Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Designing a French Kitchen

The post of my whole blog that has the highest page visits is the ones about my kitchen renovations. It is one of my very early posts and I've been meaning to write this post since then!  I wanted to share how I designed and built a $45,000 kitchen for around $17,000 and also to share what I learnt in the process.  Now I know that $17K is still a lot of money but this is our forever house, we started out with a kitchen that was terrible and needed completely gutting - the floor was n't level and was just packed dirt with lino over it, also we both love cooking and cooking together  and the price is great for what we ended up with and not for a completely new kitchen.


how to design a french kitchen on a budget with google sketch up

When we were commencing our kitchen renovations two years ago, I poured over home magazines, blogs and cruised around Sydney's kitchen shops getting ideas for months. I had three different kitchen companies come in to assess the space and provide quotes but for what I wanted, the quotes all came in between $40,000 and $45,000 and I couldn't bring myself to spend that amount of money. I decided that I knew what I wanted, how we used the kitchen and what we needed so I would design my own kitchen and that would eliminate the need for a kitchen designer.  You know I love the whole concept of DIY.  I have since had several builders, kitchen company people and even magazine people tell me that my kitchen is worth $40,000 so hopefully I can save you some money also if you are planning a new kitchen.

What I wanted was:
  • more bench space
  • more storage
  • a big pantry
  • a double sink
  • a new dishwasher
  • separate work zones
  • a specific cupboard for the garbage bin
Things I used to give that French look:
  • A French rangehood chimney
  • crown moulding
  • moulded cabinetry doors
  • painted cabinetry (Colorbond Dune for a soft French taupe)
  • Nickel and Porcelain handles
  • a wicker basket for potato storage
  • Ceramic sink and beautiful faucet
  • glass cabinets for my stem wear
how to design a french kitchen on a budget with google sketch up

Using Microsoft Visio and Google SketchUp, I was able to develop very good detailed plans that we were able to build from. Using these two tools I was also able to move around cabinetry to get the best layout for the available space and be able to virtually walk around the new kitchen (via Google SketchUp) and see how it would look like and be to work in. French style is often very symmetrical so I moved the window over slightly to be centred in the room as much as possible and made the upper wall cabinets symmetrical around the new window.

how to design a french kitchen on a budget with google sketch up
Visio plans
I measured my space in all directions about 5 different times to be absolutely accurate - you really need to be millimetre perfect. I was also knocking out a wall and extending the kitchen cabinetry into what was the dining room to make the kitchen 300mm bigger (as you can see on the left hand side of the above plans. This has made a big difference to the cabinetry either side of the stove and the fridge and is such a small amount to lose from the dining room (that is now open to the kitchen anyway). One thing I learnt during the build process was to measure at different heights up your walls. The walls in our 90 year old house are not plumb and the wall cabinets needed to be shorter than the base cabinets along the side wall (the wall is about 3 cm out of plumb).  I then measured my appliances and worked out the allowances I would need around those items also.

how to design a french kitchen on a budget with google sketch up

I looked into IKEA kitchens but because I was fitting the kitchen into a room with 3 sides I needed a bespoke kitchen to make the most of the room. in the end, by using a cabinet maker I was able to build my French kitchen for just over $17,000. I costs a similar kitchen size using IKEA cabinetry and bench tops and it was around $13,000 so for me I preferred spending the extra money and having something that made the most of the space without filler spaces and also that was of a better quality and longer lasting.  I also contemplated building my own cabinetry and had it costed by two different flat pack kitchen places but the cabinetry costs alone (un-constructed and not even including delivery) were around $12,000 and then the stone benchtop would have been several more thousand on top of this.  I would then have had to build the cabinetry which can be tricky and time consuming especially when your walls aren't plumb. In the end we ended up doing the kitchen as part of a much larger renovation and we bricked up a doorway, pulled down a wall and inserted a steel beam as well as built a new floor (joists and floorboards) so I used my builder's cabinet maker who did a beautiful job and it all cost not much more then it would cost.

