It was the consideration of textural layering that helped bring Megan & Lionel's design from a distant thought to reality.
Price guide*: $35K - $45KSpecifications
Carcase/Internals: Melamine high moisture resistant interiors/shelving by Polytec (BORG) Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: 2pac satin doors to base cabinets in Dulux Lexicon half-satin finish Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: Wormy Chestnut Veneer w/ Solid timber edging to fridge section surround & open tall cabinet Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: Overheads & fridge section in clean touch laminate in Moss Green Feature: Island panels, leg detail & drawer fronts in Solid Wormy Chestnut Feature: Timber shadow line to base cabinets in 10mm Wormy Chestnut veneer Drawer Hardware: Intivo Blumotion soft close drawers by BLUM from FHS Top: Caesarstone Frozen Terra, 20mm to back bench & mitred to 50mm to island Hardware/Wireware: Blum HK push to open lift up doors Hardware/Wireware: Wingline bifold door system to appliance cabinet by Hettich Hinges: Soft close by BLUM from FHS Waste Management: 3 liner bin system, door mounted with soft close features, 1-460-438 by Lincoln Sentry Handles: 40mm black matt ledge handles by Galvin Cutlery Inserts: Stainless steel by BLUM from FHS Oven: Asko u/bench OP8664A Cooktop: Asko – induction cooktop, HI1975G Rangehood: Sirius 850mm u/mount, SL926-DL Microwave: on bench in pantry Dishwasher: Asko fully integrated XL dishwasher, DF1654B.AU Sink: AFA Cubeline double bowl undermount sink 802mm in stainless steel Shelving: Floating shelves in 33mm Wormy Chestnut veneer Tapware: Inca Sink Mixer in Gunmetal Grey 6404.094A Splashback: Caesarstone Frozen Terra upstand with Biscuit Tiles from Cerbis Ceramics Flooring: Polished Concrete by client Lighting: LED strip lighting to underside of overheads by Hettich in Warm white
*Price guide includes: cabinetry, tops and splash backs. Exclusions: appliances, electrical, and plumbing
...link the interior to the outside with a modern, industrial barn-style kitchen...
There’s a certain satisfaction about doing it yourself. It might be changing your own oil on the car. Washing the dog. Painting the front fence. Or putting together an Ikea puzzle… sorry, piece of furniture. All worthy achievements that can save you money and send you to bed exhausted yet smug. But there are some astoundingly brave and/or crazy people amongst us who take DIY to a whole different level. Not for them the simple struggle of a weekend project. No: what they are compelled to undertake is nothing less than the building of an entire house. Intrepid owner/builders like the family you are about to meet deserve our awe-filled admiration.
Megan and Lionel and their three kids, a dog named Floki and Veggie, the horse, had lived on their sprawling, picturesque property in Mylor for 15 years before deciding to undertake the massive task of extending the home to double its footprint. And not just as project managers but as owner/builders to boot. Sensibly, however, they drew the line at the kitchen joinery and called in our SpaceCraft team to help them draw up a plan for the space.
The basic plan they had in mind for Nathan to consider was to link the interior to the outside with a modern, industrial barn-style kitchen. The wish list started from the ground up with a polished concrete floor. In the middle, they wanted an island bench that could seat all five of them on stools for breakfast and casual meals, and with power for small appliances.
To build on that earthy, honest, industrial feel, they wanted the rustic red-brick walls and magnificent pine beams, which Lionel had cleverly crafted from timber they’d harvested off their property, kept exposed. Most of all, they didn’t want anything fussy or ostentatious, which wouldn’t have sat with their chosen style anyway. So, simple door pulls, hidden appliances (including the microwave, rangehood and dishwasher) and custom-built accommodation for their big-family-sized, 90-centimetre, stainless-steel fridge. The ideas flowed and Nathan knew instinctively what to do.
...moss green clean-touch surfaces echoes the fields beyond, whilst our much-loved wormy chestnut provided the rustic charm...
The best thing about building your own home? You can change any element at any time. The worst thing? Precisely the same thing. As Megan and Lionel progressed with their project, new ideas sprouted from this creative couple and every line seemed to be drawn in pencil so that it could be rubbed out and changed. And then, changed again. An abundance of choice is good, up to a point.
Just as well Megan and Lionel had the kitchen whisperer on the case. Because despite the inevitable and understandable umming and ahing over heights of walls, locations of objects, the colour palette and flooring, Nathan finally arrived on a plan that everyone loves, looks harmonious and works perfectly.
To bring the outside in, floor-to-ceiling windows framed in matt black and a servery to the outside dining area were used. A moss green clean-touch surface on all the tall cabinetry and overheads echoes the fields beyond, whilst our much-loved wormy chestnut provided the rustic charm on the feature shelving and trim, making a visual link to those glorious beams overhead.
The industrial backbone of the design is the exposed brick wall at the rear of the kitchen and pantry, reinforced by the polished concrete floors and the Caesarstone Frozen Terra benchtops, 20-millimetres thick for the back bench and a chunky 50-millimetres thick for the show-stopping island bench. This generous structure is the heart of the kitchen, with wormy chestnut legs and panelling to hide the drawers, and open ends that can easily seat the family of five.
Judgement is key to this kind of design. Too much of the industrial can feel soulless. But tizzying it up makes it weak and disjointed. To soften the hard lines and relieve the dark moss cabinetry, the playful crisp white biscuit tiles were selected to sit atop the stone upstand. Their curvy texture lends subtle shadow play across the wall, lit by concealed warm-white LED strips, adding interest without the need for other colour distractions.
Behind the kitchen is the pantry space and the delineation between them allowed a break from the tall cabinetry that houses the fridge to a nook with open shelving, which is a handy but discreet home for all the appliances that would otherwise clutter the kitchen.
Just before sign-off on the design, Megan and Lionel had one more surprise for Nathan, changing their minds on the joinery proposed to link the kitchen to a feature masonry wall and fireplace in the living area. But, as nothing had been set in stone – quite literally, at that stage – Nathan created some open shelving in wormy chestnut at the edge of the kitchen space, providing symmetrical balance to the open shelving that lends a full-stop to the overheads. Cleverly concealed within these overheads is the rangehood. And that’s not the only device that’s hidden in plain sight: the dishwasher is fully integrated, looking for all the world like just another cupboard.
Usually, at the end of most projects, we ask our clients what they think of their new kitchen and how it’s changed their lives. But for Megan and Lionel, their new SpaceCraft kitchen hasn’t changed their lives at all so far. Because while Lionel is still building the rest of the extension, they’re still living in the original half of the home. (That’s why you won’t see him in any of the photos.) However, we think you can tell by the look on Megan’s face just how she feels about the fabulous kitchen she can look forward to inhabiting sometime soon. If you had the ability to make all your domestic dreams come true through your own strength, skill and determination, we think you’d be mad not to. Owner/builders, everywhere: you’re legends in your own living room.