Kitchen renovations allow homeowners to customize their setups with open floorplans for entertaining, upgraded finishes in quirky color palettes, or even obscure built-in appliances to perfect favorite dishes. When lifestyle photographer and Cook Republic blogger Sneh Roy revamped her own Sydney kitchen, she did it with social media in mind. Everything created in the space is potential content for her site, so she considered the different nooks and styles she would need in order to bring variety to her work on the web. From crisp shots on white marble countertops, to dark and moody looks by the black chalkboard wall atop raw timber tables, to a light café feel with industrial furniture by the big glass doors, Roy’s idea was to create distinct zones in order to facilitate versatile looks for all of her popular food imagery.
The kitchen is an essential part of a real 3,700-square-foot 1960s brick-and-tile bungalow that feeds Roy’s loving family. Her husband Nick, an IT director, “is the caramel to my salted,” she says sweetly. Together, the pair enjoy having food adventures with their two boys Rivan (11 years old) and Rish (age 7), as well as caring for the many chickens and bunnies residing on the property.
The family appreciates the rarity of this moody, forest-like setting in their residential Sydney suburb. It was worth the seven years Roy spent coping with the home’s original kitchen, whose mustard cabinets had severe water damage, and warped countertops made it impossible for a chopping board to sit flat without rocking. During an eight-month renovation, the family camped out in the garage, boiled water in a kettle, and used the garden hose to do dishes in tubs through fall and winter. They missed sitting at a table and chairs to eat their meals. The resulting eclectic mix of old and new offers modern functionality — while keeping a mysterious feel — that ties into the rest of the house. It is the one adventure they are most glad to have completed. —Annie