Kitchen Makeover

Here's a kitchen in need of some TLC, and who better to lend her magic touch but Shannon, who gets maximum effect with minimum effort.

Terry and her daughter Regan love their two-bedroom flat but hate its small, cramped kitchen. With orange benches and brown lino floor, it's begging to be made over! A total renovation is tempting, but with a budget in mind - and since the kitchen is in good working order - a cosmetic update is all this kitchen really needs.

Shannon calls in the electrician, plumber, the joiners and some painters to do the job: ripping out old bench tops while keeping the tiles, replacing taps and cupboard doors, extending benches and adding new cupboards underneath. Shannon has chosen custom made wooden doors, and a European solid beechwood benchtop.

A cosmetic makeover sounded like the best option for Terry but it soon becomes obvious that a totally new renovation may have been easier.

The kitchen is riddled with joinery problems, exacerbated by the uneven floor. In the end Shannon decided that for the cost of the make-over (about $8,000) it may have been better to spend another $2,000 for a completely new kitchen. But the end result of her heartache looks fantastic.

Our kitchen makeover includes:

  • A new unit for more bench space and drawer storage
  • A new cupboard to house the microwave and powerbox, and we're turning the microwave around so that the door now opens out to the front
  • A new rail above the stove to hang pots and kitchen utensils on, thereby freeing up more drawer space
  • New cupboard doors
  • Fix and paint the sliding door

Tips for painting

  • We've chosen a durable, hard-wearing oil-based paint from the Dulux Master Palette. Our colours of Freshwater (low sheen), for the walls and interior cupboards, and White (semi-gloss), for the cupboard doors, sliding door and ceiling, add freshness and a sense of space.
  • The contrasting colours break up the space and add interest. Ceramic tiles, stainless steel and laminated panels are other options for walls.


  • Shannon has chosen a floating timber floor in a light timber colour, 'parquet beech'.
  • Laminate/veneered floating floor usually consists of a plastic-coated layer moulded to a plywood base and can be laid over an existing floor.
  • Virtually stain proof and fade resistant, floating floors are easy to clean and maintain and never need waxing.
  • They range in price from $45
  • $100 per sqm. At the cheaper end vinyl tiles cost approx $25 per sqm and at the other end, for marble, granite or timber, prices range from $250
  • $500 per sqm.

Tips for dealing with contractors

  • You might think that if your kitchen is big then your bill will be bigger
  • not necessarily so. Most contractors work on a day rate so make sure they have plenty to do.
  • Ring your local council for information on supplies of recycled materials as the council has record of homes being demolished. Otherwise try the Yellow Pages.
  • To save money, see if the tradesman or yourself can pick up materials from yards especially if in small quantities such as bricks.
  • Find suppliers/tradesmen close to the job for cheap delivery and no hidden fees such as travel expenses
  • Expect charges from tradesmen for phone calls, travel time and petrol, sourcing and any homework they do for the job
  • If you intend doing the work yourself, many professional contractors are often happy to provide information about the job and can even fax diagrams and easy to read instructions to you.

Tips for making the most of your bench space

  • Install a wall shelf at shoulder height to accommodate the microwave.
  • Avoid clutter at all costs - it just emphasises that you're working in a small area. Try to keep the benches clear of anything that can be stored in cupboards.
  • Install an extension bench that pulls out like a drawer from under the existing workbench. Or get a portable island bench that can be wheeled into the kitchen when needed
  • as long as there's a corner where it can live when you're not using it.
  • Benchtops vary greatly in price. At the cheaper end of the scale, a laminated benchtop costs about $1000 compared to anywhere between $3000 and $7000 for the more expensive materials such as corian, stainless steel and granite.
  • When installing a new bench, make sure its width, length and thickness is the same as the old one, otherwise it won't fit under the existing wall tiles.
  • If purchasing a timber workbench, make sure it has had two coats of polyurethane. If your kitchen cupboards are standard size, 'pre-made' replacements from hardware stores and kitchen specialist stores are much cheaper than the custom-made option.
  • A low-budget alternative is to look for second-hand kitchens in the Trading Post or your local paper
  • you'll have to hunt around to find one that fits and be willing to adapt it.
  • Doors can be made of the same materials and can include glass, wire and punched- or pressed-metal inserts.
  • For a pre-made cupboard door off the shelf, the cheapest option is a laminated door for around $15 per door. More expensive options include timber or metallic polyurethane coated doors, ranging from $60 to $100 per door.
  • When installing new doors, make sure their width, length and thickness is the same as the old doors, and make sure hinges attached to old doors have the same fixtures as the new doors.
  • If you're using new hinges, make sure they can be installed to the kitchen unit.
  • Ask for the handle position on the doors to be correctly drilled at the time of purchase, and make sure a sample of the door and door colour are checked prior to purchase.
  • Make sure the quote contains: making, spraying ( if needed), drilling of holes for hinges and handles (if needed), and G.S.T.

Equipment and Suppliers

Dulux Paints
  • Acrylic sealer undercoat x1L $27.39

  • Solvent based undercoat x1L $29.32

  • Hi Gloss enamel in white x1L = $32.93

  • Semi-gloss acrylic in white x1L $30.00 approx

  • Freshwater - Wash and Wear in a Low Sheen x4L $60.00 approx

  • Marin Ceil lamp $39

  • Lindmon venetian blind $95

  • Poster ( coffee cup 50cmx50cm ) $12

  • Reslig frame ( 50cm ) $30

  • Kapital Carv Br ( chopping block ) $19

  • Ringo stool $29

  • Snillrik pot stand $9

  • Bargain Bettna Water Can $0.50

  • Gruntal Mount $14.95

  • Varde Handles @ $12.95 each

  • Forhoja cutlery holder ( for a drawer ) $25

  • Burken jars $4 each

  • Magazin chopping board $9

  • Mixa utensils $2

  • Grunka skimmer $4

  • Grunka ladle $2.50

  • Grunka spaghetti server $4

  • Vass knife block $69

  • Bankett vase $12
Freedom Furniture
  • Oslon Rackdi Wooden ( dish rack ) $10.95

  • Culinaria Cook Set $149

  • Siena Kettle $69.95

  • Professional pizza cutter $8.95

  • Prof Whisk $12.95

  • Prof Can Opener $19.95

  • Prof Flat Grater $12.95

  • Prof Spoon Baster $12.95

  • Prof Garlic Press $19.95

  • Prof Spoon Ladle $12.95

  • Prof Pasta Fork $12.95

  • Prof Turn Slot $12.95

  • Prof Cheese Slice $10.95

  • Felix Cannister Sq 11.5cm glass @ $3.95 each, 18cm glass @ $5.50 each,

  • 30.5cm glass @ $7.95 each

  • Bianca Dinner Set $39.95


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I would have loved to have been able to watch this without the annoying Bank add please move it as it is covering half the video screen