Day 1 of our 2nd kitchen renovation

I had to rename this slightly differently because this is my *cough cough*  2nd kitchen reno in 2 years and I’d like you to read about each on the blog. I do love putting new kitchens in. So there was lots of action and noise was going on here just as I expected. But such a neat job and I think the kitchen floor looked better after they had left than before. OK so here is before. Big brown 70’s kitchen ready to be ripped out

Big empty room after big brown 70’s kitchen has been ripped out.

OK let’s talk flooring. There was some debate on instagram and facebook and I invited it about the flooring. You are mixed in your views, some of you love the floorboards in kitchens. Yes I love the look of floorboards in kitchens. And I love that we found floorboards running throughout the kitchen BUT my floorboards are scratching very easily and are still soft. I am not loving how they look now compared to when they were first done and I don’t trust myself with them in a new kitchen. I decided to go for more of a country kitchen this time around and the tiles I have picked suit it to a tee – think UK Country Style with a big black cooker in the kitchen and little mantle above the oven. That sort of thing.

So look I think there will be 2 camps when the job is done and I’m ok with that. I love the tiles but a little part of me will wonder what if I had run the floorboards right through but based on how they are surviving in the lounge/dining I think I’ve made the right choice.

Day 2, 3 and 4 will see the kitchen floor tiled and day 5 and 6 will be retro daddy painting before he goes back to work. Oh the excitement of watching paint dry and guess what colour we’re doing the walls in. You guessed it, my signature colour – dulux vanilla quake half strength with vivid white trims. You know me too well. No really, you do. When I’m on a good thing I just stick with it. No point messing with a wall colour because I love the grey with the white and I think it will look fabulous.



  1. Wow wat a fab space to work with!! Cant wait to see end result!

  2. Looking forward to seeing the results. I love vanilla quake (since you first mentioned it) and have used it full strength with pale daffodil for our big all purpose (rumpus) room downstairs. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. They did a very neat job of demolition. I was expecting holes in walls with a kitchen that old. Cant wait to see the daily progress

  4. Wow! Look how big that space is now. I can’t wait to see the stove you’ve chosen, it sounds gorgeous.

  5. Okay – the pragmatic part of me has to ask… Where are you cooking, washing up etc.

  6. Great blank canvas and the demo guys left it quite neat! Roll on the next stage!

  7. We had the opposite problem when doing up our 70s kitchen. We had ripped up the carpet and found lovely floorboards throughout the house, except that the kitchen and adjoining family room had vinyl covering there’s. We thought it would be easy to just rip out the vinyl and polish the boards. Not so, whatever had been used to secure the vinyl was impossible to fully remove. We had to abandon the floorboards idea and very quickly find a flooring alternative. We ended up going for a patterned cork which looked beautiful (this was about 15 years ago). I’d definitely go for tiles now if I had the choice.

  8. Very exciting!! I loooove a good reno and look forward to watching your new kitchen grow!! x

  9. wow, you are brave to tackle it for a second time, but I am sure it will be perfect, can’t wait to see it.

  10. I especially enjoyed your last kitchen reno. The ups and the downs, keeping it real Retro Mummy and not glossing over the important details and the like.
    Looking forward to seeing this one come together because your kitchen Pinterest board looks much like mine 😉

  11. Very Retro!!! Can’t wait to watch the beautiful transformation. Maybe if there’s any demolition left, someone could give you a Sledge Hammer to break something let off some steam from the Internet trouble.

  12. liveseygirl says:

    Hope it all goes smoothly. You remind me of my Mum. She always paints her whole house white so she can switch up the accent colours and accessories when she gets bored. As you say if you like it then stick with it x

  13. ooohhh… I am LOVING the start of this. I’ll be sure to check in each day for a reno update!

    Can I ask a few questions about your floors? We are on the cusp of sanding, staining and polishing 300 sqm in our downstairs…. someone already warned me not to go dark and I just silently ignored them (such is my commitment to Hamptons style!). However your comments have made me worried again that maybe it really isn’t the best choice.

    -did you have a high gloss applied?
    -can you see a variation in the colour? or is it just surface scratches?
    -do you have much sand etc. coming in from outside?

