Young couple pull off stunning unique kitchen

Young couple Nina and Dylan Meehan decided to reject the safe all-white kitchen and go against the grain (or rather, embrace it!) when designing for their seventies bungalow in Newcastle NSW.

Together since their teens, the couple, a site foreman and a digital marketing manager, have embarked on their first, but they say definitely not their last, reno together, with newborn Sunnie and dog Tai in tow. And we think the recently completed kitchen is a real showstopper!

Dylan, a chippie for a high end residential building company, has been able to do a lot of the work himself. “It’s an original 70s home which we have come to call That 70s Bungalow,” Nina says. “The bar, which features green wallpapered arches, was a key selling point to us, as it gave the home character and ultimately set the tone for what style and feel the reno would take. Think arches throughout, soft greens and a subtle nod to the 70s.”

Buying the home during the pandemic in October 2020 felt like a risky move at the time, but one they don’t regret. “Ultimately, it was the best decision!”

Nina says when they first saw the home, they knew they’d need to give the original kitchen dining (and adjoining double garage ) a pretty major transformation. “It was always our plan to use the double garage space and create a huge open plan area that added an additional living room, while allowing the new kitchen to extend further than the original floor plan. The original kitchen was also walled in, so making it open plan allowed the space to flow between the zones, making it an entertainer’s delight.” 

The before

Making the space open plan has made the biggest difference, but reframing the roof to allow the ceilings to open up into a raked ceiling was another game changer. “With the bigger canvas to work with, we wanted a kitchen that felt very architectural, while incorporating warmth, drama and texture with the design and selections.” 

Nina loves the new kitchen so much she finds it hard to put into words! “It really is the heart of the home, and spending time baking and cooking with the gentle sun coming through while looking out onto the garden, is really special. 

“I also like that it’s unique, while not being too crazy. I don’t think you’ll have seen a kitchen exactly like it, and the pairing of the Smartstone Onyx Verde splashback that has a touch of green, with the Kami Home Skins travertine tiles, adds just the right amount of texture and contrast, while also reminding me a bit of the beach.”

While they prefer not to disclose the final overall cost, Nina shared that the cabinetry and stone supply and install was around $30,000 for both the kitchen and butler’s pantry/laundry. 

What they used

Kitchen guys: Inovative Interiors Newcastle

Cabinetry: Polytec Prime Oak

Stone splashback: Smartstone Onyx Verde

Benchtops: YDL Misty Dusk

Stonemasons: HP Stone

Feature Tiles: Kami Home Skins Concave Travertine

Flooring: Havwoods Rustic Ryde

Large handles: Momo Sola Half Round Handles 160mm from The Blue Space

Small handles: Carlisle Pull Brass 76mm from Lo & Co

Pull-out mixer: Abi Interiors

Double sink: White Ontario Double Sink from The Build

Electrical: Telford Electrical

Lighting: Beacon Lighting 

Plasterers: Rathborne

Plumber: Cannplumb

Architect: Riz Design Office

Paint: Tint Paint in So Fresh So Clean

Integrated fridges: 2 x Artusi 70cm 350L Integrated Fridge AINT7000

Integrated dishwasher: Bosch 60cm Fully Integrated Dishwasher SMV4HTX01

Oven: Haier 90cm Multifunction Oven Black HWO90S10EX

Stove top: Haier 90cm Induction Cooktop HCI905FTB

Rangehood: Westinghouse 86cm Integrated Rangehood WRI824B


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