• Katrina Haeusler

Our Budget White Kitchen Makeover!

Updated: Jan 4

Don't you just love a spur of the moment project! If you know me, than you would be surprised to hear that this project was actually my husbands idea. I am sure he regretted the decision many times along the way, but seeing the final result made it worth it.


The kitchen sets the scene for your home! For us, there was an instant shift in the main living area. It feels brighter, fresh and looks as good as new. I love my home and I love coming around the corner every morning and seeing the sun beaming through the kitchen window and bouncing off all the white surfaces.


I have always looked at the kitchen and dream't about the could be's of it. However, I was content in the fact that nothing was going to happen till we did bigger renovations down the track. The only issue that needed addressing now, was the NOT so baby proof low level open shelving. It was from here one thing led to another and the whole kitchen ended up with a new face.


It's easy to get carried away when renovating, which is why sticking to a plan and those spreadsheets is key! With this being a temporary facelift, it HAD TO BE DONE ON A BUDGET. The original budget was 5k but we decided to splash out and replace the mission brown window and window furnishings, which took us closer 6.5k. Replacing the window with the beautiful Ascend range Windline sliding window made all the difference in completing the overall look and of course the beautiful Devon stripe dove roman blind by blinds online.


Step 1 is all about paint

There is no secret that paint does wonders for a quick update. To get the best finish on the cabinets, they needed a good clean and scrub to get years of grease off, a light sand and then 1 coat of a 3 in 1 primer. Finally 3 coats of Dulux White on White in a satin finish. Be sure to use the paint specific for cabinets.


We first planned on using the spray gun but it wasn't cooperating, so I resorted to a brush, roller and a lot of care and patience to apply the paint. They turned out great!!


Sticking to cool based whites, we finished the room off with Dulux Terrace white half on the walls and Vivid white on the trims.


Money saving tip - The biggest money saver in a kitchen is paint. Paint what you can and do it yourself. It's tedious but it's a labour of love after all.



Step 2 getting the doors back on and finding a solution to close the open shelving!

First, cleaning the hinges and get them back on the cupboards and hung!! Getting the cupboards back on was life changing with a moving baby. I could relax again.

To close the low level opening shelving, (which was our pantry) we needed to find some doors. After ringing many kitchen and cabinet makers we could not match the current profile of our old doors, so we went for a flat profile, push to open door. The idea behind using this style of door was for it to appear like a wall as opposed to cupboards. It also meant we saved money on door handles. A company in Newcastle, 'Mister Ply' cut the doors and provided the door hardware. The doors were only $40 each raw. Painting then ourselves was a huge money saver and so easy.

To really give the doors new life, we replaced the old timber handles with black metal ones from Bunnings. Now It's really looking like a new kitchen!!

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Step 3 Appliances

Our existing kitchen was well functioning, apart from not having a home for the microwave. When I design kitchens, I always give careful consideration to every appliance needed by that particular family. A good functioning kitchen has a designated place for everything.

We solved this problem by removing the side by side oven/stove configuration and replaced it with a freestanding black belling freestanding electric cooker and on the other side my husband reconfigured the existing cabinetry to house the microwave.


Step 4 out with old in with the new

Time for our new Laminex Avenza Bianco bench. As old surfaces came out and new ones replaced them, the idea of a finished kitchen was becoming real.

The bench top is in a gloss finish, and mimics the natural stone look so well. Laminex are masters in surface finishes and doesn't cost you an arm and a leg.

We have over 11 metres of bench top to cover, so stone just wasn't an option in the budget. This bench top at this size cost us just $2052 vs an easy $8-10k for stone(budget blown)!


Step 4 Tiling and sink

With the benchtop on, the sink could be dropped in. I bought a beautiful white Arete Stone double sink. Today everything in your kitchen can look beautiful right down to your sink. This beautiful stone sink blends perfectly with the marble look benchtop surrounding it and the goose neck pullout kitchen mixer stand proudly as a feature.


Time for the splashback! I opted for a traditional white subway tile with a wavy uneven edge. I chose a light grey grout for 3 reasons.

1. Tiles featured uneven edges that deserved to standout.

2. To add subtle contrast to the all white kitchen.

3. To pull in my roman blind fabric choice.


Step 5 Timber shelves

With everything in and the finishing line near, there were only 2 jobs left to complete this transformation. The first was some beautiful blackbutt timber shelves supplied by Marshall's Timber to add warmth and texture. Then to further soften the space and the blinding morning sun, I got a traditional roman blind from blinds online.



Starting with the shelves, these quickly became quite a headache for my hubby. But perseverance and persistence paid off because they are exactly what this all white kitchen needed. I love that they provide a space for some styling which really allows this kitchen to tell a story.


While the shelves were being prepared I was receiving fabric samples from blinds online. It was a hard decision but I was determined to have a little fun but not to much fun of course. With this in mind I went for a subtle stripe!


Finally, we were finished!!! We could stand back after months of on and off labour and admire what stood in front of us. Trying really hard to remember to dark and gloomy brown that was their before. This budget kitchen makeover has not only made a huge impact in of course the kitchen zone but the whole house. The kitchen is the heart of the home and sets the tone for the whole house. The house feels so much more cohesive, with a fresh and bright vibe through out.


~ At KH Designed, kitchens are one of our most ask about jobs. They are such an important part of the home and getting an interior designer in on the job, will ensure you end up with a kitchen that is uniquely perfect for you ~







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