Barbie's Retro-Scandi Paradise | SpaceCraft Joinery | Projects


Barbie's Kitchen

Come and see the retro Scandi kitchen we built for a movie star and figure out the one thing it’s missing.

Price guide*: $90K - $100K


Carcase/Internals: Melamine high moisture resistant interiors/shelving White 16mm by Polytec (BORG)   Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: 2pac Fronts – satin finish in Haymes Organic 1 by Redwood   Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: Overhead doors and curves with timber ribbing from Wood ‘n’ Doors in Tasmanian Oak with Half rounds 14mm  Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: Pantry Internals Outer Frame in Polytec (BORG) Plantation Ash   Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: Pantry Internals in Laminex Moroccan Clay   Feature Pot plant curve provision: Tasmanian Oak Half rounds 14mm from Wood ‘n’ Doors Feature Tea towel Rail: Tasmanian Oak from Wood ‘n’ Doors   Feature Feature Wine Rack Internals: Plantation Oak by Polytec (BORG) Feature Chopping board detail with notch out: Tasmanian Oak by Wood ‘n’ Doors    Feature Shaped Fascia to Fridge Provision: in Haymes Organic 1 by Redwood   Feature Feature Wine Rack: Haymes Dusty Beige by Redwood   Drawer Hardware: Legrabox soft close drawers by BLUM in Silk White from FHS   Drawer Hardware: Movento soft close inner drawers to Pantry by BLUM from FHS   Top: Dining table, open shelves and planter pot in Staron Terrazzo Bologna fabricated by Ideal Acrylics   Top: Island and Cook Bench in 20mm Silestone Arcilla Red fabricated by Ideal Stone  Kickers Kicker to Island: Haymes Dusty Beige by Redwood Hardware/Wireware: Undersink Metal Tray SIGEUSDL1 from Wilson & Bradley Hardware/Wireware: BLUM Plate Holders ZC7T0350 from FHS Hardware/Wireware: BLUM Pull out shelf on Movento Runner from FHS    Hardware/Wireware: BLUM Ambia Line Spice Holder ZC7G00I from FHS Hardware/Wireware: BLUM Ambia Line High Frames ZC7F400RSP from FHS   Hardware/Wireware: BLUM Ambia Line Knife Block ZC7M0200 from FHS Hardware/Wireware: BLUM Ambia Line Film/Foil Dispenser ZC7C0001 from FHS  Hardware/Wireware: BLUM Ambia Line Drawer Dividers ZC7S500RS1 from FHS   Hardware/Wireware: BLUM Aventos HK with servo drive Aventos HK   Hinges: BLUM Soft close from FHS Waste Management: SIGE Undersink Bin System SIGEUSBL1 from Wilson & Bradley   Handles: Notch Out SpaceCraft Tasmanian Oak   Handles: Solid Timber Tasmanian Oak Handle to Pantry from Wood ‘n’ Doors   Cutlery Inserts: BLUM Ambia Line Cutlery Tray BLUM ZC7S500BS3 from FHS  Oven: ILVE Under bench oven OV60SNT3/WHC from Spartan Electrical Cooktop: ILVE Gas Cooktop HCB70CN/WHC from Spartan Electrical   Rangehood: ILVE Concealed Rangehood HU60 from Spartan Electrical Fridge: SMEG 510 Litre 50’s Retro Style Bottom Mount Refrigerator   FAB38RWH5AU from Spartan Electrical   Sink: Integrated Sink in 20mm Silestone Arcilla Red fabricated by Ideal Stone   Shelving: Floating Shelves in 50mm Staron Terrazzo Bologna fabricated by Ideal Acrylics   Tapware: ABI Elysian Kitchen Mixer in White with matching waste plug Splashback: Penny Round from Perini Rosado-Tumbled   Lighting: LED strip dimmable with remote from FHS   Lighting: Sensor Downlight to Pantry in Warm White from FHS   Other: Bobby Low Stools – Upholstered Solid Ash / HF2 – Kvadrat Maharam Merit from DesignByThem   Lighting: Arcade Pendant from Dowel Jones

*Price guide includes: cabinetry, tops and splash backs. Exclusions: appliances, electrical, and plumbing

The Brief

...People often ask us what kind of kitchen we’d build if there were no restrictions and we could let our wild imaginations off the leash. Well, wonder no more. The first thing we did was to conjure a client to inspire this fantasy. And who better, we thought, than the world’s hottest movie star?...

People often ask us what kind of kitchen we’d build if there were no restrictions and we could let our wild imaginations off the leash. Well, wonder no more. Here, in our showroom at Strathalbyn, we’ve built this extraordinary display kitchen to challenge and inspire. Now, you might think it’d be easy to create something wonderful when you don’t have to answer to a five-page wish list and there’s a lovely big blank space in your showroom instead of a room the size of a postage stamp with three doors running off it. But, actually, it’s jolly hard. That’s why the first thing we did was to conjure a client to inspire this fantasy. And who better, we thought, than the world’s hottest movie star?