I did the initial plans in Visio (above) and then drew them in Google Sketch Up which is a fantastic free tool. (Download here) Even though this took several hours I found this to be very useful especially showing the plans to my husband and also the cabinet maker who hadn't built a kitchen in a French style before.  I have included some 2 dimensional snap shots of the 3D model below.  If you are interested in having a copy of my 3D model then feel free to email me or leave a comment below with your email address and I can send you a copy.

how to design a french kitchen on a budget with google sketch up
how to design a french kitchen on a budget with google sketch up
how to design a french kitchen on a budget with google sketch up
how to design a french kitchen on a budget with google sketch up
how to design a french kitchen on a budget with google sketch up
how to design a french kitchen on a budget with google sketch up
how to design a french kitchen on a budget with google sketch up

Once I was happy with my plans I had a meeting with my builder ( the delightful Barry from Serenity Constructions) and the cabinet maker he uses. Reba, his cabinet maker has a factory out in the western suburbs and is a delightful hardworking man with beautiful quality and craftsmanship... and wow he prices his cabinetry reasonably.  I would definitely recommend finding a cabinet maker to give you a quote rather than using one of the bigger well known Kitchen Companies.  Especially if you have an eye for design and space and know what you want. 

To achieve the French look that I wanted, I knew I wanted hand painted cabinetry so I had the doors made from MDF.  I don't see any point building cabinetry from wood that you are just going to paint over. Wood cabinetry for a kitchen this size would have cost $4000 more than using MDF. With wood there is also the chance that it will warp overtime. MDF doesn't ever warp. Great news.

The cabinetry doors were sourced through Sydney Doors.  This is a very economical way to buy moulded (or plain) doors. If you have an existing kitchen that is okay but you want to update the look then you can always just replace the doors of your cabinets. My door profile is code number 6009 XSQ.

ikea domsjo sink ceramic fireclay butler farmhouse review
ikea domsjo sink ceramic fireclay butler farmhouse review

Another way I saved money is to use the IKEA Domsjo sink rather than a fire clay English butler sink. I actually prefer this sink to the fire clay ones. I like how it fully extends the depth of the bench top and has the double bowl. At only $430 is sure saves a lot compared to others I have seen for around $1500.  I have blogged more details about the IKEA sink here (Domsjo product codes etc) and here (a one year review of the IKEA farmhouse Sink)


ikea domsjo sink ceramic fireclay butler farmhouse review

When designing a kitchen it is always good to think about where you will store your appliances. Are you someone who likes to leave your mixer, kettle and toaster etc out for easy access or do you like a clear bench top?  I am someone who likes everyday items out on the bench. I find that if my mixer and food processor aren't out then I don't use them.  When planning my kitchen, I made a little nook next to the fridge so that I could store my coffee machine, toaster, kettle and food processor there on the bench but out of sight from most of the dining room and kitchen. 

ikea domsjo sink ceramic fireclay butler farmhouse review

I wanted a good pantry as we like to store a quantity of dry goods. We bake and make a lot of food from "scratch" and I've got a wonderful collection of Tupperware (I won them years ago) so I built the pantry specifically around my Tupperware collection. Sad I know but so so practical especially in combating the Pantry Moth that is prevalent in Sydney. The best thing about using plastic containers to store your food though is the neatness factor. You can find everything at a glance, things stay fresher longer and you can easily see what you need to go shopping for.

pantry ideas
pantry storage tupperware ideas

The first two drawers below the pantry were built to easily store cans and other packaged goods (that are not kept in Tupperware). I love these drawers, and I especially love how I can see everything at a glance and don't have to delve back into deep cupboards. 


pantry sliding drawers

The big bottom drawer holds all our spare Tupperware containers, plastic glasses for the kids so they can get their own water, and lunch boxes etc. I think it's a great idea to plan a specific drawer for your plastic containers etc so they are all in one spot and contained (yes, contain the containers!)

The porcelain and nickel handles I have used are pretty expensive but I managed to buy them wholesale which saved an absolute fortune. I bought them from a very expensive kitchen company (that since has gone out of business) and I'm not exactly sure why the guy gave me such a good deal but it meant that for my whole kitchen I paid just $400 for the handles instead of the retail price of over $1000. My suggestions is always shop around and negotiate.



french bale nickel porcelains handles kitchen

Crown moulding is another way to really jazz up your cabinetry. It is not expensive to add to your cabinets but I think it really finishes of the kitchen.  The other feature in my kitchen is the rangehood. My builder and I just made this out of MDF. It's basically a box that houses the actual ILVE rangehood and then a chimney that houses the exhaust pipe. It was very simple to build.

If you have any questions on how I designed my kitchen, how to save money or what products I used, feel free to leave a comment below.  I'll do another kitchen post soon on what I learnt by planning and building a kitchen.


I have to say I put so much thought and effort into this kitchen - lots of late nights and research and two and a half years down the track I still would not change a single thing so I think that's pretty good.


