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January 21, 2014 / diannegray

Building your own kitchen – RUC style

Last year I moved an old house to the farm. It was once a Rugby Union Club, hence I aptly named it the RUC (because I couldn’t think of another name I’m so creative). The RUC is over 100 years old and because it had been vacant for about 8 years (apart from squatters who must have played with guns because they left some lovely bullet holes around the place) it required a lot of work.

I’ve put a few pictures below of the kitchen in case any of you are thinking of building your own (yes – I know you want to, it’s so much work fun!). It still needs a final coat of paint and the skirting boards but it’s very functional.

Kitchen before

BEFORE – Sorry it’s a little dark. This must have reflected my mood at the time, knowing how much work fun was involved.

I bought the flat-pack draws, cupboards, bench tops, paint, sink, fixings, wood and flooring from Bunnings (they smile every time I walk into the place).

AFTER - taken from the same angle. The glass in the windows is green but that didn't show up in the shot

AFTER – taken from the same angle looking out onto my writer’s nook. The glass in the windows is green but it doesn’t show up in the shot

I put tongue and groove wood on the walls and ceiling and used an old hutch for my pantry.

An old hutch I found at the dump and brought back to life

An old hutch I found at the dump and brought back to life

I found the hutch at the buy-back shop at the local dump. I didn’t get a before picture of it (give myself a stiff uppercut) so you’ll have to use your imagination – it’s was just untreated pine. I removed the glass and replaced it with the same glass that is in my windows. I painted it antique white. In the back of the shed under a load of dust and mud I found some old blue tiles (I’ve always wanted to be an archaeologist) so I cleaned them and grouted them onto the top and back and put one each in the doors.

A close-up of the glass and old tiles - they came up a treat!

A close-up of the glass and old tiles – they came up a treat!

Because this place used to be an old club it still has the original bar. This bar is set above my work bench so I actually have two work benches together (space man!)

A view from the lounge room which also features the bar (where I sat last night and enjoyed a glass of champagne!

A view from the lounge room which also features the bar (where I sat last night enjoying a glass of champagne after I took this shot!)

It was a lot of work – but well worth the blood, sweat and tears.

If you’re ever thinking of building your own kitchen I have a load of tips to make things a little easier.


Leave a Comment
  1. Polysyllabic Profundities / Jan 21 2014 12:02 pm

    Wow….it looks stunning!! Great job. 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 12:15 pm

      It’s been a job and a half – but worth every minute of it. I’m not normally a ‘kitchen’ person (cooking etc.) but this gives me inspiration!


  2. Theo Fenraven / Jan 21 2014 12:07 pm

    Beautiful. You guys are doing a wonderful job on the place.


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 12:17 pm

      Thanks so much, Theo. It’s probably the hardest room in the house to build (I think the bathroom comes second) – but it shouldn’t need any more work for about 20 years! 😉


  3. Carrie Rubin / Jan 21 2014 12:13 pm

    Oh my goodness, I’m in love with that kitchen! I always love looking at homes, both new ones and those that have been renovated. You’ve done wonders with it. And that hutch is fantastic. So creative to use the blue tiles. So, when can I move in? 😉


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 12:22 pm

      YAY – I’d love you to move in, Carrie! I’m building your bedroom as we speak 😉

      This kitchen is an absolute pleasure to use. I love the ‘galley’ style because everything is in arms reach and I’ve never had so much bench space. I was stunned with the success of the hutch – it’s amazing the difference a bit of paint and a few tiles can make.

      I’m also obsessed with floors because every house I’ve ever lived in has had a crappy floor. The floor in this place is so beautiful that I’ve decided to invest on one of those robot vacuum cleaners (or maybe I just hate sweeping) 😉


      • Carrie Rubin / Jan 21 2014 9:18 pm

        A robot vacuum cleaner? I’d love to hear about how well those work. Sounds like a future blog post for you. 🙂


  4. Photos With Finesse / Jan 21 2014 12:26 pm

    I’d love to cook in that kitchen. Love the continuous counterspace! So nice to see an update! I’ve been wondering. 😀 (As for the robot vacuums, I have a friend with 3 cats who swears by them – she has one on each level of her home.)


