Small Kitchen, Big Pay-off in Waiwhetu, Wellington

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You'll find both function and finesse in this kitchen packed with ingenious storage solutions and a sleek, white colour scheme.

You'll find both function and finesse in this kitchen packed with ingenious storage solutions and a sleek, white colour scheme.

Before After
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Taking the First Step

If there’s any uncertainty around when this Lower Hutt Bungalow was built, the kitchen was a good indicator. Built in 1985, the small and outdated space needed to be revitalised without breaking the bank. To achieve this ambition, the homeowner enlisted the help of local Renovation Partner, Lia Boersma, to give this kitchen a modern interior. 
During the initial consultation (the first phase of the Refresh process), the homeowner made it clear that keeping a low budget and increasing the kitchen’s functionality took precedence. Purposeful choices like concealed storage, ample bench space, and easy to clean surfaces would prove to be prudent in achieving these goals. 

Creating the Concept

The concept and costing phases were especially crucial for this project, as the homeowner wanted to keep as close to their budget allocation as possible. So there became a large focus on exploring cost-effective options and taking correct steps to avoid any unexpected costs. Lia found it highly useful to utilise a risk register. This helped mitigate the homeowner’s fears of exceeding their budget and create realistic expectations moving forward. 
The homeowner was also more than happy to be actively involved in the renovation. They opted to source their own appliances and tackle the painting themselves, a great option for a budget-conscious homeowner. All in, this kitchen renovation cost $55,000.


Construction involved removing the existing kitchen, installing new plumbing and electrical wiring, and establishing the new interiors. It was a complete transformation that required the assistance of multiple tradespeople. 
The build stage ran smoothly across a swift five weeks. However, Lia’s renovation team did come across a challenge with the kitchen sink that the homeowner had purchased online. When it arrived for installation, the team discovered the product was warped and couldn’t be used. In solution, Lia urgently sourced a replacement sink to meet the benchtop’s installation deadline within two days.
Had the homeowner managed the renovation themselves, the process would’ve cost them time and, quite likely, money. But with Lia coordinating the entire process, the homeowner could step back, relax, and feel confident throughout the process, knowing their project was being handled by a professional whose vigilance would help reduce any potential risks.
Materials used in the kitchen’s build include general building supplies from Placemakers and additional products from Like-it Kitchens, Plumbing Plus, Nathan Patterson Flooring, and Harvey Norman.

A Clever Design for Improved Functionality

Attention to detail is key when renovating a more modest-sized kitchen. By working closely with Lia’s Design Consultant, Tina Daisley, the homeowner could rest assured no stone would be left unturned when considering functional improvements.
Many innovative storage solutions were established for this kitchen to keep most kitchenware out of sight for a minimalist look. The most endearing of them all is the toastie press’ very own concealed benchtop compartment. However, the tiered, swivelling shelves in the corner cabinet are an impressive solution for keeping pots and pans neatly tucked away while still being easily accessible. And for a final functional improvement, a built-in floating microwave shelf aids in keeping the benchtops clear. 
Choosing sleek handleless cabinets reduces visual noise for a clean look, allowing the small kitchen to feel bigger. Meanwhile, the white colour scheme freshens up the space completely. This kitchen has ultimately become quite elegant, and this look comes down to the combination of textures used. Together, the matte cabinets, glossy splashback, and defined wood grains in the cool-toned flooring have established a refined design true to contemporary style.

Rewarding Results

This kitchen has become a home cook's dream. Light colours and plenty of concealed storage have created a sleek and minimalist kitchen, though it’s still highly practical, providing generous bench space and brand new appliances.
Despite the budget being at the forefront of Lia’s design, you wouldn’t expect it when looking at the results. The carefully crafted interior design and cost-effective planning made it possible to invest in brand new appliances without compromising the overall results.
While it’s a small room, the design has made it feel spacious while providing a place for all kitchen essentials. The finished product is truly a fantastic example of bigger not always being better. 

Would you like to discuss your home renovation ideas?

Get in touch for a free consultation with your local Renovation Partner.

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This project was completed in
September 2021
Project description
A small kitchen renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
5 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
A warped kitchen sink needed replacing within two days.
Interesting aspects
Ripple-textured aqua tiles and re-sealed Tasmanian oak flooring.
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Lia Boersma is a Renovation Consultant of Silkworm Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Wellington.

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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.

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