Yours in happy cooking!


Fiona xx


ikea domsjo sink ceramic fireclay butler farmhouse review

Photo Credit: Photos number 1,4,8, 12 and 19 were taken for the Country Home Ideas Magazine shoot. Thanks Tony!


90 comments:

  1. Fiona, I am dying with envy over such a beautiful space to work in. Wow you certainly did a great job! Well done. Your attention to detail is evident and paid off. I just love it all. And that pantry is fabulous.
    Thanks for sharing
    Kellie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Kellie, the pantry and what it stores is wonderful! I am really happy with how it turned out.

      Delete
  2. Fiona, what an absolutely beautiful kitchen. Can I ask what type of stove and oven you have. Thanks again for sharing your creation! Tina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Tina, the stove/oven is a Bertazzoni - -It's really lovely and I was able to buy this as floor stock for half price. love a bargain.

      Delete
  3. hi Fiona, this is fabulous! I love how close your 3D models are to the real thing. What a great tool. Is it hard to use? I'll have to give it a try. I love all the details you have used to give this kitchen a French Provincial feel. it's very open and lovely. Lucky you.
    cheers Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer, Google Sketch up takes some getting used to but the tutorials are very good and i think it's worth the effort. You just create squares then push and pull them to create cabinets. It's free software so just give it a try.

      Delete
  4. Kitchen is nice but it is about as far removed from French as possible. I seriously doubt if you have ever seen a French kitchen or even a resemblance of such in a decor book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for commenting - you made me laugh - yes I'm sure my kitchen is far removed from a true French Kitchen and it's probably extremely pretentious of me to call this little kitchen in Sydney, Australia a "French Kitchen" especially if you are French yourself! but this is what Australian kitchen companies call French kitchens. What can I say, we are convicts...
      have a great day, I hope your mood improves
      Fiona

      Delete
    2. Why would you write such a thing?

      Delete
    3. Thanks Rubylicious. Each to their own. That's ok, my style isn't going to appeal to everyone and I'm sure there are heaps of people who prefer a modern look or think that this isn't French, but that's ok, not I'm not sure what else you would call this style. It's what kitchen companies call French . I did enough research.

      Delete
    4. Gorgeous kitchen Fiona! Love it! So sad that people feel the need to be so mean spirited! Keep up the great work. Your blog is Beautiful! Have a lovely day! xo

      Delete
    5. thanks so much Clarissa. I really appreciate your support on my blog and painted furniture.

      Delete
  5. Beautiful kitchen, I love pretty much everything in it. It has a similar layout to ours but is far more stylish. All your time and effort paid off and it's a gorgeous convict style French kitchen ;)
    Alison x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mel@Georgica PondMarch 6, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    This is a fabulous post Fi. So beautiful to look at, but such a help and really valuable information and advice for anyone trying to build a bespoke kitchen without spending a fortune. Your kitchen is just stunning. I love the colour of the cabinets, your door profile, the handles, and that gorgeous sink, I can't believe is Ikea. I wish I had done a butler's sink now, after I had one at my old house, but your looks gorgeous. And that fabulous shepherd's crook tapware, just stunning. Love love love, you clever girl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Mel, I really wrote the post to show what's possible on a (limited) budget. yes $17K is still a fair whack but not compared to $45K. The tap is still one of my favourite things that I splurged on!
      have a lovely weekend
      Fi x

      Delete
  7. WOW-that's amazing! I love that! The pantry is like my dream!! The drawers are such a great idea. All those hours and late nights and research paid off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks - it was a lot of hours! and yes the pantry was of my dreams also!

      Delete
  8. amazing kitchen thanks heaps we are in the process of either deciding to keep renovating or sell and build.this kitchen info is priceless for me at the moment thanks.-love dee x

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your kitchen is not only stunningly beautiful, it is so functional too!

    I am bookmarking this page!:)

    Thanks for sharing...

    xo
    Sumaya

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for such a detailed post with regards to designing yourself and the programs to use to make this design come to life. You are so clever!

    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  11. your kitchen is stunning! i love the cabinet color- just perfection!

    ReplyDelete
  12. And I have to say it looks just as lovely in real life :)

    xx Karen

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you so much Fiona! This is tremendous- very similar dimensions to my reno- a 1940's home so not big either!
    cheers
    keirin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my pleasure Keirin, glad to assist. good luck with your kitchen.

