Saturday, July 24, 2010


Our original kitchen colours just haven't been sitting right with me.  It's so hard to choose all your internal and external house colours a year or so before they're even put into the house.  So, lots of research and online kitchen designing has been going on this week and I'm pleased to say we've changed our colours and are now happy with our choices.  Our last kitchen I think would have been on the dark side which really isn't what we are after!

So here is what we've picked!  The mosaic tiles will be our splash back and it's a little hard to tell from the picture but there is brushed silver, white glass and a latte coloured natural stone which ties all the colours of the kitchen in perfectly (polar white cupboards, stainless steel appliances and latte coloured bench top).  Plus we thought it would add a bit of interest in the kitchen over all. 

We've chosen stipple seal laminex for our bench tops, polar white for cupboards / drawers and Alaskan for the back of the Island Bench.  Waiting on some quotes but if they come in ok, we'll go the polyurathane cupboards etc instead of polar white.

ETA: polyurathane ended up about triple the price through this particular company.....ummmm, no thanks.

I know it's a bit hard to see but here's our kitchen design (sorry it's a bit blurry).  

There are 4 rear opening storage cupboards on back of island, 3 pot drawers on either side of oven, 900mm freestanding oven and overhead cupboards with downlights shining down on bench.

In the pantry I have added an extra shelf so in total there will be 5 melamine shelves all the way around (wanted to maximise space) and you might notice at the front of WIP I have asked them to leave a handy space to hang a broom, mop etc for quick clean ups.  We'll also be housing our microwave, kettle & toaster in the WIP, you can see where I've put the arrow, so there is going to be a powerpoint there. 

The following pic is an example of the rear opening 'touch' cupboards we'll be having and the downlights under the overhead cupboards.

And here's what the cupboard looks like closed.  Love!

This is the Dorf Vege Sprayer tap we chose.  As the name suggests the tap extends out to act as a......wait for it.......vege sprayer!  I love the really tall dramatic looking taps but our sink is facing into the family room and I didn't want it to stand out too much.

This is the 900mm freestanding Technika oven we upgraded to.  As far as reviews go, not the best out there but it was only about $700 to upgrade so we were happy with that.  That's a drawer underneath the oven too, handy for baking trays.

And lastly, here's a computerised idea of all the colours together (for the life of me I cannot remember the software we used but google free kitchen design software and something will show up for you.

Very rough but it helps to give an idea... 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Electrical & Flooring Selection

We had our final selections yesterday for electricals and then tiles & flooring with Di Lorenzo.  Ended up being 6.5 hours in total which we weren't banking on!  However apart from some final amendments and of course waiting for a couple of new quotes, we are pretty much done!!  Yay!!  It has been fun choosing everything but I will be happy when there are no more decisions to make.


So, starting with our electricals we sat down with Craig at Home Options and he was great.  Nothing was too much trouble and he was really helpful.  I had a rough figure of $2000 in mind for extra electricals however it ended up being just under $5400!!!  Whoa!

However we have pretty much got everything except downlights as one of our Electrician mates will do that work for us after handover.  Not only do EB charge $107 per downlight which is crazy, but we'd rather give our money to a mate!  So, for our money we got:

  • Powerpoints in every spot that we want them (13 single, 19 double & 5 quads this includes 1 under the eave for future christmas lights and also 1 on the Island Bench in kitchen)
  • Surge protection for the whole house
  • 2 way & 3 way switches in places
  • Stainless Steel Fan Lights in each of the bedrooms
  • Wiring in place for all ceiling lights and future lights set up ready to go
  • 2 Foxtel points which include a phone point & provisions for wall mounted TV's, DVD's etc
  • An extra provision for another wall mounted TV
  • 2 Phone lines
  • Exhaust fan in laundry
  • 3 x heated lamp / lights / exhaust fans for bathrooms
  • Stainless Steel fan to Alfresco
  • 3 Smoke Detectors
  • Door bell
  • Junction Box for future outside lighting
  • Provisions for external sensor lights 
  • 22 Ceiling lights
  • Sensor light to pantry

I think the pricing for most of the above was reasonable except for the door bell.  That cost $257 and you can only choose between about 5 of the daggiest looking doorbells.  Next step up from there are about 3 x the cost (and the rest) for intercoms (we'll do that later with so many other things!) Each light baton cost $58 and each double powerpoint is $63 so it's a little surprising how quickly it all adds up.

