This kitchen reno has transformed a family’s daily living for the better

This family of six turned a non-functional kitchen and dining area into a space that not only looks great but has transformed their daily living in the best ways possible


In a snapshot

Who lives here? David Kidd (works in banking), Kelley Kidd (stay-at-home mum), twins James and Ruby, Charlotte, and Hugo, plus Dotti the Cavoodle dog.

Where is it? Northcote Point, Auckland.

Lived here for? Six years.

The project

Tell us about the existing kitchen. It looked good but it had very limited storage for a family of six and hardly any usable work surfaces.

What did you do? We removed walls and moved the kitchen over to the other side of the house. A large downstairs bathroom was reduced in size and this space was added to a new larger dining area. Old windows were taken out and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors were added. A new laundry was installed behind double doors in the kitchen and the original lounge got a cavity slider door so that it can be completely shut off from the kitchen if need be. The kitchen space now seems huge in comparison. We can all be making smoothies, coffee and cooking at the same time and we don’t get in each other’s way.



What look were you going for? Classic with a touch of modernity and glamour. We went for white and grey with silver accents and some bright colour to match our painting in the dining area. We always wanted dramatic lights and massive pendants but, at the same time, it’s a family area so it needed to be comfortable. One of my favourite parts is the window seat. We sit here a lot, read, have coffee, and it’s great for the kids as a reading spot – and the dog likes it, too!

DIY details

How long did the reno take? Four and a half months including the work on the other areas.

How did you find the process? We had a great building team, so it was easier than we’d expected. In saying that, we thought we would save money by staying on site most of the time – but in retrospect, we would have been more settled if we’d rented one base, rather than moving between friends and family (which we were very grateful for). We started off with a temporary kitchen set up by the builders in a bedroom. This was helpful but it was challenging making school lunches without bench space. Another unforeseen thing was that we had to kennel our puppy and it ended up being for a long time; that was hard but we had to do it. It’s worth thinking about this aspect if you have pets.


Did you have any professional help? We had a great team of professionals. Initially we had plans drawn up by our architect, Bruce Parker. He suggested adding the pergola and turning the deck into an outdoor room. This has worked really well. Our kitchen designer was Toni Roberts from Kitchen Architect, and she was brilliant at maximising all the available space and designing the flow of the kitchen. She also helped with paint colours, tiling and choosing materials. Our builder was Daniel Harris from Optic Build. He was a great communicator and also project-managed the build for us. We also had a fantastic landscape designer, Laura Cooper from Seed Landscape Design.

Best makeover moment? Seeing the benchtop and cabinetry installed and having family around for bubbles in the new kitchen area.



The whole reno including new kitchen, bathroom, extra toilet, deck, pergola, flooring, laundry, bedroom and landscaping cost $475,000. We invested most in the kitchen area, including a window seat and office nook, which was just under $65,000.

TOTAL: $65,000

Fact file

Cabinetry made by Fluid; Mobile Ceramics ‘Nuance’ tiles, Hansgrohe Focus tap and Blanco Silgranit double sink, all from wholesale suppliers; table, chairs and bar stools from Dawson & Co; pendant lights from Trenzseater; bench-seat squabs and cushions from Cushions Unlimited; red stool/table from Decor outlet store; large white pendant light from ECC Lighting; Royal Doulton plates from Smith and Caugheys.

Words by: Kristina Rapley. Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.

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