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 12:53 pm

      My photos don’t really do this justice, Suzan (I needed you here to take the pics) 😉

      The bench space is amazing – I could probably plate up about 20 dinners at once (not that I’d want to) LOL

      I’m sold on the robot vacuum. My friend has two small, hairy dogs and she puts hers on in the morning when she goes to work. No sweeping – YAY! 😀


  5. nrhatch / Jan 21 2014 12:32 pm

    That is gorgeous! And love what you did with the hutch. I can see the green in the window in the 2nd photo ~ just a hint at the bottom right of the shot.


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 1:00 pm

      I just love recycling old things, Nancy. I figure ‘why buy something when I’ve already got something similar’? I also thought it suited the federation style of the house (didn’t know that when I bought it because that was pre-RUC years). It was just sitting in the shed looking a bit old and worn for a long time 😉

      The green glass is beautiful but the light was all wrong when I took the shot (and I’m not known for my savvy photography skills!) 😀


  6. bodhisattvaintraining / Jan 21 2014 12:36 pm

    It’s absolutely gorgeous Dianne! 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 1:01 pm

      So glad you like it 😉 I thought for a while it really wasn’t worth it but decided to soldier on! 😉


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 1:10 pm

      I tried to send you that tape, but it’s too big for gmail. I’ll find out the lady’s name and get that to you 😉


  7. Lonely Daffodil / Jan 21 2014 12:49 pm

    Wow! Lovely kitchen 🙂


  8. JackieP / Jan 21 2014 1:06 pm

    You’re hired! haha! Now come do my house! You’ve done fantastic work! Love the kitchen and hutch. 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 1:12 pm

      LOL – I don’t know if I’d ever want to do it again 😉

      The great thing about doing it yourself is that you can change plans as you go along 😉 I made many changes as I saw it coming together 😀


  9. Ruth Rainwater / Jan 21 2014 1:56 pm

    It looks fantastic – well done! I love the tiles on the hutch – great idea.


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 3:01 pm

      I didn’t know if they’d be okay to use when I found them, Ruth – but they cleaned up very nicely 😉


  10. EllaDee / Jan 21 2014 2:41 pm

    The RUC must love its reincarnation back to a private home. It’s lovely to see what you have done. I love white kitchens, and the idea of having a bar to relax at for a drink appeals to me – a familiar environment some would say 😉
    Good job on the hutch – I have space-need for a pantry/kitchen cupboad/armoire, and you’ve given me yet another idea – I know the right one will turn up.
    I also love the glimpse of your view and that the interior is very much open to it.
    Great timing for the post – I was drowning in Excel spreadsheets – just the respite I needed 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 21 2014 3:07 pm

      The last place I was living in had a huge pantry and I could never find anything 😦 I liked the idea of a smaller pantry so I can see everything when I open it (plus it has the cupboards underneath for the big things like oil and potatoes etc) 😉
      White is a good colour to go with because it matches everything (the walls are actually Spanish Cream but they are very light) and the draws are all antique white as is the hutch.

      I LOVED sitting at the bar last night – reminded me of my younger days LOL.

      I hope you’re not too drowned in Excel spreadsheets – yuck. Sending you virtual hugs xxxxx


  11. Hazy Shades of Me / Jan 21 2014 3:10 pm

    Wonderful. What a happy and bright kitchen! I can imagine it being very satisfying, having done most (if not all) the work yourselves. Happy indulging!


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 4:39 am

      We did do all the work ourselves (apart from the plumbing) and it was very satisfying indeed, Hazy! At the end of a big work day we could sit at the bar and have a wine or beer and take a good look at the work. Hubby is an electrician so that saved a fair bit of money 😉


  12. bulldog / Jan 21 2014 3:27 pm

    I feel a post coming on from the handy woman Dianne Gray.. “How to have fun building a kitchen”…
    Hows the book going or is it published already?
    My first draft is finished but the editing is not going well… I keep rewriting sections and then the very next day rewriting them again… aaaargh… hate it…
    The RUC is really looking good… and I love your kitchen… as for the hutch I’m impressed beyond words… would loved to have seen the before picture (should you have remembered to take one) but then we know you’re busy so all is forgiven… just love the result though…


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 4:55 am

      I’m so glad you like it! You know I love to impress you 😉

      The books are in hiatus at the moment (I’ve got three on the go) because I’ve been working on the house (will this renovation never end?)

