Nicholas Wheadon knew exactly how he wanted to renovate his newly-bought 1960’s ex-council apartment in Freeman’s Bay. A career in the construction industry meant that he had seen thousands of lay-outs and kitchen designs. “Some of the flat had been renovated about five years ago, but the layout was poor and made no sense. The rest was original, but not in a good way!”
The problem came when Nicholas tried to find a cabinet-maker to make his plans a reality. “A lot couldn’t get their head around what I wanted to do – and the rest wanted to charge some really big prices because my designs were non-standard,” he said.
Nicholas spent more than nine months reimagining his 75m₂ space to the last detail — in particular the kitchen/living room area. “I ripped out some walls and reconfigured the area. By treating the new kitchen and lounge area as a single space, I created a more roomy, open feel.”
One of the key non-standard design features was a series of floating shelves with inset downlights — instead of the usual upper cabinets in the kitchen, and underneath a 4mm stainless steel benchtop.
Nicholas opted for a limited palette of colours in the flat, choosing to add colour with furnishings. So, he stripped back the matai floorboards and all the vertical surfaces built from very dark blue, fingerprint-resistant high pressure matt and super-matt Formica. The walls were painted a clean alabaster white.
“I didn’t want design advice,” said Nick. “But I did need accurate cutting and manufacturing, so I spoke to Cutshop Mt Wellington and found they had exactly the range of expertise that I was looking for.”
Using solid 60mm ply for the shelving (made up of three sheets laminated together), Nicholas wanted channels routed out to run cabling for the under-shelf LED lighting. In order to have no hardware showing, brackets were plastered into the gib board and the shelves built around the brackets.
“It was a highly customised job. After spending so long obsessing over every detail, I needed a partner who understood what I needed help with and what I didn’t. Cutshop cut the material to a 0.1mm accuracy. That level of precision was needed to get what I wanted out of the end result — and when I compared pricing, Cutshop’s quote was less than half the price of the others.
“They had the ability to work the way I wanted to work — they just got in and did it. Cutshop even assembled some of the cabinets for me. The time and effort that they spent on my project was amazing. You rarely come across people who are just really great at what they do — but that’s how I’d describe the team at Cutshop.”