Her full name might be Barbara Millicent Roberts but, like Cher, Beyoncé and Madonna, you probably simply know her as Barbie. So, what kind of kitchen do you build for the woman who has everything? Unfortunately, Barbie was too busy promoting her movie to sit down and give us an actual brief. But our designer, Bre Tarca, was happy to step into her pink pumps and channel her style: a combination of retro Hollywood glam and mid-century Scandinavian chic.

In fact, it’s a fun, playful style that Bre absolutely adores and has helped to develop with Nathan Wundersitz’s masterful direction as a signature SpaceCraft design language. Is it the only style we do? Most certainly not. Nathan, the kitchen whisperer, prides himself on being a style chameleon, who can translate whatever’s in your head or on your Pinterest page. So, if you’re more into Victorian, French country, Bohemian or Bauhaus rather than Barbiecore, don’t worry: Nathan and the design team will get it and get you.

So, on with the brief. Let’s start with the colour scheme. Hmmm… no surprise here. But whilst pink was always going to be on the menu for this kitchen, it’s a tamer dusty pink than the rest of Ms Roberts’s retinue, teamed up with some burnt ochre highlights against a background of neutral white. After all, whilst she mightn’t look it, Barbie is now 64. So, a more ‘mature’ pink seemed like a good idea. And a great fit for the retro feel. The design theme itself was also informed by our client: curves. And lots of them, both concave and convex. (In fact, Mattel actually made a fuller-figured Curvy Barbie in response to questions of body image.) And seeing as she was born in 1959, we knew she’d love that curvaceous mid-century style.

Bre and Nathan had actually been thinking about this design for some time, even as far back as our old joinery in King Street. And as time went by, the ideas kept adding. But when we finally got to our new headquarters in Milnes Road, it was time to stop procrastinating and start prefabricating. The truth is that in that time, we’d established a lot of regular SpaceCraft go-to features and solutions, which made themselves obvious candidates for inclusion. The kitchen had to have lots of ingenious storage, a guest appearance from Tasmanian oak, a built-in dining table and Nathan’s favourite notch-out handles, natch.

The sizeable showroom made it easy to feature a linear layout, which also means it’s very accessible to anyone who wants to come and explore their options and be inspired. And while it may look big, it’s actually not. We definitely wanted to create some wow but we deliberately didn’t want to make it too overwhelming. Our nominal client is only 29 centimetres tall, after all.

Our Design Resolution

...Like the Tardis, this kitchen may be modest externally but once you step inside, you’ll see we’ve really gone for the doctor....

With a doll for a client, of course the design was always going to be playful. But we also wanted to push the outside of the envelope to show our SpaceCraftsmanship, as well. This was a labour of love for our skilled workshop and installation teams, who – for once – didn’t have to leave homebase and could lavish every spare moment on perfection.

Let’s start with those every-which-way curves that dominate the landscape. The magic ingredient we found was an acrylic product called Staron, which, when heated, can be formed into smooth, free-flowing, seamless curves. This is what we used to create the block-end to the integrated dining table, which anchors the kitchen, as well as the open shelves above. The speckled neutral tones of Staron’s Bologna terrazzo also make a starring appearance in the integrated dining table that comfortably seats four and extends into the island back return shelf.

From that base, the curves recurred and were repeated right ‘round the kitchen, including: the block back to the wall bench, which has a recessed rack for the tea towels; the double-hit of Tasmanian oak half-round timber ribbing on the serpentine overhead doors (which also conceal the Ilve rangehood) and the feature plant nook; the dusty pink Penny Round splashback tiles from Cerbis Ceramics; the curvaceously retro Smeg fridge; the gooseneck mixer tap from ABI Interiors in crisp Matt White; and even right down to the Design by Them Bobby stools and the two-tone Dowel Jones pendant lights.

The one square element in the kitchen is its nominal ‘command centre’: the Silestone Arcilla Red podium with integrated benchtops, sink and island facing. You’d need to splash out on some serious crockery to be worthy of washing up in this set-up. A nice little surprise and delight is that when you open the pantry and its automatic light comes on, you’ll see the interior is lined in Laminex Red Ochre to play off the neighbouring sink unit. Is that something you’d be open to?

Like the Tardis, this kitchen may be modest externally but once you step inside, you’ll see we’ve really gone for the doctor. First, we’ve used soft-close drawers instead of doors for the island and the bench as well as inside the pantry, not only for their clean look but because they work so much better ergonomically. Instead of door pulls, we’ve also used Nathan’s notches with their exquisite Tasmanian oak veneer inserts. There’s a recessed chopping board, open wine storage, a trio of under-sink bins, a folding shelf from Blum (ideal for stand mixers or similar gadgets while they’re in use) and vertical tray storage to the right of the Ilve underbench oven.

In fact, there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place. Well, almost. As we said at the beginning, there is just one important thing missing in this kitchen, which probably wouldn’t be of much concern to most of our clients. However, if we really were working for Barbie, no doubt it’s something she’d definitely miss. Can you guess what his name is?

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