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The Norsu kitchen reno achieves chic on a budget


The ladies from Norsu are back for their second epic house renovation, and we’ve come along for the ride as they transform a retro two-bedder into a luxe four-bedroom family home with pool

Nat and the Norsu team connected with homeowners Trent and Amy over a glass of red one night and their renovation plans. The Melbourne couple were looking to create their dream home on a modestly-sized urban block, perfect for raising their young daughters.

The kitchen wish-list included a huge island bench and a butler’s pantry. Picture: Ross Campbell

Being a family that loves entertaining Trent and Amy wanted a lot from their kitchen space including a huge island bench and a butler’s pantry, all while keeping it under a strict budget. While it might sound like a lot to ask, Nat, who helps run Melbourne homeware store Norsu, revelled in the challenge, opting for chic-yet-budget-friendly tiles and surfaces:

“Luxe doesn’t need to be expensive! You just need a splash of creativity to achieve the desired look. In this kitchen, most of our budget was reserved for the stone required to create the extensive 4.5m long island bench,” Nat explains.

With the island bench taking up most of the budget, the rest of the kitchen needed to be luxe but affordable. Picture: Ross Campbell

“When it came to the splashback, funds were extremely limited. We opted for an affordable ceramic tile – there were no funds for marble – that was laid in an interesting and eye-catching pattern, and we were daring with our grout colour choice (a dark grey).

“We installed matt white herringbone tiles – classic and stylish – with contrasting grey grout to tonally match the concrete bench top. Costing less than $500, this was certainly one of our biggest renovation wins!”

The herringbone tile pattern on the splashback was a win for the whole renovation. Picture: Ross Campbell

Proof that when you’re working with a smaller block like this one it pays to have a passionate and dedicated project manager who knows how to magically create space, Nat also knows how hard a family kitchen works and helped this family install hardwearing Godfrey Hirst Oak Elegance timber floors (in the colour Coastal Oak) and considered storage systems.

“While we wanted to create a family kitchen that was jam-packed with warmth, we also wanted the design to be clean, minimal and streamlined. To achieve this goal, we went for handless cabinetry including large highly functional storage drawers.

Installing quality fittings like hardwearing floors is crucial for a family kitchen. Picture: Ross Campbell

“To ensure we didn’t break the aesthetically pleasing clean lines, we integrated all of the appliances. The double sized fridge/freezer could be mistaken for a pantry and the dishwasher is neatly hidden away out of sight. Remember your appliances serve an important purpose but they’re not always your best design asset!

“Our primary goal for this home renovation was to maximise every inch of space on the small block in order to create a generously sized abundant home. With this in mind, we certainly couldn’t overlook the ‘dead space’ located under the staircase.

The butler’s pantry was created out of the bonus space under the stairs. Picture: Ross Campbell

“Situated conveniently nearby the kitchen it made the perfect stylish butler’s pantry. Trent and Amy are huge entertainers so this area is perfect for preparing meals, hiding the dirty dishes and as extra storage – let’s face it, we all need this!”

This article was originally published as The Norsu kitchen reno achieves chic on a budget by

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