A charming kitchen makeover in Massey, Auckland

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Anyone who enjoys cooking knows how essential a well-appointed kitchen is. During this renovation, creating a functional kitchen with modern amenities was a top priority for this Massey homeowner.

Before After
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Ready for a change

Cooking is a passion for semi-retired homeowner Debra. But the tired kitchen in her Massey home had begun to turn that love into labour. The layout was cramped, the storage limited, and the appliances and cabinetry showed signs of age. Debra wanted to take back her kitchen, transforming it into a functional space that she could enjoy again; a space with modern features and an intuitive layout. 
This project wasn’t something she was prepared to DIY, so Debra contacted local Auckland Renovation Consultant Fiona Fairbairn who would guide her through the entire renovation process. Fiona met with Debra to discuss the project; in particular her goals and budget. 

Coming up with ideas

Debra wanted her kitchen renovation to include an improved layout, a modern design, and the replacement of cold, cracked tile flooring but, apart from that, she hadn’t nailed down specifics. Being semi-retired, she was concerned about how to achieve everything without over-investing. 
Taking all of this on board, Fiona produced concept designs illustrating the proposed kitchen layout including such details as fitting selections and flooring materials. Debra was happy with the plans and the $20,000 estimate. 

Expert planning pays off

With plans signed off and the estimate approved, the project was ready to commence; Debra’s only remaining concern was the timeline. She wasn’t in a rush but, considering the kitchen is often the heart of the home and thus a high-traffic area, she wanted the renovation completed on time. Fiona worked diligently to coordinate the contractors’ schedules and delivery of material from Placemakers and Resene to optimise time spent on site. 
When Debra said she wanted to get rid of the tile flooring, Fiona anticipated there to be timber floorboards underneath, as that would be consistent with the rest of the home. Unfortunately, during the early planning stages, they discovered a particle board subfloor. Installing new timber is expensive and was outside of Debra’s budget. Fiona recommended an alternative; a vinyl plank system that mimics the look of high-end tile at a fraction of the cost. Debra was happy to take this suggestion and relieved that Fiona had executed her due diligence prior to construction which saved her a big headache and a costly surprise later on.     
Thanks to Fiona’s foresight with the flooring and expert planning during the build, Debra’s kitchen was finished within the estimated three weeks and to the quoted budget of $20,000.

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An excellent outcome

Debra’s new kitchen looks fantastic. Her original kitchen was saturated with dark tones — black, timber, and terracotta — which made the space feel smaller than it was. Now, the neutral colour palette enhances the reconfigured layout and brings an inviting airiness to the kitchen. The new benchtops made from engineered stone in a gunmetal grey colour, complement the stainless steel appliances, carrying a feeling of continuity throughout the design.
Functionality was a priority during this renovation and the updated layout has achieved that. Debra now has ample bench space and storage which will make her culinary endeavours more enjoyable than ever. Details like under-cabinet lighting, a subway-tiled splashback with black grout, and matte black finishings, have given Debra a truly bespoke design.

Final thoughts

Going with Fiona’s alternative flooring suggestion proved to be a smart decision, both financially and design-wise. The COREtec flooring is a durable, low maintenance, and cost-effective material that will last Debra years to come. Ultimately, Debra wanted a high-quality finish that offered maximum value for her money, and Fiona delivered just that.

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This project was completed in
March 2023
Project description
Kitchen renovation
Auckland Central
New Zealand
Project duration
3 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Surprising floor material under cracked tiles, inconsistent with the rest of the home
Interesting aspects
COREtec flooring solutions
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Fiona Fairbairn is Renovation Consultant of Premino Limited, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in West Auckland.

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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