WORDS Persephone Nicholas
PROJECT OUTLINE: Renovate the kitchen and bathroom and create a small laundry
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Working with the unit’s existing masonry and concrete.
BEST DECISION: Painting the ceiling height pipes in the bathroom black.
STANDOUT PRODUCT: The acrylic kitchen splash back in Pepper Metallic from Reflections (QLD) is exceptionally heat resistant, but cost much less than glass.
TECH TIP: Cinzia used Buildertrend, a construction management app, to share project updates, videos, messages and more with the Everetts.
TIME TAKEN: 4 weeks
PROJECT VALUE: $65k
When Mark and Lera Everett of West Wollongong, NSW booked an appointment with Cinzia Gagliardi and Matt Green of Refresh Renovations Illawarra they desperately needed help renovating their unit. The couple had a tiny dark kitchen with almost no usable bench top space, their bathroom was poky and basic and their washing machine was squeezed into a storage area. To make things worse, they’d already contacted other builders and trades but no one was interested in taking on their job for a fair price.
Cinzia says that when she and Matt first met Mark and Lera the couple didn’t feel good about their home.
“Mark and Lera couldn’t see how the unit might be transformed, but when Matt and I walked in we saw it as a challenge. We knew it would be difficult working around the unit’s existing masonry and concrete, but it was hard, not impossible.’
Cinzia and Matt listened to the brief and developed several designs that would give the couple more usable space. Once they’d decided on a layout and agreed on a soft industrial theme, they could start work in earnest. As the unit was so small, it made sense for Mark and Lera to move out while the work was happening and they headed overseas for four weeks.
In the kitchen, creating more workspace and storage were priorities. Cinzia advised relocating the hot water system from under the sink to outside the home and brought in the experts at Amorini to assist with squeezing more functionality into the compact space.
‘I take my hat off to Chris Lange at Amorini Australia. He helped design a new kitchen with about three times as much benchtop space as before and which also accommodates some drawers.’
The couple chose Anthracite and Satin White cabinetry from Amorini’s Innolac Deluxe range, which suits their soft industrial style. The Frankie sink and mixer tap are Anthracite too.
Cinzia says installing Polyflor Camaro vinyl flooring in Burnished Concrete was a smart decision.
‘The Camaro tiles look just like concrete and are waterproof and non-slip. They’re usually easy to install, but the trick is to make sure the floor underneath is dead flat. The concrete floor in the unit was cracked and had a hump in the middle, so it was a bit more challenging, but we got it done and it looks fantastic.’
The tiny bathroom was no less demanding. The room was dominated by pipework hanging from the ceiling. As the pipes belonged to the unit above they could be disguised, but not removed. Fortunately, Cinzia and Matt came up with a brilliant solution – painting the ceiling, the upper walls and the pipes black so the pipes ‘disappeared’ against the paintwork.
The walls were lined with Spa panel, a low maintenance alternative to tile, in Arctic Stone and more Camaro vinyl flooring in Smoked Concrete was laid. A sleek new vanity with San Remo finish from Harvey Norman Commercial plus matt black tapware and small bathroom accessories complete the look.
Cinzia and Matt also created a compact laundry from a small storage area.
With the renovation taken care of while the couple was on holiday, Mark says the result is a dream come true.
‘We’re really happy with the way our unit looks and functions now. The design is so much better – it’s not just new and fresh, but it has a distinct style and looks amazing from every angle. We had a small space and a tight budget, but Cinzia and Matt put so much time and energy into it. They took control and made it fun – the value we got was amazing.’
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