      Delete
  14. Thank you Fiona for such an informative post. I am going to give Sketch Up a try. There is so much valuable information contained in this post and I for one really appreciate you sharing your knowledge so freely. Don't worry about the detractor up there. I think most people would call this a French kitchen and if they read your blog they would definitely appreciate your sense of style and artistry. I love your blog and what you do
    Keep going!
    Thanks Julia

    ReplyDelete
  15. this is a very functional beautiful kitchen. Looks beautiful to me. (and it looks FRENCH)!

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is amazing! You did a fantastic job!!
    Jamie www.somuchbetterwithage.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is the kitchen of my dreams!! You did an amazing job;) Simply beautiful!

    Jenny at diywithjenandb.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks you so much Jenny - the kitchen of my dreams also!

      Delete
  18. Very nice! I LOVE how crisp and clean everything looks. Thanks for going through all the details. I hope you enjoy being in your new kitchen for many many years to come (after all we spend the majority of our time there!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Chessa. It was a lot of hard work but so worth it in the end.
      Have a lovely weekend
      Fiona

      Delete
  19. Stunning is the most fitting word I can think of to describe your gorgeous kitchen. I love the custom cabinets - the color is perfect! The whole room has such a fresh look. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks so much Chelsea - it's a whole lot better than it was before!

      Delete
  20. That kitchen is so gorgeous! Great job! I love how clean and simple it looks.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Absolutely gorgeous!!! I LOVE the warm gray you used on the cabinets... and your sink area is divine! I love white with brushed silver/nickel. :) Amazing job! This classic look will not outdate itself for many years to come!

    toddlindsey.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you Lindsey -i don't think it will date either -it's more timeless than stylish. I love the grey also. it's very peaceful to be in.
      cheers Fiona

      Delete
  22. Right now, my dear husband is sanding the wood floor in our kitchen. I live in the States, but we are also going for an Old World Euro look. It's my vision and no one else's!
    Thanks for some inspirational photos. I like that you stayed true to what you wanted and kept it all under budget. We're doing the same since our two offspring are in uni!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Stacy, I hope you achieve your vision. it's always exciting to see your plans come to life. cheers Fiona

      Delete
  23. Replies
    1. Thanks Anna – I’ve just given it an extra big clean – although I should be at the beach or something as the weather is still gorgeous here in Sydney but feeling a tad tired after a cocktail party at my best friends last night. Those frozen margaritas are no good!!

      I hope you are having a lovely easter.
      Love Fiona xx

      Delete
  24. Hi Fiona, love your kitchen. I live in Lilyfield as well...we are very lucky to live in this nice part of the world. Your post was very informative, thank you for sharing your knowledge. I'm in the process of updating my kitchen. Am keeping the exiting layout and appliances and updating the cupboard doors and getting a study desk area built. I will definitely pursue Sydney kitchens for the doors. The desk area will be simple - just a long desk top and 2 drawer units separating 2 desk spaces. Are you able to share your cabinet maker (Reba) details. My hat goes off to you for painting your kitchen doors too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Catherine –
      I have to firstly apologise and say I don’t know if his name is Reba or Reda (actually I think it’s Reda). His number is (deleted for privacy). Can you mention that I gave you his number – he will remember my kitchen)
      I am also building a similar desk area next to our kitchen once we renovate the back half of the house.
      Where in Lilyfield are you? It’s a great suburb isn’t it!
      Cheers Fiona

      Delete
    2. Thanks Fiona. We live in (deleted for privacy). My youngest son is in year 10 and went to Orange grove for primary. I just got a quote back for $27k! So am looking at alternatives as its not being built from scratch. When we do go ahead....ill send a pic of the study joinery. I did get a designer to give me a plan of attack for colours etc.
      Cheers, Catherine

      Delete
    3. Hi Catherine. Reda will give you a good quote I am sure. He is Lebanese and his English is good but not perfect. You need to be quite firm with him about following your plans etc but I think that’s with a lot of builders/cabinet makers but his workmanship is wonderful (as are his prices)
      Good luck with it.
      Fiona

