Kitchen gets the ‘chef’s treatment’ in Heathmont, Melbourne

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modern kitchen renovation, lights and sleek style

With design elements that screamed ‘2000s’ and a functionality factor of ‘zero’, the cramped and dated kitchen in this Heathmont home had overstayed its welcome.

Before After
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As avid hosts, cooks, and entertainers, Jane and Geoff, the owners of this Heathmont home, were tired of being underwhelmed by their dark and dated kitchen. Plagued by the yellow splashback, oak-look cabinetry indicative of the decade of its inception, and the pale terracotta floor tiling, the space was in desperate need of an update. Jane and Geoff needed their dream kitchen. 
They reached out to Refresh Renovations Melbourne and was connected with Renovation Consultant Paul Cree, who is no amateur at producing spectacular kitchen renovations. Initially, when the pair met for their consultation, the homeowners had a few other projects in mind, but this segment of the overall renovation would focus on extending the kitchen and a significant design transformation.  

Ideas and inspiration

Jane and Geoff wanted much more light in the kitchen. The existing space was quite dark so creating more opportunities for brightness would be transformative, independent of the new design. 
The homeowners wish list included ample workspace and storage with modern appliances and an overall increase in functionality. Paul and his design team worked closely with the couple to develop a space that had all these essential features and offered them multiple options at different price points so they could determine what cost-for-quality they were comfortable with. The project was design-led, but Paul wanted Jane and Geoff to get the greatest value from their investment. Once they made the final decisions of the planning phase, Paul got to work coordinating the construction. 

Planning, then pivoting

The plans involved the kitchen doubling in size; this extension required a permit. Paul enlisted a building surveyor to visit the property so the project could keep moving forward. With the appropriate permission in hand, they had the green light to continue — or so they thought. 
Renovations began in February 2021 when Melbourne was experiencing COVID restrictions. The subsequent lockdowns and supply chain issues severely affected the crew’s ability to continue as planned, but Paul kept the project on track. Without his knowledgeable project management, the homeowners would’ve been left to reschedule all the trades and deal with suppliers on their own, a headache in the best of circumstances. 
Considering the significant changes the space underwent and the external challenges, Paul’s delivery of this project within the five-month timeline is impressive. 
The preferred suppliers used throughout this project include Dekton and Schweigen.

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Spotlight on design

As requested, lighting is the focal point of the kitchen. The team installed multiple skylights hovering over the L-shaped layout and LED lighting at the toe kicks and beneath the upper cabinets to ensure the space is always well-lit; all artificial lighting has the option of being dimmed to create the desired ambience. 
Paul’s expert interior designer delivered a space that is functional, beautiful, and perfectly poised for entertaining. The silent rangehood has a motor on the roof so that cooking can be carried out without interrupting guests and their conversations. The kitchen has an enviable list of high-end features and appliances: two ovens, an integrated microwave and warming drawer, a wine fridge, and an instant hot water tap.
Storage was another of Jane and Geoff's must-haves and there’s no shortage of that. Pull-out pantries and shelving systems utilise otherwise dead space in the corners of cabinets and around appliances. 

Final thoughts

Paul is proud of his team and the results they’ve produced for Jane and Geoff, and rightfully so. They worked closely with the couple to bring their vision to life. Memories of the pre-existing dark, cramped kitchen have dimmed. It’s an exciting thought to imagine what Paul will do with the rest of their wish list.

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This project was completed in
September 2022
Project description
Kitchen extension
Geoff and Jane
Project duration
5 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
COVID restrictions
Interesting aspects
Designer lighting and clever storage solutions
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Paul Cree is Renovation Consultant of Zennix Pty Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise , doing business in Melbourne.

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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