The kitchen is the heart of our home, probably yours too! We love cooking and it was the central focus of the design for our open planned living area when we built just over 3 years ago. Keeping in line with the rest of the house, we stuck with straight lines and a minimalist colour palette, and chose function over a perfect Pinterest kitchen. We wanted to make sure the colour scheme suited the rest of the living area and house, so we stuck to a limited number of colours (grey, white, timber and black) so it didn't feel too overwhelming and bring colour into our house with original artwork.
Although, after settling in and getting to know our kitchen over time, we wish the tap and sink were down one end of the kitchen island to allow more bench space, and we wish we had a walk in pantry. I actually dream of a butlers pantry - next time! After a few months, I started to feel that we took our minimalist approach a little too die-hard in the kitchen, and while the matte white square tile is very Scandinavian and a look we were inspired by, it was a simple choice at the time and unfortunately, one I have always regretted. The colour of the grout we ended up choosing was also contentious decision, and I remember battling it out with the tiler at the time; me favouring a dark grey grout and him favouring a light grey grout. In the end I gave up because I was 7 months pregnant and feeling exhausted.
Since having Celeste the day after we went into lockdown, my frustration at the tiles we chose for the splash back started to get to me. We were spending more time in the kitchen, baking and cooking, and I couldn't let the choice of tiles escape me. I started toying with the idea of replacing them with another tile and adding floating shelves so we could bring our kitchen to life with cookbooks, enamelware, terracotta bowls and ceramics. In the end, we decided to see how much it would cost and we worked with We Are Triibe to choose the tiles and Watt Building to arrange the tiler, and to manage the fit-out of the floating shelves. We've been sharing the whole process on Instagram and thanks to you guys, we ended up choosing Kayoborder tiles, which are made in Osaka, Japan. They're available through Academy Tiles. You'll be happy to know we ended up choosing a tough and durable polyblend charcoal grout. Initially the tilers chose a light grey grout, but after seeing it on the wall, I insisted we had to go dark - I did not want to make that mistake again.
So, what did we end up spending? Our initial ballpark budget for the mini renovation was $1,500 as we had no idea how much it would cost. In the end, it cost just over $2,000. This additional cost to our initial budget was totally manageable and in the end, the result was utterly worth it. We love siting on our lounge and admire the view of the kitchen, and wwe always talk about the new tiles when we're cooking. It has taken the kitchen from very plain to very beautiful. And we are beyond thrilled! You can even watch a little video here of how our little renovation came to life.