Our 1960s House Makeover | Project 1: The Kitchen

Our vision for the Red Hill farm is to build a haven for family, friends and community to gather, learn, share, grow and create—a haven where we embrace the principles of self-sufficiency, permaculture, zero-waste, zero-emissions and regenerative land practices.

The first major project has been a DIY makeover of our 1960s farmhouse.

With a budget of $10,000 and a goal to produce minimal waste following the 10 R’s (rethink, refuse, repair, refurbish, reduce, repurpose, reuse, refill, regift and recycle), it was an ambitious plan.

Our first stop was the kitchen, via Bunnings, our new best friends.

The kitchen in the Real Estate sales brochure.

An overbearing bulk-head attached to the ceiling made the kitchen feel closed-in. The cupboards were covered in a wood-grain-look self-adhesive vinyl (contact), fashionable in the 80s no doubt. And the stone-look linoleum covered who knew what beneath.

We’d considered ripping everything out and replacing it with a flat-pack kitchen from Ikea or Bunnings. However, our budget and vow to follow the 10 R’s made us rethink and refurbish instead.

IRL. The kitchen before we began the makeover.

After taking down the bulkhead, we removed the drawers and cupboard doors and stripped off the contact. It was a painstaking exercise and a heat gun was needed to remove all the glue that remained.

Sadly, the contact was unable to be reused and ended up in landfill. However, the doors to the bulkhead were repurposed by Ric to build a workbench while I’ve used the bulkhead shelving as a bookshelf and nature altar in my workspace.

The bulkhead transformation.

Ric also pulled up the lino and underlying masonite to reveal beautiful unblemished Oak floorboards. The lino went to landfill while the masonite has been stored for reuse.

Ripping up the lino and masonite was tough going but what laid beneath was worth it!

The walls were painted and the cupboards and drawers were given a fresh coat (or three) of white paint inside and out.

After sanding and polishing the floors and replacing the venetian blinds with a roller from DIY Blinds (highly recommended), the kitchen was done! Ric is storing the venetian’s for a future project he has in mind.

Voila! Our kitchen is now complete.

Our kitchen makeover was completed over four weekends. The total cost for refurbishment was around $500 for the paint and the blind. Our landfill contribution was about two small domestic bins worth of lino and contact. (We’re not proud of that but we did our best.) 

We’re very happy to be cooking here now.  Ric’s Famous Mushroom Risotto made with Saffron Milkcap’s and Slippery Jacks harvested on the farm was made right here.

Our next project? Sanding and polishing over 150sqm of floorboards. The worst job in the world! Story coming soon.

With love

Carolyn & Ric