Six-week apartment kitchen transformation

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ARTICLE Sharon Stephenson PHOTOGRAPHY Scott Espie

Renovating the kitchen of this Auckland apartment was the “final piece of the jigsaw”, says Robbie Morphew, Renovation consultant of Refresh Renovations.

Peter and Helen Clapshaw, who’ve owned this Parnell apartment for 11 years, agree.

“Over the years we’ve done smaller things, such as replacing the flooring and carpets and painting walls,” says Peter. “But we’ve wanted to change the kitchen for a long time.”

Top of their wish list was a desire to modernise the 80s-style kitchen and make it more user-friendly.

“We wanted to replace a gas hob with an induction cook top and remove an unsightly old range-hood, which was certainly not user-friendly because anyone over 5ft 2 would hit their head on it!”

Dark and gloomy apartment kitchen before renovation.

To align with the rest of the apartment, they also wanted to make the 12sqm space lighter and brighter.

Enter Robbie, along with Renovation consultant Haraish Kumar and project manager Brent Courtney, who received a detailed brief from the clients.

“Both Peter and Helen had done a lot of research and they were clear about what they wanted. They told us they wanted to make the space more useable and accessible, they wanted more storage and basically let in more light,” says Robbie.

The brief also included retaining the existing kitchen footprint and keeping all the key services and appliances in their existing positions.

However, the first thing to go was the bank of wooden cupboards, which line the entry to the kitchen.

“They were dark and didn’t actually provide much storage, as the electrical and heating ducting were stored behind them. We elevated the ducting, which provided more space and replaced the wooden cupboards with custom-made gloss white thermowrap cabinetry.”

The Refresh team also developed an effective solution for the obstructive rangehood, by recessing a Schweigen rangehood into the roof and ‘boxing’ around the ducting and electrics.

The former black granite benchtop was replaced with engineered stone, which lightens the space and is also more practical, withstanding up to 400-degree heat.

Renovated kitchen with white cabinetry, Schweigen rangehood, engineered stone benchtop and green spalshbacks.

To break up the all-white colour scheme and provide some texture and interest, the Clapshaws opted for a coloured splashback on the recesses and next to the induction cooktop.

“We asked Helen what her favourite colour was and she said green, so we picked out this Limerick green glass, which really makes the space pop.”

To align with the bank of storage at the entrance of the kitchen, all the units under the sink, including the kitchen island, were also replaced. A key feature, says Robbie, is that all the handles are recessed.

“Not only does this reinforce the clean lines of the space, it also makes it easier for the clients to access the contents.”

The pale wood-look laminate flooring was a more recent addition so, unsurprisingly, the clients were keen to retain it. That did, however, have implications for the new units.

“We had to make the units 60mm wider to cover up the old flooring footprint,” says Brent.

Renovated kitchen in apartment with updated appliances.

The previous dishwasher was removed and replaced with a remote-controlled Fisher&Paykel double dish drawer unit.

The renovation took around six weeks and, despite a slight manufacturing delay, the project was delivered on time. Peter and his wife admit they are thrilled with the result.

“It has modernised a somewhat tired kitchen and lightened the whole area. The replacement of the old rangehood has also enhanced the view and open feel of the kitchen. I found Refresh Renovations efficient and reliable to deal with and would be happy to use them again.”

The focus of Refresh Renovations is on delivering excellent customer service and value by incorporating design and using world class systems and processes. If you're thinking of renovating or looking for a builder, talk to Refresh at 0800 33 60 33 or enquire online.

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