Di Lorenzo - Tiles & Flooring

Next we went to Di Lorenzo and felt pretty confident as we'd done a fair bit of homework there before and pretty much knew exactly what flooring we wanted and just needed to make final decisions on bathrooms and splash back for kitchen.  Well 'C' our consultant was crap wasn't overly helpful.  Her favourite phrase of the day was, "yes but it will cost you extra".  Almost wouldn't matter what you asked, that was the answer!

We were told that anything with a yellow sticker is standard for us and even though our tile allowance was $24 psm, if it had a yellow sticker and cost $30 psm, we didn't pay extra however if you choose a tile without a yellow sticker then you pay the difference from $24 upwards. What we didn't know was that if you chose a bathroom floor tile that wasn't exactly 200 x 200 then you pay extra for labour which is an extra $18.50 psm! Wall tiles had to be 300 x 300 but we chose a 400 x 200 with a yellow sticker and that was fine.

Main Bathroom

Bathroom walls will be at 1200mm tile height with a 400 x 200 Gloss White Tile laid horizontally.  Floor tiles will be that tile in middle of the below picture 200 x 200 (this colour is not standard and is already $11 more psm so we couldn't justify going next size up).  The top of the 2 feature tiles shown is natural stone and is going to be on the whole bath wall including on top of bath hub (these will be laid horizontally).  We ummed and ahhhed about these as the feature tile over whole bath is costing around $1700 *cough* however after recovering from our shock we realised that it would be such a beautiful feature and we didn't go overboard with anything else in bathrooms so thought it would be worth it.  Our vanity will be white.

Floor tile DC4133 & Feature tiles VM126

Our ensuites will be reasonably simple, with the same white horizontal 200 x 400 tiles on walls up to 1200mm height and same 200 x 200 floor tiles.  We've decided not to do any feature tiles however we are having the below laminates for our vanities.

Pure Calcite for tops of vanity & Fudge Stream for actual vanity (laid horizontally)

I know the Fudge Stream is a little different however after seeing the following photo's we thought it could be really nice feature if everything else was kept simple.  The one below will be the most similar to ours with different handles and a squareform benchtop.



For our kitchen splash back we chose a beautiful 600 x 600 gloss porcelain tile with same coloured grout.  It will work out around $400 and look like a glass splashback but will be about 1/4 the price of a glass splashback.  Only grout lines will be between tiles as they're the perfect height.

Time Chocolate Polished 600 x 600

The main problem with Di Lorenzo is that a lot of tiles are fixed on the wall and you can't compare one next to the other so we found ourselves going around in circles a lot of the time which was a bit frustrating but hey, we got there in the end.  Apparently as of Monday though, Di Lorenzo will be in a new show room around the corner and will have a library of tiles which you can pick up and move around the show room to compare against each other which will be so much better.

Main Flooring

Moving onto our flooring, Elisa was great (also at Di Lorenzo but in the carpet section).  We decided that we wanted to go with a timber laminate for our main flooring with carpet in Living Room and all Bedrooms (except playroom).  We did have a moment of dread when Elisa mentioned that we'd have to check with EB if we could do this type of flooring as part of the contract but she checked and it was fine.  If money was no object we'd go with beautiful glossy hardwood floors but we just couldn't afford $150 psm so we found a lovely replica which is in actual fact much harder wearing (with kids and pets about) and gives the warmth of a wooden floor.  Our wooden laminate is costing us $55 psm fully laid so works out about $4200 we think - yet to get quote.  We chose a carpet from the standard range which is a 50/50 blend of wool and nylon (I think) and looks nice and will do us till kids are older and we're ready to replace. We did upgrade to the best underlay though which was an extra $7 psm.

Carpet is Savino "Forte" & Timber Laminate is UTF Diamond Tuff "Select Teak"

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