Thursday, December 16, 2010

before + after: the kitchen

kitchenafter6I’ve decided a kitchen can’t possibly be complete without these gorgeous Murchison-Hume bottles on the counter: Heirloom Dishwashing Liquid and Superlative Liquid Hand SoapEco-friendly, stylish and sweetly-scented, they’re worth the extra $ (and you can top up with refill packs rather than buying new bottles all the time). Make great housewarming pressies. And of course everyone loves a sale I got mine at Domayne for 20% off. I think the sale might still be on…

finally got around to tiling the splashback in the kitchen so thought it about time I showed you some proper before/afters. Tiling was surprisingly easy – provided you have the right tools. I grabbed all my tools from Bunnings - and the tiles too. It took a while to work out I’d need an angle grinder as the tile cutter didn’t cut any other way than straight through in one line – not handy for around powerpoints. In fact, the hardest part was screwing the powerpoints back in because the silly little brackets that are inside the wall were loose and so took Steve and I longer to do three of the switches than it did to tile one side of the wall (seriously). Especially because when Solahart installed their switch and didn’t actually attach the bracket to the inside of the wall so it fell down between the Gyprock never to be seen again… Nails, screws and glue held it in place – let’s hope there’s never a problem…


So here is the lovely before – a few days before we ripped it out. And below is a pulled-back shot of the before before I painted the walls and cupboards of the living area – a few days after we moved in seven years ago (!). We ripped off all the wood panelling and Steve scraped all the spray-on bumpy goo stuff off the ceiling.

In the time we’ve had the house we closed off the front door and put three cut-out shelves in the wall, replaced the glass windows and door with French doors and skinny windows, removed the wall sticking out from between the kitchen and bathroom, took out the linen cupboard and make the bathroom bigger. We also closed off the back door and moved it further along the wall – it’s now opposite the recessed shelves.


I love my new space. I love that we did so much of ourselves (installing the IKEA kitchen and benchtops, painting, tiling, sanding and painting the floor…) – even if it did take YEARS to do. But I’m not precious about that sort of thing and the satisfaction of having a big hand in the work makes it worthwhile. Plus it means we have new skills we can take with us whenever we leave.

I’ve slacked off on Christmas guides this year – I think there are plenty out there. However, I do have a couple of ideas for you, starting with some fave kitchen buys from my own kitchen, a couple of which are above. I’ll post it a little later today. xx

Some info:
All kitchen cabinets, sink, taps and handles from Ikea. The cabinet doors are Applaad White
Benchtops: Birch from Ikea
Shelves: Marginal from Ikea
Tiles: subway tiles from Bunnings
Wall paint and trim: Dulux Whisper White
Floors: black paving paint
Dining table and bench: Domayne
Replica Tolix chair: Life Interiors
Replica Navy chair: Matt Blatt
Highchair: Stokke Trip Trapp
Blackboard: handmade by me and turns over to a felt side. The wall is magnetic. You can find some more info here

{All images by Belinda Graham for The Happy Home blog}


  1. It's so pretty now! I am in love with the butcher block and white.

  2. Thanks for sharing your beautiful design ideas. I really enjoy seeing the before and after photos - the kitchen is simply stunning. I really like the timbers and whites you used. Similar to what we did in our kitchen renovation with bamboo floors.
    I simply adore your blog and look forward to your future posts!