A 1920s bungalow kitchen has balanced modern living with heritage style

A modest reno to their near-original 1920s bungalow kitchen has made daily life a little bit easier for this modern family


Scott Cassidy, owner of Cassidy & Co, Nerissa Cassidy, marketing project manager, Hamish, 10, Max, 8, plus Maggie the miniature poodle and Katie the cat.

A 1920s bungalow kitchen has balanced modern living with heritage style

What style were you going for with the makeover?
We wanted to keep the heritage style, so had the cupboard doors and drawers made to match the tongue and groove walls. We wanted better use of very limited space.

Describe the process.
With just one bench unit, the makeover was pretty small and simple. We left the rest of the kitchen in its original state, with walk-in pantry and food/meat safe, as the space is still very practical and had buckets of charm. Scott and I redesigned the bench with drawers, dishwasher, large sink and oven/hob.

Any major disasters?
No, but renovating a 100-year-old house has its challenges. The walls aren’t square and there was a 17mm difference in floor height from one end of the bench to the other, so a bit of tweaking was involved.

The results 

What did you want to achieve?
A modest update to include drawers, dishwasher and built-in oven with hob. We were after a practical short-term solution within the confines of the existing footprint but something that is functional for modern family living.

How does the new kitchen work for you?
It’s a great little space. You have to be very tidy when you have a small kitchen – clean as you go!


What was your budget?
We didn’t set a strict budget but stuck to just what we needed in terms of functionality and brief.

What did you splurge on?
We splurged on the light switches. Heritage switches are expensive – about $40 each, but we are committed to maintaining some of the wonderful original features of this beautiful 100-year-old bungalow, and we love the design of them.

What did you save on?
Being in the construction industry, we utilised tradies we work with all the time. Scott is also a builder so he installed the kitchen which saved us money.

Total: $12,000

Fact file

Cabinets and custom-made benchtop in stainless steel by Distinction Joinery. Kitchen carcass is Formica on ply. The door and drawer fronts are MDF finished with a two-pot lacquer. Tiles from Tile Space. Tapware from Plumbline outlet store. Hardware from Mardeco. Oven, induction cooktop and dishwasher from Fisher & Paykel. Walls in Resene ‘Quarter Biscotti’. Trim in Resene ‘Quarter Pearl Lusta’. Flooring is original wood floorboards.

Words by: Fiona Ralph and Alex Scott. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

Home experts are just a click away