      Editing is one of the hardest things to do and I hate it. When I first started writing I would spend months (years) editing, but at some point I realised that there comes a time when you just have to ‘let it go’ or you’ll be editing forever. Are you going to self publish – or do you have a publisher? (I’m only asking this because a publisher will always get you to edit again and this is one of the main reasons why I self publish).


      • bulldog / Jan 22 2014 3:33 pm

        I’m going to self publish.
        My problem is that as it is a book of my growing up years and experiences with the wilds of Africa, it contains a lot of respect for those that taught me the bush craft (my Dad and a Black friend) it is also full of humour, which is where I’m having the problem, its funny to me but will it be funny to others?? and that is what is causing the rewrites… Linda sits and laughs out loud, but she knows all those in the book, I need to source an outsider that can be brutally honest and make suggestions… an old school mate is in the languages game and has said he will do it for me, he needs to make suggestions for rewrites etc… I’m going to have to finish up and send it to him… the only trouble is he’s a Pom (British) and you know they can’t play cricket or rugby and have no sense of humour… but I’m stuck so it will be heading off to him soon.


      • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 6:57 pm

        Haaaaa! I’m sure your pommy friend will do very well. They have a similar sense of humour to the aussies and SA’s – very dry 😀

        Best of luck with it all and above everything – it’s your story with your humour and memories. I really believe it will be great!


      • bulldog / Jan 23 2014 12:29 am

        Thanks Dianne


  13. Jenny Ackland / Jan 21 2014 3:55 pm

    This is wonderful Dianne, so much work but so satisfying. It’s looks terrific. Enjoy that kitchen!


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 4:55 am

      Thank you so much, Jenny – it was all worth it in the end 😀


  14. the eternal traveller / Jan 21 2014 4:58 pm

    It’s hard to believe that it’s the same space. It looks so different and well worth all the effort you’ve put in. Isn’t it fun to have a beautiful new kitchen…will your next post be all about the amazing meals you’ve been preparing in there?


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 4:57 am

      I’ll have to become a ‘foodie’ after I’ve finished my novels! 😀

      So glad you like the kitchen – it was just a stinking mess when we first got the house, there was even a resident snake in the kitchen (long gone now, thank goodness!) 😀


  15. maggiemyklebust / Jan 21 2014 5:15 pm

    You have really brought that old RUC back to life, Diane. The kitchen looks great and I love the hutch! One man’s junk is truly another man’s treasure. 🙂
    This may be a stupid question, but how cold does it get there?


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:04 am

      Thanks so much, Maggie. I’m glad you like it 😉

      We have fairly uniform temperatures throughout the year. Typical daytime min/max temperature ranges are 23C/31C (73F/87F) in mid-summer and 18C/26C (64F/78F) in mid-winter. It’s a lovely climate – the only downside is we can get cyclones which aren’t pleasant at all…


      • maggiemyklebust / Jan 23 2014 5:14 am

        Sitting way up here in the cold north, that sounds divine… except for the cyclones, of course 😉


  16. harulawordsthatserve / Jan 21 2014 5:17 pm

    A really beautiful kitchen Dianne, you are the Queen of hardcore up-cycling – taking something used and abused and turning it into something fit for, well, a Queen:-) The way you describe it, though it was obviously a lot of work, I can feel the fun you had making color choices, glass choices, transforming something into so unrecognizable a new state – you’d never know, each room and item in it has a story – hope you’re really enjoying the fruits of all your hard work now. Hugs, Harula xxx


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:06 am

      Awww – thank you so much, Harula. You know I love bringing old things back to life (I also dislike throwing things away because I’m sure they’ll have a use some day) 😉

      Hugs to you my darling xxx


  17. DaydreamsInWonderland / Jan 21 2014 5:18 pm

    WOW, Dianne! Just wow. You have totally transformed this place! It’s really looking so gorgeous now.


