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Can you really renovate an entire kitchen in two weeks?


Sara Oteri, food presenter and former MasterChef favourite, is about to renovate the kitchen in her stunning loft-style Melbourne abode from start to finish… in the flash of a fortnight.

Chef and food presenter Sara Oteri is set to do the unthinkable: An entire kitchen overhaul in just 14 days.

Most homemakers can expect a kitchen renovation to take anywhere between four and six weeks (excluding the design process), but Sara is here to prove that it can, in fact, be done in a fraction of the time. Or can it?

As she prepares to take on this extreme challenge (that’s right, we’re calling it extreme), Sara’s sharing with us her hopes, wish list and naturally, her concerns.

Sara’s pre-reno kitchen is dysfunctional and in need of a few key updates. Picture: Penny Lane

While her kitchen is by no means outdated aesthetically, the space, Sara says, could do with a few key updates to ensure it better reflects her needs as a food stylist.

“It’s dysfunctional in so many ways; I can’t reach things in the cupboards and the cooktop doesn’t work,” she says, adding that the temperatures in the oven are all wrong.

To correct this, she’s designed a space that will allow for her to prepare a meal using a handful of the burners at any time with appliances that look and function as if they’re high end.

Oh, and ideally she’ll be able to reach inside all the cupboards without having to climb up onto the bench!

Sara opted for a terrazzo tile splashback from Signorino Tile Gallery. Picture: Ross Campbell

Anyone who has ever undergone a renovation can attest to the fact that narrowing down inspiration can be one of the hardest parts in the design process.

In designing her dream kitchen, Sara looked back upon her Pinterest boards to discover trends she’d previously obsessed over – a process which ultimately helped refine the look she wanted to go for.

“According to my pinned images I love peach and emerald green with marble and brass, but my home, and this project, aren’t the types that will allow me to go all out with every colour of the rainbow,” she says.

“Instead, I’m opting for a clean and minimal look with matte black accents and gold finishes to punctuate the space.”

Gold accents add a touch of luxe to the space. Picture: Ross Campbell

Other items on her wish list include a charcoal sink (“something edgy and modern that doesn’t show up scratches”), sexy black appliances, and a custom wine rack as a feature in the space.

And while she’s surprisingly calm about the idea of her kitchen being torn apart and rebuilt in a matter of days, she does have one particular concern about the layout.

“One concern I have is with the size of the kitchen fitting the space. I’m a little worried that the island and extension of the back bench will be too big.”

The new kitchen is as stunning as it is practical. Picture: Ross Campbell

You might think two weeks to achieve all the above is rather optimistic, but Sara’s deadline is well thought out.

When asked why she dedicated only a fortnight to the reno, she explained: “Honestly, because deep down I knew two weeks would probably turn into four.

“I don’t think I know anyone who has done any renovation in less time than allocated, so I’d rather be super tight and if it blows out to four weeks, I can live with that.

“Also, two weeks is a long time to be cooking in your living room and ordering takeaway!”

Sara’s new kitchen is brighter, more modern and a whole lot more functional. Picture: Ross Campbell

When the project is complete, Sara hopes her kitchen will function as wonderfully as it looks.

“I want it to feel effortless, spacious, intuitive, timeless and calming – all the things my previous kitchen wasn’t!”

This article was originally published as Can you really renovate an entire kitchen in two weeks? by and is written by Katie Skelly.

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