My Renovation – Christmas Update

Christmas has come and gone, New Year’s Eve a few days away and where am I on the renovation? Exactly where I wanted to be! It’s not often that can be said about a project of this size. I am almost afraid to tempt fate by admitting it, but so far, so good, with everything on track for continuing on after the break.

Product purchases have not always been smooth sailing. I never did find the white marble tiles I wanted, but I have found something even better, wait till you see the photos, that powder room will be amazing! From late November on I was ready to tear my hair out over vendors who would not return calls or emails. What’s wrong with these people, don’t they want to make a sale? But that’s okay, I found other avenues to the products I want and my purchasing is done.

The kitchen is almost complete. It has been functional for several weeks and I’m loving it! Once the new pendant lights arrive, the walls are painted, the mosaic repaired and the floors refinished, it will look as great as it functions. And it really does work so well. There’s nothing like a personalised custom kitchen to ramp up the pleasures of cooking. I highly recommend it to everyone ;-)

And the new deck is finished! We really wanted this for summer, preferably completed before Christmas, but the timing was always going to be touch and go. Waiting for the permit, waiting out the builders’ schedule on other projects, it was mostly fingers crossed on this phase. But the stars aligned and it all came together quickly, with the last nail in place within a day of the break.

My tradies have turned out even better than expected and I couldn’t be happier with my crew. My amazing builder came in under budget and ahead of schedule for both the deck and kitchen. The kitchen cabinets are built with a craftsman’s deft touch to every little detail. Everything works, no annoying leaks anywhere and so far I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing.

Best of all, the whole process has been pretty much painless. With good coordination in the scheduling and lots of follow up, there has been almost no down time. And we had a working kitchen of some sort for all but a handful of days. As project manager as well as client and designer, I will unabashedly take some of the credit. But there is no question that picking the right crew has been the number one key to the success of this project.

Phase 3 begins in less than two weeks. This is the really big part of the project, when my skills at organising will truly be put to the test. Stay tuned.


That walkway is a super idea. What a great way to open up the house by connecting the upstairs kitchen to the yard downstairs by an outdoor route. Great job.

Susan Templer

Thanks Tom! It solved a big issue this house had with access to the existing back deck, which gets all day sun. It also gives a fantastic space for the new bbq, right off the kitchen.


The kitchen looks absolutely fabulous, I love how you have hidden the extractor fan, too many people use exposed stainless steel extractors as a feature (such as the one I inherited in my own home), so much smarter to have it hidden.

I am still keen to have my kitchen renovated if I stay in my house. I have my mothers house on the market now so a lot will depend on how well her sale goes as to whether I stay or move, I do love my little cottage though.


Thanks Lee. When you are ready, I’m happy to come over and throw some ideas around. Also need to post some updated photos! That wall is painted now and looks great. Floors get done next week, new lights in soon. And other parts of the house coming along, so look for some progress photos by next week.

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