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Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen and Home, Designed to Share

by Annie Werbler

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

Photography by Sneh Roy

Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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The most photographed wall in the kitchen, this vintage luggage trolley laden with props makes Roy feel happiest about her home. When objects are switched out, it instantly changes the look and feel of the blackboard wall against which it is set.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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Roy kept the island free of surface disturbances like a sink or cooktop to maximize prep and eating space. The timber ceiling beams are original to the house, and were painted white during the renovation.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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Blogger Sneh Roy slices and dices in her renovated Sydney kitchen.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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Sons Rivan and Rish make use of the space.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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A shoot table, industrial light fittings, and a single large sink.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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A stone windowsill houses potted herbs, sprouting jars, and pickling experiments. A vintage "The Earl"kitchen scale, chopping boards, and rolling pins overlook the pool.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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The chalkboard wall in the distance, and Roy's yellow Kitchenaid "bee" stand mixer.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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The fridge is tucked away under the only overhead cabinet in the kitchen for uninterrupted outdoor views.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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A old ship funnel pendant light hangs over the wine fridge. Wide-planked reengineered oak floors are raised to define the living area.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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Seasonal styling on the chalkboard wall.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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A converted island holds the coffee machine, blender, juicer, and toaster. They are frequently-used items, but needed to live in a spot where they wouldn't crowd the counters.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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Copper, green plants, and ceramics on the kitchen trolley with a view toward the outdoor dining area.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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A recycled table is used for Roy's teaching workshops, set with elements from the home's bush terrain.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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A former fireplace box set in the wall now functions as a little display window for whatever tickles Roy's fancy.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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The dining area with a fast-growing Heartleaf Philodendron plant that quickly reached the ceiling and had to be relocated.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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Porthole mirror detail in a bedroom.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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A bedroom wall of windows invites the outdoors in.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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The new veggie planters are doing well!
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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The kidney-shaped pool is nestled amongst lush greenery.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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Ducks paying a visit.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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Potted lemon trees.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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Red Robin trees shed golden leaves in autumn.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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Resident "chooks" include Luigi, Yoshi, Storm, Snowy, Baymax, and Professor Snape.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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"Chooks" and their pen.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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The chicken run in front of the "chookhouse."
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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The family's "granny chairs" sit in front of a fire pit.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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The facade's rescued speckled “Convict Bricks” made from sandstone date back to the early days of the British Colony in Australia.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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Sneh Roy, Rivan, Rish, and Nick.
Sneak Peek: Check Out the Cook Republic Kitchen Designed to Share, on Design*Sponge
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A sketch of the kitchen renovation.

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