      Delete
  25. Beautiful kitchen cabinets with full of food.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Love your kitchen!
    Did you paint your cupboard doors yourself, and if so what primer, paint and technique did you use (brush or spray)?
    I am interested in replacing my cupboard doors and love the idea of using handpainted MDF fronts.
    Thank you for your response.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Susanne, yes i painted the cabinetry myself. For the primer I used a water based Zinsser (forget which one but probably Covermore or something like that) and then for the colour I used a waterbased enamel called Taubmans water based enamel Trim (and the colour is Brisitsh Paints Colorbond Dune) - Australian products but i don't know where you live but i'm sure they will have similar products. I hand painted them. two coats of primer and then 2-3 coats of paint. sanding in between each coat. they have held up very well and it's almost 3 years since i did it.
      hope that helps cheers Fiona

      Delete
  27. I love your kitchen. Could you please tell me the name of the coor you painted your cabinets? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Amber - it's British Paints Colorbond Dune, cheers Fiona

      Delete
  28. I can surely title this article content as the best one ever written in catering equipment catering equipment ranges. It’s highly educating, informative and practical with its approach. All thanks goes to the writer.

    ReplyDelete
  29. If Looking for gorgeous Male and female strippers in Sydney Book Our professional topless male And Female stripper performers for a truly unforgettable experience

    ReplyDelete
  30. It looks beautiful, you have utilised your space really well.

    ReplyDelete
  31. You have inspired me to tackle some long held off projects during my up coming month long leave from work. Hopefully I will feel as if I have some brand spanking new furniture by the end! Love all your work. Thanks for your spirit of generosity in sharing your tips

    ReplyDelete
  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  33. After looking at this kitchen I think I need to learn more about kitchen designs. I was looking for unique designs of classic style kitchens for my new home.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Fantastic job, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Magnificent kitchen! I love your designs everything thank you for sharing..

    ReplyDelete
  36. You have made yourself a beautiful kitchen that you can extremely proud of. It is great to see a kitchen that has hours of devotion poured into it, even down to the kitchen sinks flowers and decorations. You are very wise to search around and compare prices and styles from different companies. Thank you for sharing all your pictures and blueprints to give us ideas. Again well done on your outstanding work and commitment.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Great work Fiona, brilliant job. I agree with everyone else who said you should be proud of the end result. My Dad used to say 99%preparation and 1% application. Clearly your maxim as well, with all the prep work you did.

    We are moving into a 1910 Federation semi and want to do some work on the kitchen [amongst other things...] I have already been given the project to revitalise a wooden chest of drawers with waxed chalk paint - so learning quickly!!

    With that in mind I have a few questions re the kitchen:
    - We couldn't find your builder [Serenity] anywhere online, do you have a contact number?
    - What do you call the tap [style, design, model?]
    - Like Catherine, I'd also like to get hold of Reda [or Reba] can I grab his number also?
    - Would a chalk paint finish [waxed?] be robust enough for a kitchen door finish? We are looking at MDF that has a tongue & groove type of profile and are there any tips to colour matching and cover. making sure all doors have the same colour and coverage would be critical I would think.
    - The dishwasher looks like you've set it alongside the sink? I guess it won't fit under the sink.
    - do the pantry drawers work well after using them for the length of time you have?
    - Having lived in the kitchen, is there anything you'd change?

    Again great work and great blog.
    Rgds
    Rex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rex
      Can you please email me I'll send the contact numbers . My email is lilyfieldlife@bigpond.com

      - We couldn't find your builder [Serenity] anywhere online, do you have a contact number?

      I'll email you once you send me your email address

      - What do you call the tap [style, design, model?]

      The tap is Gessi Romance tap. You'll find it easily on google

      - Like Catherine, I'd also like to get hold of Reda [or Reba] can I grab his number also?

      I'll email you as above

      - Would a chalk paint finish [waxed?] be robust enough for a kitchen door finish? We are looking at MDF that has a tongue & groove type of profile and are there any tips to colour matching and cover. making sure all doors have the same colour and coverage would be critical I would think

      People do use chalk paint for kitchens. I personally am it sure if the durability of a waxed surface in the kitchen. I would google 'Annie Sloan paint kitchen' and ask a blogger who has done this at least a year or more ago. You could also use lacquer over the paint instead of wax. My kitchen is painted with taubmans water based enamel.

      See my tutorials on my blog for tips on painting. You should not have trouble if you watch your brush strokes.

      - The dishwasher looks like you've set it alongside the sink? I guess it won't fit under the sink.

      The dishwasher is a Miele - no it wouldn't fit under any sink. But ergonomically I don't think you would want that as I stand at the sunk and load the dishwasher which you couldn't do if it was underneath.

      - do the pantry drawers work well after using them for the length of time you have?

      They are still perfect

      - Having lived in the kitchen, is there anything you'd change?

