redo the worst bathroom seems almost impossible. More of your before and after features might just get me going again.

  12. You have done a truly amazing job!

  13. Wow I found you via A Very Fine House blog and just LOVE your kitchen! Happy Housiversary!

  14. Hey, thanks for dropping in today...very nice to meet you too! Congratulations on one year in a house that may not be to your taste but certainly is mine...wanna swap!! Great job on the kitchen and I saw your work at A Very Fine House too...can't wait to spend more time at your place!

  15. Ooh. I have kitchen envy. Kitchen and bathroom are next on the Fibro renovation list. We were getting a new bathroom, but then we got a new roof instead. Definitely not as sexy. Anyhoo - love this, and I'm with you on the sink near the window. I once saw a kitchen where the entire splashback was a window, and I loved that too.

    you are lucky to have so much done in one year, and it looks awesome!


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