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:10 am

      Transformation is my middle name 😉 (good grief, just as I wrote those words my light globe blew!) that was weird, made me jump LOL 🙂

      I never imagined the kitchen would look that nice – even I’m surprised by the transformation because it’s been so long since I looked at the ‘before’ pic! 😀


      • DaydreamsInWonderland / Jan 22 2014 6:02 am

        Haha! Oh boy, I hate when household things give me a scare. I used to swear this apartment was possessed. The long list of things that have gone wrong here would make anyone cry.

        & P.S. I like the green windows. You can see the glow from them on the countertop. It looks really pretty. 😀


  18. Minuscule Moments / Jan 21 2014 5:27 pm

    Dianne it looks divine, Oh I can dream…..


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:15 am

      Hey Kath – wonderful to see you here 😀 I thought I was following you and just went to check to see that WP has clicked me off. I took a break from blogging last year and now find that a lot of the people I follow I’m not following anymore (if you know what I mean) 😉

      I can’t remember the last time I had a nice kitchen (maybe when I was a child – my mother’s kitchen was lovely) so it’s great to have that much working space, particularly for a messer like me 😉


      • Minuscule Moments / Jan 22 2014 8:02 pm

        The kitchen is divine I live in a pokey old farm house with no bench space. Love a big kitchen Dianne, love your house too.


      • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 9:01 pm

        Awww – thank you my dear 😀


  19. Zen A. / Jan 21 2014 5:56 pm

    Dianne, that looks absolutely gorgeous. You did such amazing work. Definitely look for a career in home renovation and remodeling! And I absolutely love those blue tiles; they’re so pretty!


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:17 am

      Thank you, Zen! I thought the blue tiles may have been too much at first, but they seemed to fit in very well without being overbearing 😉

      My mother-in-law says that if I ever went into home renovation no one could afford me! LOL – I don’t know if this is a compliment or an insult 😉


  20. dearanonymousfriend / Jan 21 2014 6:06 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful! I love everything. The green windows are a great idea and I am a sucker for blue tiles. This is lovely. Thank you for sharing this.


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:20 am

      I’m so glad you like it 😀 I like the colour of the tiles – they’re a really nice blue (you’ll know what I mean by that) 😉 I didn’t think they would go with the green windows at first, but the two compliment each other (thank goodness!) 😉


  21. anotherday2paradise / Jan 21 2014 11:00 pm

    All your efforts have been so worthwhile, Dianne. Love your kitchen, and that hutch is such a charming feature with the pretty blue tiles. I’m sure you’re really enjoying your house, now that you’ve got it just as you want it. Well done to you and hubby. Thanks for sharing the pics. 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:22 am

      Thanks so much, Sylvia 😀 You’ll understand how disruptive renovations can be, but once they’re done it is well worth the effort! 😀


  22. Jill Weatherholt / Jan 22 2014 12:34 am

    Absolutely beautiful, Dianne! Now that’s a kitchen that would make me want to learn to cook! Enjoy!


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:24 am

      Me too, Jill – I’m not renowned for my finesse in the kitchen 😀 I’m getting better now because it’s a pleasure just to be in here 😀


  23. Lynda / Jan 22 2014 12:43 am

    Gorgeous, and I adore what you did to the hutch! BTW, where is your stove? Currently, we are at the gutted stage for our kitchen up at the Mountain Farmlet and planning the reconstruction.

    Did you mention helpful tips, Dianne? 😉


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:31 am

      You’re the only one who has noticed the stove is missing, Lynda 😉 It’s still downstairs. It’s a lovely gas stovetop with electric oven and it will sit in the space next to the hutch. I’m just waiting for ten strong men to carry it upstairs (LOL)

      Best of luck with your renovation and if you need any help I’m always here. The best thing to know is that when you do it yourself you can make changes as you go along. I had so many plans but it’s not until you start filling in the spaces that you realise what works and what doesn’t. I did the floor first, much to hubby’s disgust. If I were to do it again I would do the floor last because it kept getting scratched while we were moving things in and around – but we live and learn 😀


  24. Sheila / Jan 22 2014 12:54 am

    I love the view from the bar in that last one. Your hutch looks like an antique now. That’s so great that you rescued it and the RUC! The writer’s nook is perfect too. I hope you’re enjoying spending lots of time there.