      No I love it all still!

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for your reply. Great feedback and email on it's way.
      Pleased to hear that your preparation and planning has paid dividends. If you'd change nothing you clearly put in the right amount oif thinking beforehand.
      Regards
      Rex

      Delete
  38. Love your kitchen kitchen - very stylish and love that you didn't spend a fortune! I am thinking of getting the IKEA Domsjo double sink and just wondered how you were getting on with it? Has it chipped or have you found any problems? Jenna, Islandbluebird.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Jenna -I have two tiny chips in it but that's after three years hard use. i think that's pretty good. i think any sinks would be the same. i still would buy another one.

      Delete
  39. I just stumbled upon your blog when researching the IKEA sink. Your kitchen is exactly the look and feel that I am trying to achieve in my small kitchen reno! I love the cabinet and the countertop color combo -- so lovely and just that beautiful French feel I'm after. I've been researching for several months and am getting closer to actually getting started. Still looking for a few good subcontractors to do some of the work, but then we'll be off and running! Thanks so much for the inspiration! Your blog is lovely! :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love the paint colours! Can you tell me the colour you used for the walls and cabinets?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Fantastic blog on your French kitchen project. I was intending to have my kitchen made in China to reduce costs.
    However, you have inspired me to build it here. Is it possible to have Reba's contact details?
    Apart from the kitchen, I also need bathroom cabinets and build in robes made.
    My email address: kathyfitzgerald9@yahoo.com.au
    Thanks for your inspiring blog.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I think your Kitchen is stunning... definitely going to copy some of it if not all in my kitchen ... and I will call it my french kitchen down south Lol
    have a great day

    ReplyDelete
  43. HI your kitchen is stunning .. french in my eyes .. definitely be " stealing " abit of yours for mine . have a great day

    ReplyDelete
  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Your kitchen is lovely. Could you please share your counter top choice and also your wall color? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, the walls are dulux sleigh and the countertop is caesarstone snow. Hope that helps

      Delete
  46. Thank you so much for being so generous and inspirational. Have a great life!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Always love going back and looking at your kitchen, it's stunning! Could I ask what you do to protect your sink if you need to handscrub dirty pots and pans? I find that every day, I handscrub the pots and pans because the dishwasher never does a good enough job on them (Miele also). I also use a stainless steel scrubber for my pots and pans, and I am guessing that's not something I'd want to use in the fireclay sink? What do you do with your dirty pots and pans? LOL :-)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi Fiona I love your kitchen and am planning to do something similar. I just had a couple of questions. When you say that you wanted hand painted cabinetry and that you sourced your doors from Sydney Doors, did you paint the doors yourself? What else did you hand paint?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alison yes I hand painted all the kitchen cabinetry . The doors came as raw mdf. Have a look at my
      Blog , I hand paint everything cheers Fiona

      Delete
  49. Hi Fiona, having a bit of trouble getting on this site, Kylie.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Fiona, so found out it works for me through anonymous. I love your kitchen. You can tell you have put a lot of blood sweat and tears into it and its paid off.
    Ive also gone down the same route with the cabinet maker and his expertise in this particular style of kitchen is not huge so we have worked very closely together to make it work. We are at the state of choosing doors but the cabinets are in the process of being made. Suddenly instead of having my door finish in satin poly, Ive realised that I want hand painted MDF. How do I explain this to my cabinet maker and easy to confirm the doors like this but what else do I need to point out to him that needs to be hand painted i.e. spacers, rangehood skirting boards? Who do I get to paint it because you need to make sure you have a good paint job also (and it for sure wont be me as I don't trust myself with a whole kitchen). Please help!!! Regards, Kylie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Kylie - I would assume you just tell your cabinet maker that you want to hand paint your doors and that you want them MDF> I would suggest getting them spray primed as priming MDF is tricky and time consuming. Not impossibly but you need to do a lot of sanding on the edges to get them smooth. Spray priming will resolve this. Also if you want hand painting the primer , as MDF is so absorbent you need to water down the first coat of primer then sand then do a second primer coat. If you want your kitchen professionally painted there are companies who do this - they charge around $4000 for a kitchen this size or more. or just a regular house painter will also do it - probably similar amount of money. If you want a hand painted kitchen then everything you see needs to be handpainted - not just the doors or it will look weird with half poly and half handpainted.
      hope that helps
      Fiona

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! (Sorry if you have trouble commenting, I'm trying to sort it out)