50+ easy updates for your kitchen
“We love our new open space. Now cooking is much more sociable” Anna
“WE HAD JUST FINISHED a major renovation of our previous property when Aaron’s family mentioned they wanted to sell the family home, where he’d lived since the age of 11. Although the house was run-down and tired and we had two young children, we loved the area and the view of Lake Macquarie. So we sold our home and prepared for another renovation!
The house, built in the late ’70s, had a practical layout but was dark and shut off. Dark imitation wooden beams across the ceiling and exposed brick walls gave it a country feel, which didn’t suit the location. And everything was original and needed updating. So we removed a couple of walls to make the living, dining and kitchen areas open plan, installed bamboo flooring, replaced the lighting and painted the whole house in white, which helped to brighten it up. Out the back, we put railing and stairs down to the lower levels, painted the retaining wall and polished the concrete courtyard.
Most of the major work was done in six months, and we’ve been slowly chipping away room by room over the past couple of years. It wasn’t easy at times – the downstairs flooded and we had to move upstairs into two rooms with no kitchen or play area for the kids. Many times we’d look at each other and question why we decided to renovate again. It really was a huge learning curve – Aaron did most of the work and picked up a lot of new skills.
But I love how everything has turned out – we weren’t in a rush so didn’t cut corners and have no regrets. We all love how open the house is – I can be busy cooking in the kitchen but talking to someone in the living room. We spend a lot of time outdoors, and in summer we live on the front deck.”
Neat seats Anna likes to mix old with new – she was given these chairs by a friend who found them on the roadside.
FAMILY ROOM Great buys
To their seven-year-old Harvey Norman sofa and Freedom rug, Anna added a $12 throw from Kmart and a $119.95 Mocka Basse coffee table.
DETAIL Fabulous finds Driftwood and old oars help to create a beachy display.