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:34 am

      I’m sitting there right now, Sheila! 😀

      The views are fantastic from most spots in the house and it’s very breezy (which is great in the tropics)

      So glad you like it 😀


  25. mrscarmichael / Jan 22 2014 1:26 am

    What a throughly rewarding result. I am most impressed, Dianne. Only the one glass of champers?


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:35 am

      LOL – um, okay maybe a bottle 😉

      So glad you like it – it was well worth the effort 😀


  26. Jacqui Murray / Jan 22 2014 1:43 am

    That is amazing. I can only imagine how much work it was–probably a lot more than you detailed. We need a kitchen redo, but will probably skip it. I want to move to the Final House so why spend all the time you did on a remodel?


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:41 am

      So true, Jackie. This is the Final House, hence the extra effort. I’m hoping I don’t have to touch that kitchen again for about twenty years (and by that stage I’ll pay someone to redo).

      You’re right about the work – SO many hours went into it that no one else would notice (it took me at least three days to do the floors and I discovered muscles in my glutes I never knew existed!) LOL 😀


  27. cocoaupnorth / Jan 22 2014 1:48 am

    Oh my goodness! look at what you’ve achieved. Stunning Diane, if I was living close by I would invite myself for a cup of tea:-)


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:43 am

      I could make you a lovely cup of tea in this kitchen! We could sit out on the writer’s nook and sip at our tea all day long 😀

      I’m so glad you like it 😉


  28. ocdreader / Jan 22 2014 1:57 am

    That is beautiful! And that hutch is amazing! I love what you found on your archeological digs 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:46 am

      I’ve found a few very nice things – some lovely old jars and biscuit tins and stones in old tobacco tins (which reminds me, I must find out what those stones are!) 😉

      So glad you like it 😀


      • ocdreader / Jan 23 2014 1:10 am

        ooooh, you found someones treasures!! How cool is that!?


  29. Janna G. Noelle / Jan 22 2014 2:12 am

    Dianne, the place is looking great! So much work you’ve done to make it so bright and inviting. I love the melding of modern and old-time country elements. And I love the writing nook, of course. What a paradise in which to create.


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:50 am

      I’ve always wanted a nice kitchen and I guess this is it! The great thing about doing things from scratch is that you can bring dreams to life 😉 The writers nook also doubles as a casual dinner table and it’s not too far to carry the food 😀


  30. Charissa / Jan 22 2014 2:44 am

    Gorgeous! You guys did an awesome job, Dianne. You are talented to bring life back from trash. Good job.


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:53 am

      Thanks so much, Char! I think I could write a novel just about the kitchen with all the ups and downs we had. I’m so glad you like it and it’s wonderful to just sit here now and enjoy it 😀


  31. Letizia / Jan 22 2014 2:59 am

    It looks great! I love the way the windows open up to the outside creating such an airy feel. And I love the paneled ceiling as well. Great job, Dianne!


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 5:57 am

      Thanks, Letizia 😀 I’m so glad you noticed the ceiling because it wasn’t an easy task building that with the tongue and groove wood. The walls were a lot easier (but my arms got very tired and very strong during the ceiling part!)

      Before we started there was only one small window, but I love big windows so I just had to fix some old ones that were lying around in the shed and put them there – it really opens the whole place up 😉


      • Letizia / Jan 22 2014 7:42 am

        How great that you were able to repurpose the windows. I love repurposing objects especially in a house renovation – your new home is really a testament to that.


  32. billyraychitwood1 / Jan 22 2014 5:17 am

    WOW! Awesome kitchen! Pictures show so much – before and after: structural work looked A-1; the cabinets bright and beautifully designed… My kind of kitchen… Is my envy showing? 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 6:03 am

      Showing envy is the highest compliment, Billy Ray. Thank you so much! Hubby will be chuffed because he’s obsessed with structure and strength! We have a bit of a joke around here called ‘ten elephants’ – when hubby builds something I always say ‘okay, stop now – it’s strong enough for ten elephants’! 😀


  33. davidprosser / Jan 22 2014 6:33 am

    Wow, stunning. Well done !
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


  34. Roy McCarthy / Jan 22 2014 7:39 am

    Great to see so much progress since those previous shots Dianne. Your RUC is the inspiration behind my present WIP.


