Aaron and Sonia’s kitchen is an object lesson in the benefits of outside objectivity.
Price guide*: $15 - 25KSpecifications
Doors: Square edge Formica Graphite Melamine by Laminex Group Open Shelving: 18mm Ravine Natural Oak by Polytec Benchtop: Caesarstone 20mm London Grey by Ideal Stone Drawer Runners: Blumotion Intivo Soft Close by Blum Splashback: Cobsa Spanish hand made tiles Handles & Knobs: Barra Brushed Nickel by Lincoln Sentry Internal Hardware: Concertina Bifold by Hettich Lighting: Scuplt 1 Light 150mm Carve Pendant in Concrete by Beacon Lighting Floor: Baltic Pine Timber Floorboards with a matt finish Sink: Oliveri FHS Undermount DZIOU Tap: Ikea Oven & Cooktop: Westinghouse WFE914SA Rangehood: Blanco BRU70X Dishwasher: Fisher & Paykel DW60CCX1 Refrigerator/Freezer: Samsung SRS583NLS Bar Stools: Tangerine Stool in black by Aura Objects Splashback Tiles: Sevilla Spanish ceramic tiles by Ceramica Tile+Design
*Price guide includes: cabinetry, tops and splash backs. Exclusions: appliances, electrical, and plumbing
...as Clint Eastwood said so eloquently in Magnum Force whilst squinting, a man’s got to know his limitations...
Aaron is the kind of guy who makes most of us feel somewhat inadequate. No: make that totally inadequate. An artist and self-taught renovator, he’ll tackle almost anything around the house and – with a little help from Google – learn as he goes. That’s how he managed over many months to reconfigure and renovate an old, bluestone block of four apartments in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs.
By combining two of the units, he’s created a remarkable home for himself, his wife, Sonia (a PhD in anthropology), and their son, Ari. But, as Clint Eastwood said so eloquently in Magnum Force whilst squinting, a man’s got to know his limitations. So, when Aaron finally got to the kitchen, he called SpaceCraft Joinery for our expertise and objectivity.
When Nathan first sat down with Sonia and Aaron, their brief was to create a contemporary-style, large, open plan kitchen with a warm colour palette, textural tiling and open shelving. They wanted a large island bench to act as the central hub for entertaining and big family gatherings, with lots of drawers and storage space. Starting with the framework of an apartment block, it sounded easy.
Then, they showed him where they’d decided to locate the kitchen. Nathan’s heart sank. The space they’d chosen faced into the home. Being close to an external doorway, it severely restricted the layout and available space. On top of that, the traffic flow didn’t work.
...a smart, timeless kitchen with a beautifully soothing feel that integrates with the living area...
Understandably, the reason they’d chosen this space for the kitchen was because it was near existing plumbing. Now, that’s normally a smart decision but with Nathan playing devil’s advocate – and already convincing them why they’d called us for help – they agreed to reconsider.
With clear-eyed objectivity, Nathan suggested moving the kitchen to an entirely different wall, giving him (and them) a much bigger space to play with and allowing it to overlook the backyard and the soon-to-be-built deck and pergola. This required Aaron to re-route the plumbing and other services but, as always, he was up for the challenge. A major compromise was thus avoided.
The final design included L-shaped joinery along two walls fronted by a generously wide island bench that could almost qualify for its own postcode. Along the front of the bench is a row of almost-invisible, push-to-open doors that provide access to copious storage. This layout creates an ergonomic, user-friendly working triangle with the sink, pull-out bin and oven all within effortless reach of one another.
Overall, Nathan has created a smart, timeless kitchen with a beautifully soothing feel that integrates with the living area. It’s warm, cosseting and welcoming. And isn’t that what we all want in our homes these days?
The svelte overhead cupboards also have the discreet push-to-open doors without handles. The timber of the open shelving offers a pleasing contrast, and the funky tiles chosen by Sonia and Aaron add delightful texture and interest to an otherwise clean, simple palette. Thoughtfully, there are places to hide all the appliances. For example, the microwave has a cubby-hole under the island bench and on the return wall, there’s a nook to store everyday appliances like the toaster and kettle, and a cavernous pantry.
Nathan might have stuck his neck out to recommend this position for the kitchen. But what it means is that Sonia and Aaron don’t have to crane theirs to watch Ari playing with his mates in the backyard. Here, in this airy, sun-filled space, they can enjoy preparing meals or just cosy up to the bar for a glass of wine. Despite the fact that this space can easily accommodate large groups, it still feels welcoming and intimate for smaller gatherings. Then again, that’s the beauty of a space that’s been SpaceCrafted by people who take the time to understand your needs and bring an objective view of what’s possible.