Blog: Lisa Curtin's new kitchen


Over the Christmas break I tackled the kitchen in my unit renovation and although I could have done a cheap reno leaving the cupboards and benchtop I opted for a new install with a Bunnings kitchen. As my daughter will be living in the unit I splurged a bit and cut back on other stuff. I had removed the kitchen in a previous reno and decided to let the tradie do it this time as it was $300 including carting away so well worth the price when you take in the cost of the skip bin I paid for last time.

Kitchen before:

I left the electrics and plumbing in the same place to save on costs and purchased the hob, oven and rangehood (see below pic) from Masters. I chose a rangehood a bit flash with a glass curved lip to add a bit of bling to the basic kitchen and opted to have the main wall tiled to the ceiling as the tiles were cheap and it cleaned up the old walls. Keeping to a mainly white scheme it really opened up the small space.

I chose English country for the cupboards and a laminex Ameretto Stone laminate for the benchtops. My tradie had the benchtops custom made and also had the same spec fitted for the bathroom as there was angled wall and the best use of space (see previous blog).  I was able to fit in a wine cupboard with a left over 20cm space which can be used for wine or rolled up tea towels. I decided to have 2 sets of drawers fitted, one with a larger bottom drawer for more room. The drawers are used for plates and cups so you don’t have to bend down to get them out of a cupboard. Due to this I had to have corner cupboards either side of the sink with fold out doors covering two sides. In hindsight this was a mistake as it’s a pain to open them every time you want something. Unfortunately the area is too small not to utilize.

Kitchen after:

I chose a ‘snow white’ paint colour for all walls and I used the same colour on the ceilings and cornice’s . It  saved a lot of time with the painting as I didn’t have to do any cutting in. The wood look vinyl throughout the living areas was in great condition so I stripped and sealed it and left the carpets in all bedrooms as they were new.

I shopped around for a feature light for the dining room and bought a display one which was $299 discounted to $99 as it was the last one and had been hanging for a year or so in the store.

When furnishing the unit to my daughter’s ‘retro’ tastes I looked for ways in which to decorate on the cheap. She was given a poster book of retro pic’s ($20 on ebay) and we bought $10 A3 frames from Red Dot . I scoured Gumtree (online buy and sell site) and found 7 wooden pictures with words on them for $70 and while in Bali recently I bought back a large gorilla painting for $40 and put it in an existing frame I sourced from Swap meet in the hallway. I am loath to spend money on new if a newish quality item can be repurposed. I don’t buy rubbish and buy things to be used that look different. Some may call this hoarding as I pick up things from swap meet as I see them with a future purpose in mind J. Although I’m unable to do a lot of the hands on reno works I like to think when it comes to staging I have a good eye. The armchair was $199 new at a local furniture shop so I bought 2 in different colours to go with the retro theme.


I changed out all of the light fittings with $30 ones from Master’s and added a ceiling fan to the main bedroom. There is still lots I’d like to do such as new doors and window fittings but am careful not over capitalize for the area a this time.

While doing the renovation another unit in the same complex came on the market. The bank said no to a normal loan so I decided I would furnish it the same as I had done on another unit and reap more rent that way. The bank said yes and the unit will settle any day now. I’m really looking forward to furnishing it and will keep you updated. After no purchases for two years these two have come close to each other. I’m half way to my goal of 10 properties in 10 years with 5 now purchased. I have another 6 years before I turn 50 and hope to be able to retire on income produced. 

Whether you are looking to buy your first home, move home, refinance, or invest in property, a mortgage broker can help. Access loans from all the major lenders, get help with paperwork – plus there is no charge for this service. Get help from a local mortgage broker

Top Suburbs : alderley , geelong west , thebarton , mt colah , murdoch

  • Nicola Jones says on 13/02/2013 10:09:17 AM

    I think what you have is amazing and it looks beautiful. Keep up the fab work
    and cant wait to read more on your next adventure :)

  • Emily says on 13/02/2013 01:34:19 PM

    I wish I had gone with a flat pack kitchen. I went with Freedom and regret it, they are rubbish. From the off set it was a disaster, the designer drew up plans the the builder refused to build to 8 months later no kitchen and a huge outlay.

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