When an Adelaide couple contacted Refresh Renovations earlier this year, they wanted to transform their existing kitchen into a good-looking, hard-wearing family-friendly space, that would be the heart of their home in Camden Park.
WORDS Persephone Nicholas PHOTOGRAPHY Vanessa Craggs
The homeowners, Mark and Kim, met with Refresh renovation builder Nielen Prince and told him they wanted to update the functionality and look of the kitchen, while also creating better flow between the kitchen and the living area adjacent to it so that the space worked better for their young family. They also told him they had a budget of $25,000.
The brief was clear, but the homeowners budget was tight for the amount of work to be done. They had to find a renovation builder who would be able to come up with creative solutions and keep costs in check. Nielen rose to the challenge, creating a new layout for the kitchen with more workspace and more storage too.
“The layout of the old kitchen didn’t provide enough workspace and the design felt outdated. The oven and cooktop were awkwardly positioned close together in a corner and food preparation space was limited. We increased the amount of space by bricking up a window overlooking a tall fence. That created a more central location for the oven and cooktop and more room for cupboards and storage space.”
Planning the new kitchen design
Part of the homeowners’ brief to Nielen was that the kitchen should have a clean, contemporary look, but also a warm, homely feel. Nielen achieved this by ensuring the cabinetry was a soft, rather than stark, white and also using warm LED lighting.
He says the benchtops were specifically to complement the warm white of the cabinetry.
“The countertops are made from MiroStone, which is a fantastic modified acrylic product. We chose a soft, natural colour and created waterfall ends. We also recommended an undermounted sink to give more workspace in the kitchen.”
When it came to flooring the newly enlarged space, Nielen suggested a cost-effective ceramic tile.
“We went with a light brown tile flecked with natural, earthy colours. It goes really well with the worktops,” he says.
Carrying out the kitchen renovation
The renovation took a month from start to finish and came in on budget, thanks to Nielen’s planning and research.
“We tried to work with the homeowners’ original kitchen design, but staying within budget meant coming up with clever cabinetry and storage solutions that would give a bespoke feel without the expensive price tag. We also sourced a very competitive supplier for the sink and taps and passed those savings on.”
Nielen says he enjoyed working with the homeowners’ and helping them get the best result possible for their budget.
“We had a really good working relationship. I was always there for them and they were very responsive and involved in making decisions – so they always knew what they were getting and there were no surprises. We had to make a few compromises on the design they originally wanted, but the end result was even better than the original and meant we were able to stick within budget.”
He believes working with a renovation builder can help take the stress out of renovating.
“We achieved a beautiful result because we were able to bring together good suppliers, good trades and effective project management. The homeowners’ chose Refresh because they knew we would manage everything on their behalf and that’s exactly what we did.”
After just a couple of weeks with their new kitchen, Mark and Kim couldn’t be happier with the result. We caught up with Kim to find out about their renovation experience.
How do you feel about your finished kitchen and what is your favourite thing about it?
We’re happy that the kitchen is finished and didn’t take long to complete. We love the new flow of the kitchen and also that there is so much more space.
Did Refresh deliver the project within budget and do you think you got good value for money?
Yes, we had a strict budget and Refresh worked with us to make sure we could get the best kitchen possible within budget.
Would you choose to work with Refresh again on future renovations?
Depending on the renovation we were looking at, we would definitely consider working with Refresh again.
Is there anything else you would like to say about this project?
Having Refresh handle the workload and all the contractors made the job easy for us. David (the construction manager) and Nielen were also good at working with us and our family.
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The focus of Refresh Renovations is on delivering excellent customer service and value by incorporating design and using world class systems and processes. If you're thinking of renovating or looking for a builder, talk to Refresh at 1800 33 60 33 or enquire online.