50+ easy up­dates for your kitchen

“We love our new open space. Now cook­ing is much more so­cia­ble” Anna

Homes+ (Australia) - - FRONT PAGE -

“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!

BIG CHANGES

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.

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