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 6:45 pm

      Oh – I’m so excited! Do tell me more 😀

      The next pics will show the outside of the house – I changed my mind on the handrail and I think it may be a bit of a surprise 😀


  35. T. W. Dittmer / Jan 22 2014 8:46 am

    Nice job! Very nice.


  36. allensrepositoryofstuff / Jan 22 2014 10:29 am

    I definitely have work space envy! Very nicely done!


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 6:47 pm

      Thanks so much, Allen – it was a big job, but worth it all in the end 😀


      • allensrepositoryofstuff / Jan 23 2014 9:44 am

        Doing a remodel yourself is the best way to ensure that you receive the work space that you want. I would have liked to have seen more before pictures.


  37. 4amWriter / Jan 22 2014 10:48 am

    How lovely. I can actually see the reflection of the green windows in your countertops (or, at least I think I can!). I can tell how much work you have put in — but obviously worth the trouble. So beautiful.


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 6:49 pm

      Yes – that is the refection of the green windows. The light was all wrong when I took the shot (I’m not known for my brilliant photography) 😉

      I’m so glad you like it 😀


  38. jmmcdowell / Jan 22 2014 10:50 am

    Wow, what a difference! That kitchen looks fantastic, and your writing nook looks so inviting—which every work space should be. 🙂 Lots of blood, sweat, and tears to be sure, but the feeling of accomplishment must be wonderful!


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 6:50 pm

      It’s just fabulous, JM 😀 The writing nook is an absolute pleasure (I’m sitting here now and the sun has just set) 😀

      There’s nothing better than working hard on something to see that it all pays off – phew, what a job! 😀


  39. Peter / Jan 22 2014 1:16 pm

    What a lovely transformation. Can I call you when we want to remodel the kitchen in our RV?

    A retired photographer looks at life from behind an RV steering wheel.
    Life Unscripted


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 6:52 pm

      I think you’ve done your fair share of remodeling, Peter. I hope the RV is going well and life is good for you 😀


      • Peter / Jan 23 2014 12:28 am

        You Betcha!

        We’re still up here in OR, will prolly be for the next 6 months at least and then who knows what or where.



  40. Rebecca Bradley / Jan 22 2014 8:07 pm

    Omg this is a different place. It is absolutely stunning! You must be so proud and feel so much love. Just beautiful.


    • diannegray / Jan 22 2014 9:02 pm

      Thanks so much, Rebecca! Lovely to see you here. It was a huge job, but well worth the effort 😀


  41. restlessjo / Jan 23 2014 6:03 am

    Wow, it’s looking fabulous! 🙂 No dark and dismal corners now. One day you’ll be able to put your feet up and gloat.


    • diannegray / Jan 23 2014 1:36 pm

      That’s the plan – put my feet up and gloat! 😀 I just love it, it’s so bright and airy and functional – a pleasure to cook in (now I just have to learn how to cook) 😉


  42. 1girl4adamwest / Jan 23 2014 10:52 am

    It does look fabulous!!! Way to go!!!


  43. amb / Jan 23 2014 1:21 pm

    No kidding it was well worth it – everything looks amazing !!! What a wonderful job you did Dianne – congratulations! 😀


    • diannegray / Jan 23 2014 1:40 pm

      Thank you so much, Amb. I’m sitting on the writer’s nook at the moment looking at it (I never thought anything would take me away from the view from the veranda, but the kitchen certainly is!) 😉


  44. Kozo Hattori / Jan 24 2014 3:48 am

    The RUC proves that transformational change is possible for us all, Diane. So beautiful. So unique. The only problem I see is that I would never get to the writing nook. I would spend all my time at that bar and in the beautifully lit kitchen. 🙂
    {{{hugs]}} Kozo


    • diannegray / Jan 25 2014 7:00 am

      I drag my feet the the writer’s nook sometimes, Kozo (I’m there now) 😀

      I love seeing the transformation take place and I don’t realise how much it has transformed until I look at the old pictures and think ‘WOW – it was really bad back then and there was so much work to do!’. But it’s all worth it 😀

