Tricks of the trade

When the Ch­ester­tons ren­o­vated their kitchen, they not only gained a new gath­er­ing space but also mas­tered new skills such as plumb­ing and tiling.

Home Renovations - - Contents - By Mar­ian van Wyk • Pho­to­graphs Justin Pa­trick

Rea­son for ren­o­va­tion

When Elaine, an in­te­rior de­signer, and her hus­band Richard, who works in the bi­cy­cle industry, de­cided to build a new bed­room for their son Justin, it had a domino ef­fect. Soon they found them­selves ren­o­vat­ing the kitchen and din­ing area too! Start­ing in July 2013, they spent 12 weeks trans­form­ing their kitchen and ac­quir­ing use­ful new skills along the way.

“The old kitchen and din­ing area were small, sep­a­rate rooms – an ex­tremely im­prac­ti­cal lay­out. You couldn’t see into the lounge from the kitchen and Justin’s bed­room opened up onto the din­ing room where he and his sis­ter did their home­work. My home of­fice was down the far end of the house. Every­thing was com­pletely dis­con­nected and it just didn’t work for us,” ex­plains Elaine. So when the cou­ple built Justin’s new bed­room it made sense to de­mol­ish a wall and in­cor­po­rate his old bed­room into the kitchen. “My desk is now in this new part of the kitchen so the kids’ home­work, my work and cook­ing can all hap­pen in a cen­tral area,” Elaine adds.

“We were only too happy to get rid of the kitchen cab­i­nets as we never liked the style,” says Richard. “The only out­side help we em­ployed was for de­mol­ish­ing a wall, elec­tri­cal work, lay­ing the vinyl floor and fit­ting the stone coun­ter­top. It took six weeks and we spent an­other six on the cab­i­nets and fin­ishes.”

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