Briar Stanley is the founder of the blog (and corresponding Instagram account) Sunday Collector, Briar’s interior decorating work and life is regularly broadcast to a following that love her fresh coastal style and little family. We are thrilled to have her on board as a contributing blogger for Granite Transformations.
The kitchen is often the heart of the home, and it certainly was in our last house. At the end of last year, we downsized houses (goodbye big backyard) to be able to afford a (smaller) home in the suburb we love that’s closer to the beach.
One thing that we definitely compromised on in the new place was the kitchen. Untouched since it was built in the early 90’s, we decided to live with the relatively compact space before making any updates. To be honest, once moving in – the dated finishes (hello blue benchtop and servery) has been doing my head in. It is completely un-inspiring to stand in, and both my husband and I have been doing barely any of the cooking we have always been used to.
However, on the plus side – it has become apparent that the general layout and internal cupboards are actually in great condition, so we decided to try and find a way to overhaul the space on a budget, whilst still making an impact. I originally started to explore the budget direction of painting the cabinets and benchtops…I knew that would only be a short-term solution though. It was fate that I drove past the Granite Transformations showroom in Brookvale the following day. I originally assumed they were just another kitchen manufacturer, but was then taken through the process of what the company is also able to do with existing kitchens and I immediately felt optimistic with the concept of a cost-effective make-over – while avoiding a big demolition that would disrupt our home life too much. I was immediately sold.
The first stage of the process involved a no-obligation quote that took place in our home the next week with the lovely designer, Vicki. I was thrilled when she confirmed our kitchen was in great condition for new granite benchtops and replacement cabinet fronts. During the site meeting, Vicki also came up with a great idea that I didn’t think would be possible – she suggested we knock out the servery counter and extend the bench to the one level, which will create a little breakfast bench – perfect for feeding time at the zoo!
Once the quote was approved, next, came the fun part – finalising the new finishes and colours. I’ve said this before, but I often find it so much harder to make selections for my own projects compared to when I’m working for a client. I blame it on being around so many choices all the time. I headed back into the showroom to see more options in real life and was really impressed with the extensive on-trend colour range available and jumped from choosing different bench surfaces. I loved the Carrara marble finish (this can be used to re-surface bathroom walls and floors too and it looks fantastic – check it out in the showroom), but then also found the Polar Ice to be a nice bright white, before finally settling on the bolder direction of a terrazzo look with ‘Terra Chiara’.
I love the apricot, brown and black flecks in Terra Chiara, which will add lovely warmth to the space. I then considered the different door profiles available and settled on a polyurethane classic shaker door, that I have ordered in Dulux Lexicon Quarter (the same white we have already painted the walls of our home). I have been really conscious of choosing a fairly neutral door profile and colour, as I know I’m going to have fun with the bench, splashback tile and door hardware.
After going back and forth with a range of tile selections, I have ordered a soft sage green handmade subway, which will create a coastal and eclectic vibe.
As we had the luxury of time to ‘live’ with the kitchen in the original state, I made sure to pull together a list of updates that have become our ultimate wish list, which includes:
- Pull out drawer bin/s (I can’t wait to get rid of the smelly bin that I bang into every time I enter the kitchen)
- New sink (that takes up less bench space than the existing one) and mixer tap
- Wall installed microwave, positioned above a new 60cm oven
- New gas burner stove
- New pot drawers (soft closing will be a major plus)!
So, it’s all systems go for installation! I can’t wait for the day. It’s all locked and loaded for the end of the month and I’ve been informed it will be around 5 days of work with the one installer. The benchtops are being cut to size in the workshop at the moment and they will be simply fitted into place and bonded directly on to our old benchtops. There’s no need to remove the old surface – which is what makes Granite Transformations so unique!
Here we are, prepping for installation day early – getting rid of those very old and cemented splashback tiles. Exciting time for us, and the kids! At the end of the day, it’s still going to be a smallish kitchen – but I’m completely confident that with contemporary new surfaces, and the contemporary additions such as the bin and pot drawers – it’s going to be one transformed and very sweet space! I can’t wait to take you through the whole process.
See you back here soon!