A Hamilton kitchen and bathroom renovation for $60,000

A businesswoman’s crash pad in the heart of Hamilton city has been given a fresh and thoroughly modern facelift, all carefully tied together with a repeated marble mosaic tile


Who lives here? Claire Lugton (owner of Lugton’s Real Estate).
Where is it? Hamilton’s CBD.
Lived here for? Three years. Purchased it as a working-week crash pad with my main home being in St Heliers, Auckland.

The project

Goal for kitchen
Modernise the kitchen and get rid of the blue cabinets and cream tiles. Create a modern luxurious look with clean lines and create clever storage solutions and shelving to display books and lovely pieces.
Goal for bathroom
Modernise bathroom and get rid of patterned cream tiles! Have a bigger, more usable vanity with much more hidden storage.
Robin Caudwell, of Designer Cabinets, and I came up with the kitchen look and layout and he built and installed the cabinetry for the kitchen and bathroom. Simon Bell from Bell Builders did all the demolition work and built new framing in the bathroom. Jared Keane from Keanes Tiling did all the tiling. I just project managed!


How would you describe your decorating style?
I love a clean, modern, contemporary look with a touch of luxury. I like using a neutral palette and then accessorising with bold pieces and interesting art. I am currently loving the look of copper and concrete features with white and grey.

DIY details

Describe your kitchen before
It felt very dated and made the apartment feel smaller because of the dominating blue cabinetry.
Describe your bathroom before Again, it felt very dated and closed-in with cream patterned tiles on the floor, a very narrow basin and minimal storage in the vanity. Cream painted walls completed the look.
How did you choose your new look?
I spent a few weeks poring over home magazines, Pinterest and other websites and created a moodboard. My original plan was ‘modern industrial’, but that changed to ‘modern luxurious’ after consulting with Robin. We thought this would make the apartment feel more spacious and potentially wouldn’t date as quickly.

Best lesson learned?

Demolition takes longer than you think. Move out – as opposed to trying to live with no bathroom or kitchen.

And now?
The kitchen looks very sleek and modern with a luxurious feel from the marble mosaic splashback. The colours blend in well with the lounge so it feels like one seamless space. The bathroom is completely tiled in large, rectangular white tiles on the walls with the same marble mosaic tiles used as a feature tile. The shower has a built-in shelf for all of my shampoo, etc, and the vanity has heaps of storage plus there is a custom-made mirrored wall cabinet with hidden storage and small shelves to display perfume and so on.
Worst makeover moment?
When my builder rang and said, “Don’t panic but the fire engines are here.” He had been drilling up all the old tiles in the bathroom (a big and noisy job) and had created a lot of dust, which set off the fire alarm in the building. Luckily, my neighbours in the apartment block didn’t get too annoyed at being evacuated!

Favourite kitchen feature?

The mosaic tiles. I think they make a beautiful feature splashback without being too dramatic.

Top tip?
If you can’t find a vanity or cabinets you want off the shelf, get them made.

Total spend $60,000

Fact File

Kitchen: Tapware and fittings from Mico Plumbing, Hamilton; tiles from Tile Warehouse; appliances from Fisher & Paykel; cabinetry from Designer Cabinets, Hamilton; yellow vase from Republic; toaster from De’Longhi; copper candle holders from For Keeps; copper planter and gold-spotted glasses from Let Liv; yellow and green bowls from Country Road; pink and green canisters from Iko Iko.
Bathroom: Tapware and fittings from Mico Plumbing, Hamilton; tiles from Tile Warehouse; cabinetry (including built-in mirrored cabinet) from Designer Cabinets, Hamilton; towels from Superette.

Words by: Kristina Rapley. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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