Red Hill | Queenslander Renovation

Q&A with Caitlin about her Family’s Home Makeover with Align Kitchens

After having decided to renovate their charming old Queenslander in Red Hill, Brisbane, we sat down with Caitlin to hear about her family’s experience with Align Kitchen’s interior renovation specialists.

We love the insight Caitlin gave us as there’s nothing quite like hearing about the decisions you may have to face directly from the people who have already faced them. We hope that Caitlin’s story will inspire your own journey into home renovation.

Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge with us Caitlin!

What Caitlin Had To Say

1. The Preparation Stage

How did you know it was time to start the renovation?

We bought our old Queenslander 13 years ago, always intending to renovate it, but we always had other priorities like travel and then kids! Our old kitchen started as charming, then became kind of quirky, then became unbearable. So it was really the need for a new kitchen that pushed us to finally renovate. We also were rapidly outgrowing our house, and lack of storage is always an issue in old Queenslanders too!

How did you come across Align Kitchens?

We live just down the road and drive by every day!

What information did you need to provide Align Kitchens?

I think I had everything pretty much selected when we started working with Align…we had plans, I had colours in mind, I had chosen tiles. So we went over time frames and got into the fun details!

What were your must haves?

The must-haves included 

  • Kitchen: a giant island with nothing on it, storage room and a functional layout
  • Bathroom: a built-in laundry basket
  • Wardrobes: functional mix of drawers, short hanging, long hanging

And we wanted a grooved profile for most of the cabinetry.

  The Challenges

What was the biggest challenge for your renovation project, and how did you overcome that?

Getting through council! Because we are in a character area and on a corner block, there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with council about our plans. Working with a fab town planner helped us navigate that situation and end up with plans that we were really happy with, and that the council was happy to approve.

3.  The Design Phase

How did you decide on the colour and style of the custom made cabinets?

We knew that we wanted a grooved profile to match the existing bead board walls. But I also wanted it to look sleek and modern, so the mix of profiles ended up being perfect. 

Because we don’t have a kitchen table, I wanted the island to feel like a table so that is why we decided to use the wood finish there. And then it made sense to carry that through into other areas of the house. Also, the kitchen opens up to the outdoors, so I wanted to bring the colour of the outdoors in. I wanted a sort of faded eucalyptus or gum tree green. 

When I saw Dulux Light Ceramic on Instagram, it was love at first sight! That set the tone (pun intended) for everything really.

What type of bench top did you choose? What was your priority?

I did want the island to feel like a table so the Natural Halifax Oak wood finish was perfect for that.

For the other benches, I wanted something that was low maintenance with a neutral and natural look, so we went with Smartstone Calacatta Crema. I simply loved how the brown veins felt warm and complimented the wood.

How did you choose your kitchen splashback? What was important to you?

Colour! I wanted a statement!

  Post-Renovation Outlook

How has this renovation improved your lifestyle and the way you have visitors or enjoy the space to yourself?

It has been life changing! Prior to the renovation, we really didn’t have much interaction with the outside (the whole back of the house was essentially a solid wall). So opening it up and being able to enjoy those views has been amazing. 

Also we really didn’t have room for entertaining before. We have already had more people over this week than we had in the previous year! Having that big kitchen leading on the deck is perfect for gatherings. And I love that the living room is separate, so we have different spaces to work with.

If you could give advice to someone thinking about renovating in Brisbane, what would be your top 3 tips?

  1. Go for the biggest deck you can…you will never regret having that outdoor space.
  2. Think about your must-haves, your would-be nice-to-haves, and anything that is a deal breaker.
  3. Instagram (and other social media) can be amazing for inspiration, but it is easy to get carried away! Once I made most selections, I stopped looking as it was making me second guess everything!