Inside a chic kitchen designed and built by a young couple

This cost-conscious couple designed, built and decorated an open-plan kitchen themselves using kitset cupboards



Total spend


Time frame

3 months

What was wrong with your original kitchen?

Sophie Cocks: It received no sunlight, it was very small, the old lino was dated and peeling back, the cupboards wouldn’t close properly and there was very little storage.

How did you solve these problems?

We created an open-plan space that was light, bright and functional. Our aim was to have a modern look that still complemented the era of our home.

What were your priorities for your new kitchen?

We wanted it to feel light, bright, crisp and functional, with lots of storage. We love entertaining and having friends and family over for dinner, so creating a space that worked for guests was a must.

Did you change anything about the layout? Yes, we used a website called Home Styler ( to design a new open-plan layout. Originally it was one small kitchen and an awkward-shaped dining and sitting area.

How did you manage your costs? We got a lot of quotes from kitchen shops and could not believe the prices we were coming home with. At least double, sometimes triple our budget. We knew we could find a much more reasonable price and that’s when we found Kaboodle – it was perfect as we were wanting to do as much as possible ourselves. We did all the labour: plastering, painting, tiling, cabinet-making and installation – even the laminate flooring. Another cost-saver was the laminate benchtop, which gives the look of a stone finish without the cost.

What materials/finishes did you choose and why? HPL Laminate for the benchtop, a grooved cabinet front to tie in with the original kitchen, and a brushed chrome tap from Helix Tapware (amazing pricing and incredible quality).

What do you like best about your new kitchen? It is perfect for entertaining, the sun streams in and there is plenty of storage while still achieving a modern, minimalistic look and feel.

One top tip for kitchen renovators? Have a plan and a budget before you start shopping. Without a clear plan, you can quickly blow your budget with all the beautiful options out there nowadays. And shop around. You can always find better alternatives that fit within your budget.

Key suppliers

Midas Tiles, Kaboodle, Bunnings, Curtain Studio, Helix Tapware

Photography by: Sarah Rowlands.

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