      {{{hugs}}} to you, my friend xxx


  45. jannatwrites / Jan 24 2014 6:53 am

    Awesome transformation! I absolutely love what you did with the hutch, with the tiles and the painting. It fits perfectly in the little nook there. Thanks for sharing photos and letting us in on your renovation journey! (Have I mentioned that it’s good to have you back online? 🙂 )


    • diannegray / Jan 25 2014 7:03 am

      Awww – Janna it’s so lovely to be back 😀

      I’m so glad you like the transformation. The hutch is really the showstopper and when people come into the kitchen it just blows them away. It’s amazing how something can change so much with a little paint and some tiles! 😉


  46. agjorgenson / Jan 24 2014 12:43 pm

    Wow,what fun to see the transformation! Congratulations. My wife and I redid our kitchen a few years back. She was the brains, I the brawn. There is a peculiar satisfaction in this sort of project, at least for us. What’s next?


    • diannegray / Jan 25 2014 7:09 am

      This week we’re doing the exterior cladding. It should have been relatively easy, but the clowns we paid to rebuild one of the exterior walls must have been cross-eyed because it’s all over the place and we need to fix it before the cladding goes on 😦

      Having said that – it’s a great project and it’s good to have the brains and the brawn working in unison! 😀


  47. WordsFallFromMyEyes / Jan 24 2014 6:27 pm

    I absolutely love your place. It looks magnificent. That is truly, truly a place to call home.

    I admire you. I really don’t believe I’d be able to do this. Now you sit back & enjoy it 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 25 2014 7:11 am

      I never thought I would be able to do it either, but it’s amazing how far a bit of determination can take us! 😀


  48. bluebee / Jan 25 2014 1:12 pm

    I wouldn’t have a clue where to start! My dad was a carpenter by trade but only ever let me sweep up the sawdust in his shed ( he wasn’t a chauvinist, just probably concerned that I might chop my hand off or something on his machines). Magnificent job 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 26 2014 6:34 am

      That’s so true – I’m not to use the sawing equipment because hubby is worried I’ll lose a finger (or worse). I’m actually very clumsy so he’s probably right. I’m also banned from getting up ladders (okay – so I’ve lost my balance a few times – meh!) and getting up ladders with power tools is also a big no no! LOL. There is certainly an big element of safety involved so I completely understand where your dad was coming from 😀


  49. tw / Jan 26 2014 4:12 am

    You’ve done an amazing job Dianne, it’s absolutely beautiful 🙂


    • diannegray / Jan 26 2014 6:37 am

      Thank you so much! I just love cooking in there (which says a lot because I usually hate cooking) 😉


  50. Tiffany / Jan 26 2014 1:03 pm

    Wow the transformation has been amazing! I can only imagine all the work that went into it but you guys have built a home you can truly be proud of. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the journey. May you guys have an abundance of health and peace in your new home!


    • diannegray / Jan 26 2014 1:09 pm

      Thanks so much, Tiffany. These are absolutely beautiful words 😀


  51. escapingdarkness / Jan 27 2014 3:49 pm

    Wow! It is lovely! Youve done a fabulous job!


  52. roughwighting / Jan 28 2014 12:25 am

    I am in awe. To have the creative imaginative foresight to turn something old like this RUC into an absolutely stunning kitchen with windows and views to match, blows me away. I’m so impressed. More photos sometime, please!


    • diannegray / Jan 28 2014 5:35 am

      More photos on the way soon 😉 We’re just battening down in case this cyclone hits us in the next few days. Once the weather decides to behave itself I’ll be right back into taking pics and writing more blogs 😀


  53. Sheila Morris / Jan 28 2014 8:54 am

    Wow – the RUC is amazing – I can’t believe the transformation!! I know you must be so thrilled to see the finished results from your intensive labors!!

    On another note, I am mystified that I no longer get an emali alert when you post? I have followed your blog for over a year?

    Is there somethin WordPress has done that I’m not aware of??


