Upsize with norsu - Episode One, The family kitchen

norsu styling

Posted on March 26 2019

Upsize with norsu - Episode One, The family kitchen

Most people renovate once and never go back. This would seem like the sensible thing to do. At norsu, sensible doesn’t seem to belong in our vocabulary…in fact insanity sits at the very top! Instead of renovating one home - our beloved norsuHOME - in twelve months, we’ve been at it again and we’ve just completed our second. What more, we’re here to share our tale again…welcome to Upsize with norsu, brought to you by our valued partners realestate.com.au and Godfrey Hirst. 

The Backstory...
I first met Trent and Amy in 2017 when our children started Prep together at our local primary school. Our kids became good friends and over a glass of vino one night, and a wood fired pizza cooked in their then tiny back garden, the couple asked me to help with their upcoming renovation after watching our norsuHOME journey closely. They dangled the carrot that we could share the journey with our much loved social media followers. No rewards for guessing my answer, it was an instant and massive YES…even though I went to work the following day with my tail between my legs, so nervous to share the news with Kristy and Lauren who had only just recovered from the first! 

Their home was was a single fronted semi detached two bedroom, one bathroom tiny Art Deco built on a 400 square metre block. Amy and Trent wanted to convert this into four bedrooms, two bathrooms, one powder room with a dedicated adults treat, kids zone and pool. Shooting for the stars much? It’s fair to say this fast became the biggest design challenge faced at norsu!

Needing to maximise every square inch (and I mean every SINGLE millimetre) of space, together with talented architect Simon Waters and our very own legendary norsu interior designer Lauren, we threw on our creative hats and hatched out one giant master plan. Over the coming five weeks, we’re beyond thrilled to share our crazy and somewhat insane eight-month journey with you, and today it all starts with the first Upsize Kitchen episode.


In episode one we unveil the family kitchen which is housed in the new ginormous living room, which gave us literally a blank canvas to work with. Hallelujah!

Amy and Trent are huge entertainers so the wish list included a huge multi-purpose island bench, an abundance of storage, a butler’s pantry with appliances…all topped off with a minimal yet warm aesthetic.

For Amy and Trent, the kitchen is more that merely a place to cook, it’s the hub of their family and family so the pressure was on. Here’s what we did…

Cabinetry - storage, storage and more storage.The kitchen measures five metres in length and this doesn’t even include the Butler’s Pantry. It’s a dream kitchen alright! Amy and Trent wanted a minimal look with handless doors and drawers but didn’t want it to feel stark and unwelcoming. Having fallen head over heels for the oak timber floor boards in the room by Godfrey Hirst, we selected an oak finish for the overhead cabinetry which instantly adds texture and character to the large space. We complimented this with classic matte white base cabinets and integrated appliances, achieving the most streamlined and slick kitchen! Oh and for those looking for the perfect appliance handles (ie. for the fridge doors and dishwasher) we never look past Lo&Co Interiors - we used their infamous hot matte black Kintore range.

We worked with the team at Zesta kitchens who meticulously built all of the cabinetry locally and installed the giant game of Tetris that clearly overwhelmed us like is was their own kitchen. A huge thanks to Toby and Jo who even created Amy and Trent a virtual reality experience of their kitchen before it was even built!

Island Bench - not often do you get to design the finishes for a 4.5 metre long island bench. Wanting to add a slighter edgier component to the design we opted for Caesarstone’s Airy Concrete. At norsu you know we’re obsessed with grey and let me tell you it’s the perfect shade for hiding dirty fingerprints and everyday spills! Many of you might be wondering how the joins went on this one given a slab of stone only measures three metres long. My tip is to choose your stone mason SO carefully and watch closely on the installation day even if you annoy them. :) Our guys nailed it and you need to look so carefully to even identify where it is. Winning! 

Splashback - having blown the budget on the enormous amount of stone required for this kitchen, we needed to pair back the expenses when it came to the splashback. We never let budget ruin our creativity though…in fact it almost inspires us greater, determined to demonstrate magic can be created without breaking the bank! We achieved this by selecting a stunning white matte mini ceramic herringbone tile by our friends at Perini Tiles. If you’re even looking for an affordable option, think simple tile but lay it in an interesting pattern. Honestly we could not be happier with how this one turned out - it’s a little bit of wow but in such a timeless design that will never date!

Butler’s pantry - we can’t forget this little (or should I say large!) beauty. When first setting out on this renovation journey Trent and Amy had no idea how they could fit this must-have requirement into their tiny home. This is where architect Simon Waters worked some serious magic. Committed to utilising ever dead space in the home, Simon turned under the stair case into the perfect spot to add the pantry! We then stepped in and designed this like it was a second kitchen (and there were a lot of short jokes aimed at me on this one…apparently it’s the perfect size for little Nat, sigh!) - we added a dishwasher, a sink and another fridge. Talk about an entertainers dream…I’ll be honest, I’m insanely jealous by this one! 

Make sure you stay tuned and follow our journey closely because this week we embark on the living room and let’s just say it’s doesn’t all go to plan! 

Big kisses

Nat xxEpisode Gallery 

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