Kitchen Renovations

Kitchen revamp: View from abroad

The compact kitchen diner features styles inspired by the owner's overseas travels
decorate kitchen renovateSimon Whitbread

When the owners planned their move back to Australia after six years overseas, giving their Sydney apartment a new look was high on their priority list. They wanted to redesign a few key areas to open up the space and create as much storage as possible, while making it aesthetically beautiful. One such area was the kitchen, formerly a long, narrow run of pale blue melamine units that also incorporated the laundry.


renovate before
Before (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

As the owners were still overseas, they asked interior designer and Home Beautiful regular Victoria Waters to oversee the kitchen transformation and manage the project. The fresh, modern look that was sought has been delivered, with Shaker-style cabinetry painted in the lightest shade of ecru and teamed with snowy Caesarstone benchtops. The cabinetry continues around the window enclosure at a lower height and is topped by a comfy L-shaped banquette to provide a cosy window seat. “The space at the end was narrow, so it was difficult to include a dining area,” explains Victoria. “The bench seating has lift-up lids for storage, and allows for dining or a daybed for a quiet reading spot.” At the opposite end, a wall in Osborne & Little ‘Pompadour Du Barry’ wallpaper completes the picture.


decorate kitchen renovate
(Credit: Simon Whitbread)

The window seat, built by Mark’s Cabinet Making and upholstered in Warwick Fabrics’ ‘Lumiere’ velvet in Sky by Jade Upholstery, is a favourite spot to linger. The bench seats lift up, allowing for extra storage underneath.


The Shaker-style cabinetry throughout the kitchen came from Provincial Kitchens and is finished in 2-pac polyurethane in 10 per cent Dulux Grand Piano, a warm off-white that contrasts with the Caesarstone benchtops in Snow and the glossy tiled splashback, also sourced from Provincial Kitchens. Stainless-steel ‘E2126 Roma’ handles from Kethy Australia are a neat touch, while a pair of undermounted sinks teamed with a single mixer reduce necessities on the benchtop.

kitchen makeover
(Credit: Simon Whitbread)

Interior designer Victoria created more storage by moving the laundry elsewhere in the apartment. Other design tricks, such as installing the oven beneath the hob and incorporating a tea and coffee station within the pantry, free up space on the benchtop.

renovate kitchen
(Credit: Simon Whitbread)

“We chose rich velvet for the bench seat and a wallpaper feature wall,” explains Victoria. “We tied them in by using the same pattern on cushions on the bench seat.” Rachel bought the Osborne & Little ‘Pompadour Du Barry’ wallpaper in Hong Kong, but it is also available from Seneca Textiles. A pair of oversized linen-covered ‘Hampton’ drum pendant lights from Magins add the final flourish.

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