Design Space: Yolanda O'Neill's kitchen was a 'labour of love' stuff nation gallery

Yolanda Brown with daughters Isabel-Lyla  and Charlie-Kate Brown
CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ

Yolanda Brown with daughters Isabel-Lyla and Charlie-Kate Brown

It all started with a six metre wide blank wall and my partner saying to me: "Can you draw me how you want the kitchen?".

It was music to my ears. I got to work with a pen and paper and made a sketch of my dream kitchen: 6 metres along the back wall of our living room, with floor to ceiling cupboards and plenty of bench space.

My partner, Kyle, built the cupboard shelves out of plywood and coated them in polyurethane.

The doors are MDF primed and painted with Resene Aqua. I wanted to give the kitchen a slight beachy feel as it's just a hop skip and a jump down the road to Huia beach in Auckland.

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Kyle made the benchtops which are polished concrete. They took a few weeks to cure so we had temporary plywood bench tops for a while. The splashback is tin painted with Resene chalkboard paint, which makes it a hit with the kids and handy to write your shopping list.

Yolanda O'Neill's homemade kitchen with concrete benchtops and painted MDF cabinets.
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Yolanda O'Neill's homemade kitchen with concrete benchtops and painted MDF cabinets.

I like to think the bar stools add a diner feel. They were a TradeMe bargain: just $25 each, and only a year old and imported from the United States. They even swivel around.

Have you got a reno project you're proud of? We'd love to hear about it. Send your story, photos or video homed@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

Our kitchen sink was also a steal at $5 on Trade Me.

Yolanda O'Neill in her beachy-blue kitchen.
YOLANDA O'NEILL

Yolanda O'Neill in her beachy-blue kitchen.

The kitchen is named with a custom decal on the wall, after our eldest daughter Charlie: "Charlie's Milk Bar". These decals are great:  they peel straight of the wall without any damage when you are ready to change things out. 

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I designed my kitchen with a huge amount of storage/cupboard space as I spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, baking and doing crafts, as does my three-year-old. She is always using the island bench to play with her playdough and draw and create things. My cupboards are full of cake tins of all shapes and sizes  that I have collected from op shops. I've also got a my vintage Pyrex collection that I use almost every night when I cook dinner.

If you can do things yourself then that's always going to be saving, but you do have to put the time and effort into it. We found this was totally worth it as the kitchen gets so much use. I'm always reminding Kyle how much I love and appreciate our kitchen. It was definitely a labour of love.

The kitchen is a creative hub for the family, right down the the blackboard splashback.
YOLANDA O'NEILL

The kitchen is a creative hub for the family, right down the the blackboard splashback.

 

Yolanda and her partner, Kyle. The couple designed and built their own kitchen.
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Yolanda and her partner, Kyle. The couple designed and built their own kitchen.

The kitchen was named with customized removable decals.
YOLANDA O'NEILL

The kitchen was named with customized removable decals.

 - Homed

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