Sarah takes on her own Kitchen Renovation

The journey from a Designers perspective

A 12 week renovation of Sarah & Ritchies Kitchen, Laundry & Entranceway

Sarah & Ritchie purchased their first home in 2016 after returning from their OE. The 1960’s home captured Sarah’s heart by the beautiful timber floors, the brick fireplace & the trees surrounding the living and dining areas. Sarah is a passionate cook who loves to get in the kitchen and create meals for friends and family. Her business as a kitchen designer highlighted to her that the kitchen & scullery were not functional for her family, which now includes a toddler.

We had to travel to the laundromat everytime we needed to do washing, and succumbed to eat dinner (possibly dominos with a salad), make the baby a bottle and head to bed.

Project Details

Three years prior to the renovation, Sarah had been involved with Kitchen Things where she entered their competition to design an ‘Asian Fusion Kitchen’ for the Auckland Home Show stand. Sarah’s outstanding design won her the opportunity to manufacture the kitchen, which was then exhibited from 2016 to 2018 at the Auckland Home Show.

During the design and manufacture of this kitchen, Sarah spent many of her own hours, travelling from her home in Whangarei to Auckland to firm up finished and design details, plus paying for all of the costs associated with this. Subsequently, after three years when the stand was to be renewed, Kitchen Things offered Sarah to take the Kitchen & purchase the appliances.

Sarah realised to incorporate this kitchen in to her home would be a massive undertaking. So, she worked closely with the local architectural designer, builder and electrician to ensure her renovation would flow as seamless as possible for all of the family. Thus, a new entranceway, kitchen and dining area were created by removing the existing laundry, entranceway and scullery. Sarah, her family & two employees lived and worked amongst the chaos of the renovation for three months. This was a trailing time of frustration, excitement and anticipation. As with most renovations, budgeting can be a challenge.

“Its just like camping” – my husband said 3 days in to our renovation which was going to take 3 months. As a passionate designer who loves the renovation process this was not the case when I set out to renovate my own home in Kamo, Whangarei. I have finally given in to eating takeaways some nights as our kitchen is in the carport, there’s no point doing groceries as our oven is inside and the travelling back and fourth is unbearable. We have found ourselves escaping to the Hockey Clubrooms not wanting to go home and face the mess. We had no light anywhere for 2 weeks, we travelled to the laundromat to do washing and succumbed to just eat dinner, possibly dominos with a salad, give the baby a bottle and all head to bed. On a positive note going through this experience with my own family and on my own home has helped me understand the process more, and helped me understand what my clients go through on every project & their own journeys.”

Sarah kept a close eye on costs, however there were occasions when she stepped over the budge to allow the spaces to be showcase her exceptional eye for creativity and design. The renovation consolidated her already strong relationships with suppliers such as PDL by Schneider Electric, Aalto Paints, Blum Hardware & E-Stone Technology. Some of the interesting and beautiful finishes Sarah included in the design were Laminam toe kicks, Blum servo-drive and laminate splashback.


The Finished Space

It's no surprise  that the kitchen is Sarah’s favourite of the new spaces. She can now connect with family, cook dinner at the hob while entertaining and keep a close eye on her young daughter play in the newly created nook. The bold use of colour & finishes transform the space from its 1960’s roots to a more functional, modern and open play layout with a nod to it's retro past, for family & friends to enjoy.

Photography: Kellie Extance Photography

Let Us Solve Your Problems

Let's be honest - designing and renovating are daunting tasks. Time and time again we see people get bogged down with the intense level of detail required. They often forget huge aspects of the project and blow their budget to smithereens. But we've got you covered - Sarah Burrows Design will take care of you throughout the whole journey of your project.

1. Consultation

We'll chat all about your project to get clear direction, help you create a budget and create a plan for next steps to take.

2. Design

Involved throughout the process, you'll have complete control over even the finest of details. You'll even get photo-realistic renders of what your re-designed space will look like.

3. Installation

There's no need to organise the installation yourself! We know all the best suppliers and tradies, which means we get you the best quality at the best price.