The problems with Alison and Verinder’s kitchen created the solutions.
Price guide*: $35K - $45KSpecifications
Carcase: White melamine with Anthracite edging in Anthracite by D&R Henderson Pantry Internals: Anthracite with matching edge strip in Anthracite by D&R Henderson Timber Detailing: Doors, Back Panel, Floating Shelves: Solid Timber finished in 20% satin Wormy Chesnut by Wood n Doors Door & Drawer Faces: 18mm 2pac 20% satin in Dulux ‘Domino’ by Redwood Kickers: 18mm 2pac 20% satin in Dulux ‘Domino’ by Redwood Benchtop: 20mm Caesarstone with Wormy chesnut under panel, Raw Concrete by Ideal Stone and Wood n Doors Drawer Runners: Blumotion Intivo Soft Close by Blum Appliance Nook Top: Laminex in Evening Shale by Laminate Fabricators Handles: Circular Notch Outs by Space Craft Handles: Kethy L7806in American Oak by Kethy Internal Hardware: Blum Intivo Inner Drawers by Wilson & Bradley; 2 x 20L Bin Door Mounted WBPB4560 by Wilson & Bradley; BLUM Cutlery Orgaline BORGF13 and BORGAB13 by Wilson & Bradley; LED Downlight to pantry on sensor switch in Warm white by Hettich Floor: Existing slate Splashback: Southern Cross Ceramics Artisan Tile in Oslo—Charcoal Dark by Beaumont Tiles Pendant: DENMARK Pendant 10249 in Matt black exterior, polished gold interior by Zaffero Sink: POSH Solus MKII Reece 1200 inset Mixer Tap Oven: OP8636S by ASKO Microwave: OM8456S by ASKO Cooktop: HG1935AD by ASKO Rangehood: CW4976S by ASKO Dishwasher: D5456XLS by ASKO Refrigerator/Freezer: KG33VVI31G Fridge Freezer by SIEMENS Bar Stools: Tangerine Stool in Black by Aura Objects
*Price guide includes: cabinetry, tops and splash backs. Exclusions: appliances, electrical, and plumbing
...sometimes using the thing you can’t change instead of trying to eliminate it will lead you to a really lateral and satisfying solution...
A wise person once said you need coffee to change the things that can be changed and wine to accept the things that can’t. So, the lesson of this project is about acceptance. If you feel you’re stuck with a seemingly insurmountable problem in life or architecture, this one is for you. Because sometimes using the thing you can’t change instead of trying to eliminate it will lead you to a really lateral and satisfying solution.
Alison and Verinder own a bungalow in Toorak Gardens. Having found our web site and explored examples of our previous projects, Alison just knew we were the ones to build their new kitchen. But our first challenge was a novel and slightly embarrassing one for us: we already had a long list of projects in the pipeline. Fortunately, these lovely, patient people were content to wait their turn and started gathering ideas. Over the intervening weeks, therefore, Alison (who runs her own online business in metal handicrafts) used Pinterest to share images of what she liked, which really helped us understand what she had in mind.
Having negotiated that potential problem, the next two seemed a little harder to dodge. First, Alison and Verinder were retaining the slate floor tiles in the kitchen, so our new work would have to match the old cabinetry’s footprint precisely. Then, she wanted any timber we used to match the colour of the bungalow’s original joinery.
Finally, we came to the elephant in the room. Or, rather, the massive beam and column that ran down the middle of the ceiling. No-one was really sure if it was load-bearing or not until Nathan called in a builder, who confirmed that it was and couldn’t be moved.
Our team was going to need quite a bit of both coffee and wine to solve this one.
...If we couldn’t shift the bearer, the best idea was to build it into our thinking....
If we couldn’t shift the bearer, the best idea was to build it into our thinking. So, our builder was able to make a few modifications that allowed us then to create an island unit with overhead cupboards that covered the same footprint as the previous cabinetry whilst concealing the beam and column. Hey presto, it all looked like it was planned that way.
Alison’s brief had specified warm and earthy tones, timber and modern design. For our solution, we just couldn’t go past the wormy chestnut that’s become one of our favourite go-to timbers of late, but this time combined with charcoal two-pack paint (Domino), stone benchtops and solid-timber handles. For the overhead cupboards, we deleted handles altogether by using simple round cut-outs, which give a very subtle Zen influence.
The warmth of the timber and the cool charcoal work so well together complemented by the stunning pendant lights with their coppery glow, the Caesarstone benchtops in raw concrete and those show-stopper wall tiles. Behind this façade, we managed to deliver all the practicality Alison was after, making a kitchen that matches its aesthetics with ergonomics. The drawers and cupboards all give easy access to day-to-day items and, as conscientious recyclers, we’ve given Alison and Verinder a neat waste-storage system.
Unfortunately, the biggest problem we encountered on this project was that our schedule took in the post-Christmas period, resulting in the timber for the doors being delayed. Again, Alison and Verinder were happy to wait for their slightly late Christmas present to be wrapped at last. And when it was all finished, we were happy that they were rapt, too.