    Any advice for someone in my situation?! Today I started to wonder if I still go ahead but invest in a full length hall runner so that the busiest area is at least protected.


  14. Or would you recommend not staining? I do love the contrast between dark wood floors and white white stairs / skirting boards though!

  15. Oh this is so exciting to watch!!! My husband recently laid tiles in my kitchen – previously we had floorboards and they initially looked fabulous, but after just a few months they didn’t look so good – and I didn’t have so many little people running around (my two daughters were teenagers when the floorboards were first put down), and it was soon to be a huge regret – they had not been a cheap option, and my husband had spent a long time making sure they were laid just right….anyway, fast forward a few years, and we now have floor tiles in a rustic colour (we live in the UK countryside so they look perfect!) and I LOVE them!!! They are just so easy to keep clean, and they look great – in fact they look so good, we’ve just floor tiles in the bathroom in off-white and I can’t stop admiring them!!

  16. Corrie HELP! Awhile ago you were talking about your dream oven (was it an aga??) and you mentioned there was a company that imported them privately (slightly lowering the cost). I am desperate for a Rayburn in out new country house and am wondering if you could let me know the whos and whats of the importing process or point me too the post…. thanks so much

    • hi there
      yes! I’ve gone with an esse through pivot and in the end have paid the aussie price. The aga was totally out of budget if you bought here.
      John Lewis will import and do all the paperwork and everything for you on a range of cookers, just go to their website and their international division will quote you
      If you want to import the aga yourself you can do that but it was too much work for me because I’d need my own agent and to organise collection from one of their stores. So you basically you contact an aga store over there and they will have it at the warehouse but there is no warranty, you needed to know exactly which model you wanted and all the responsibility was on me. Definitely check out john lewis if they have one but for me I ended up paying more and going through pivot but they have been fab. I’ve got an entirely electric oven and very excited about it coming to live at my house
      now if you google importing ovens into australia there is a huge thread on whirlpool (a forum) and tonnes have people have done it with appliances like miele etc and they list their contacts and resources

      good luckxxx and let me know if you have any other questions:)

      • Thanks Corrie,
        the Rayburn is the only choice for me (well I do love it) but we are building a totally offgrid country house (less hippie more ecofriendly countrystyle though) and I need the Rayburn for its water heating function as well. But wowsers they are $$$$, so will check it out.

        • Oh I know! the cost is a killer. The esse wasn’t cheap but have a look and see if pivot do them because they do the whole water heating thing. Wow love what you are doing with a house though being eco friendly – I hope you are going to blog the whole journey and if not then you better start one:)

          • Thanks Corrie I have been thinking of starting a blog but, well, I didn’t want to be one of those terribly ‘worthy’ aren’t I fantastic we are all organic, tree changey, environmentally friendly wonderfulness type things if you know what I mean. I love what we do, we will be very close to self sustaining, but its not for everyone. And the some readers who are into that may be a bit dismissive of my addiction to French homewares and my shoe collection :)

          • golden rule of blogging is don’t worry about you think people are saying about you!!!!!! Just do it, such a niche and so much interest in building your home and country dream. I’d do it in heartbeat if I could and I’m a shopper from way back. Do it:)

  17. What a great space! I’m with you on the floorboards; if they’re not holding up as well as you’d like in the other areas than it’s probably best not to put them in the kitchen. The only thing I don’t like about tiles is the grout getting dirty, BUT sealed grout turns the floor into one big tile that is a dream to mop. So I’d recommend getting the grout sealed and it will be happy cleaning days for you!

  18. Corrie, What a fun renovation! I love kitchen redos. Now, Why have you had 2 redos in 2 years? I’d love to know… The tile is terrific. Can’t wait to watch the rest. By the way, I am so sorry for your photo “stealing” fiasco. I was dumbfounded. I am always a little afraid to put my kids pics on twitter, my blog, etc. Now, I’m going to be even more careful. I guess I will think about protecting the photos. It sounds like you did a great job dealing with an unpleasant situation.

  19. I can’t believe you pulled out that gorgeous seventies kitchen. It even has orange surfaces! And you call yourself retro – for shame.

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