    • diannegray / Jan 28 2014 12:17 pm

      This has happened to me as well. Sometime people just drop off the face of the blogosphere and then I realise I’m not getting the alerts. It’s a mystery 😉


  54. pommepal / Jan 28 2014 9:44 am

    Absolutely fantastic Dianne, love the colour scheme, so fresh, what with the reno and the books I wonder that you have time to keep in touch with us all. Do you ever sleep??? I can see you applying for the next Block series….

    Good old Bunnings what would we do with out them. Another BIG hardware place called Masters has just opened up on the GC not been to it yet but friends tell me it is going to be a rival for Bunnings and it is air-conditioned and our Bunnings aren’t….

    Hope that cyclone stays well away from you


    • diannegray / Jan 28 2014 12:19 pm

      I have bought some things at Masters – mainly the appliances (fridge, stove, microwave,etc), they are very good indeed 😀

      Sleep – what’s that? LOL. I’m sure I won’t be sleeping well if this cyclone hits later in the week. YIKES! 😦


      • pommepal / Jan 28 2014 4:07 pm

        I’ll be watching the weather forecast and thinking of my friends up north


      • diannegray / Jan 28 2014 5:01 pm

        Thank you so much – I’m keeping a close eye on BOM 😉


  55. Marianne / Jan 30 2014 8:16 am

    Your kitchen looks absolutely amazing Dianne. How clever of you to bring the old hutch back to life.

    So much more rewarding when you have put time and effort into doing it yourself 🙂

    Well done!


    • diannegray / Jan 30 2014 8:20 am

      Thanks so much, Marianne! It was a huge effort but well worth it in the end 😀


  56. Naomi Baltuck / Feb 6 2014 3:48 am

    Gorgeous! You really have to have vision to be able to put together a space like that–the hutch, for example! Great job, great post!


    • diannegray / Feb 6 2014 3:51 am

      Thank you so much, Naomi. I’ve never thought of myself as having vision before, but this house really lends itself to creativity. I just love it! 😀


  57. Britt Skrabanek / Feb 6 2014 4:18 am

    Wowza…awesome, job! I feel like I’ve been along for the journey from start to finish, with less blood, sweat, and tears of course!

    That hutch is so neat. We love snagging vintage furniture, but have never refurbished anything ourselves, though Mr. H has a talent for such things. Tough to do crafty projects like that when you’re in a teeny apartment.

    So happy for you…the RUC looks great!


    • diannegray / Feb 6 2014 4:36 am

      Thank you so much, Britt! With Mr. H’s birthday coming up soon maybe a trip to a vintage furniture shop is in order 😉

      The RUC journey deserves a novel in it’s own right – the ups and downs are far stranger than any fictional story I could think of – so glad you’re here for the journey. It’s certainly not over yet 😎


  58. tchistorygal / Feb 12 2014 12:54 pm

    Dianne, You have done a fantastic job. I can’t imagine being that talented. It looks gorgeous and inviting. I bet you enjoy just being there. You do need to do a story about it. Great idea! 🙂


    • diannegray / Feb 12 2014 3:29 pm

      Thanks so much, Marsha 😀 It was a load of work, but worth every second of it! I just love it 😀


      • tchistorygal / Feb 13 2014 1:06 am

        You actually completed it quickly. I’m sure it doesn’t seem that way to you, but I’m SO impressed. We completely redid a much smaller home, and there are still little spots that are not done, 13 years later. Now we need to start over in some areas. 🙂 When you first showed us your project, my heart about burst thinking of all the work you had ahead of you, but look at it now! It’s gorgeous. Everything you saw in your mind. 🙂


  59. Piper George / Feb 19 2014 7:54 am

    That is beautiful – I love looking round your RUC. The kitchen is gorgeous, but here in the UK we would call that a dresser. A hutch is something a rabbit lives in – I spent a good 5 minutes staring at your picture and trying to work out where the rabbit lived! 🙂


    • diannegray / Feb 19 2014 8:01 am

      LOL! I love that comment, Piper! You’re right – a rabbit lives in a hutch 😉

      From this day forth, my ‘hutch’ will be known as a ‘dresser’ 😀



  1. CBBH Photo Challenge: ACROSS THE ROOFTOPS | East of Málaga
  2. RUC – The Big Room | Dianne Gray author

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