Meet you in the kitchen
Chalking up her tenth home renovation, interior designer Penny Dunn knew exactly how she wanted to reinvent the dark and dreary kitchen in her latest house. Veterans now in doing up homes, Penny and her husband Chris’s renovating process starts with a kind of formula. “We just look at each home for its strengths and decide how we can bring out the best in it by taking advantage of light and living,” Penny says. Their home in Sydney’s trendy North Bondi, shared with their two teenage daughters, had been rebuilt in 2001 but nonetheless was falling apart at the seams. They started again from scratch, and this time Penny took on the role of project manager. “What a learning curve!” she says. If the kitchen is anything to go by she’s earned top honours – it’s handsome, supremely functional and has just the right amount of quirkiness.
WORKING ON IT
To get the ball rolling on the renovation, they painted the walls and sent all the existing cupboards to a panelbeater for a two-pack polyurethane finish in off-white to match the walls. “I love cooking and spend a huge amount of time in my kitchen so I wanted it to be light,” Penny says. “I believe you paint neutral and put your colour in through your furniture and decorative pieces.” The room had three different benchtops and they replaced the two smaller ones with CaesarStone. As well, they coordinated the splashbacks and underbench backboards to reflect a matt silver, which creates a flow when you’re viewing the kitchen and outdoor area from the second lounge room. Finally they polished the floorboards and replaced the sliding doors with floor-to-ceiling bi-folds. “I designed everything myself and found all my own tradesmen to accomplish what I needed,” she explains of the process. “I had Corey Hastings of Interline Carpentry on board and he is a hugely talented carpenter/builder I’m happy to recommend as he was amazing!” As for the cute blackboard feature that everyone loves to read or add to, it was inspired by Penny’s artist friend Claire Stening who painted the little sardine picture that’s stuck to it. “I make her sign it every time she visits,” Penny says.
The lovely outlook from the kitchen comprises the outdoor ‘room’ complete with comfy lounge, lap pool and the paved area on a lower level that’s broken up with mondo grass. “We open the huge bi-fold doors most mornings and say hello to our host of animals!” Penny says. The breezy layout is backed up by convenience at every turn as she was adamant the kitchen be low maintenance from the get-go. “I hate hard! Everything is an even surface so no nooks and crannies; I always avoid them when I’m asked to redo someone’s kitchen as I love practical. The silver splashback has been great for us too,” she adds, “it shows no grease and blends in rather than being a statement.” All the easy-clean surfaces mean the kitchen’s in ship-shape order in a flash, which is just as well as guests seem to make a beeline for it. “Don’t they say the party is always in the kitchen?” Penny smiles.
CABINETRY – Repainted with a twopack off-white finish
STOVE AND RANGEHOOD – Ilve
DISHWASHER – Bosch
BENCHTOPS – CaesarStone ‘Arctic’
TAPWARE – Caroma
SPLASHBACK – Metallic silver
FLOORING – Spotted gum
CHALKBOARD – Porter’s Paints Chocolate Chalkboard Paint
STORY ZOE LIDDY PHOTOGRAPHY TONY POTTER STYLING KIRSTIN RANDL-KATALINIC