The $2,000 Kitchen



We are close enough to its completion to report on our $2,000 kitchen. (You may recall our $2,000 bathroom from a post in October.) The image above is an attempt to mimic the masthead of this blog, although that image was taken through the studs of a wall that now is lined with Gib (“sheetrock”). The “after” picture was taken about 1 metre in front of the spot where the “before” was. The image below gives a fuller picture of what this corner now looks like.

The far corner is the north corner of the villa. If you look closely at the masthead above you can see a toilet there in the before picture. Yes, this house was moved here in the 1980s and placed with the toilet in the sunniest, warmest corner. As you may have noticed, toilets usually do not have very many windows, and so the villa remained cold on sunny, winter days. No longer. This corner is now bathed in sunlight in both winter and summer. There is so much nice afternoon light and warmth in the winter that we cut a double doorway into the lounge that had previously only received morning sun.
A reverse angle of the first images now looks like this.

What you’ll notice (aside from our trashed floors) is that we have two ranges side-by-side. Interestingly, they are both made by Shacklock, but that is where the similarities end. These two are just part of a greater system for cooking and heating that includes a solar cooker, an outdoor pizza oven and a rocket stove. We expect to use the electric range for less than 10% of our total cooking needs on an annual basis. But that is a future post. I’m sure you want to know how we did this for $2,000.
Here is a rough tally:

Bench top, sink and taps: $100 on TradeMe

Cabinets, drawers and timber: Reused

Electric range: $150 on TradeMe

Refrigerator: $50 at Hayward’s Auctions

Butcher block: $25 on TradeMe

Hutch: $150 at Hayward’s Auctions

Coal range: $250 on TradeMe

Coal range installation: $700

Pelmets: Reused weatherboards

Grain bins and drawers: $35 at Hayward’s Auctions

Plumbing: $550

Light fixtures: $50 at Hayward’s Auctions

Total: $2025

*Curtains: Ask the wife

You may also be interested in the choice of colours and curtain fabric. That credit does not go to me, nor does finding these lamps at the auction last month.
It’s not perfect, and the floors need to be redone, but it is a far sight better than what it was, and on a shoestring budget with a tiny ecological footprint. Ironically, our bathroom and kitchen combined come in at a price equal to or lower than 3 other items on our tally of expenses:
Solar hot water: $4,000
Insulation: $4,000
New Roof: $5,000
There are no hard set rules for eco-thrifty renovation, but these numbers should indicate where the priorities for expenditures might be.
Peace, Estwing