Rob and Gail finally replace the faithful old kitchen that was the heart of two homes.
Price guide*: $25K - $35KSpecifications
Timber Doors/Drawer Faces/Open Shelving: in Wormy Chesnut by Wood ‘n’ Doors Kickers: 2pac Painted black by Redwood Integrated Table Feet: Powdercoated Black Matt Steel by Mobilong Integrated Timber Table Legs: 90 x 90mm Wormy Chesnut square legs by Wood ‘n’ Doors Benchtop: 40mm Jet Black Caesarstone by Ideal Stone Drawer Runners: Blumotion Intivo Soft Close by Blum Splashback: Masia Blanco Gloss Tiles 75x300mm with white grout, laid horizontal ¾ offset by National Tiles Handles: Kethy L833 in matt black by Halliday Internal Hardware: Downlights by Hettich, Twin Bin; Door Mounted WBPB4560 by Wilson & Bradley, Cutlery Orgaline by Blum Floor Tiles: Aggregate Beige Lapparto 600x600mm by National Tiles Pendant: Vintage Industrial Pendant in Grey by local Antique store Sink: DOMSJO Butler Sink by IKEA Mixer Tap: Phoenician AU.4360 by Perrin & Rowe Freestanding Oven/Cooktop: Black cooker CLAS90DFF by Falcon Rangehood: HN-9UM Concealed Rangehood by Schweigen Integrated Dishwasher: G4263 SCVI by Miele Refrigerator/Freezer: KI282OSD by Miele Bar Stools: Tangerine Stool in black by Aura Objects
*Price guide includes: cabinetry, tops and splash backs. Exclusions: appliances, electrical, and plumbing
...update a very tired kitchen along with all the wet areas for a stress-free, enjoyable lifestyle...
Rob and Gail bought their 12-acre property on the edge of the beautiful township of Strathalbyn in 2000. (If you detect a hint of bias, it’s because Strath is also our home base.) Their original bungalow was built in 1912 overlooking Middle Creek and it’s had many additions over its long life. For example, the kitchen, bathroom and laundry were built in the 1960s in Besser brick, which was typical for that era. The teeny-tiny kitchen was then updated in the 1980s by the previous owners but only with a fit-out they’d bought second-hand. So, you can imagine that while it had served Rob and Gail’s family faithfully for the last 17 years, the time had certainly come to bring a new heart into their home and introduce all the wet areas to the 21st century.
Gail is a dental nurse in the Adelaide Hills and a school support-officer at the local primary school; Rob is Director of Staff at Unity College in Murray Bridge. As you’d imagine, therefore, they don’t have a lot of spare time between them. So, after many years of planning and saving, they engaged Aaron Martin Construction to extend their home with an open-plan kitchen/dining area and new bathrooms.
In Gail’s own words, this is what they wanted: “It was important for us to make the new extensions sympathetic with the old home. We wanted some old features woven in with the new, including using similar bungalow doors, rustic warm-looking timber, beautiful English tapware, old-style freestanding stove, vintage enamel lights above the benchtop and dining table, the original fireplace with updates, warm polished-concrete floor tiles for that lived-in look, and exposed brickwork. But, the main aim in our renovations was to update our very tired kitchen along with all the wet areas for a stress-free, enjoyable lifestyle.”
As with most old homes, they’d experienced many, many breakdowns over the years. (We presume they were referring to the house and not the occupants. Although, one can follow the other…) So, our relatively simple challenge was to give the old girl a new lease on life.
On the layout, what Gail and Rob were after was a place for the family – now into its third generation with their kids’ partners and children – to congregate all the way around an island bench, so they could entertain casually. They also wanted lots of natural light in the kitchen/ dining space and the opportunity to view Middle Creek instead of a brick wall.
...wormy chesnut timber gives a rustic look, with lots of character and a touch of the industrial...
While Aaron Martin Construction undertook the overall renovation, we were very excited and appreciative that they engaged SpaceCraft to design and construct the kitchen. The excellent layout, created by Aaron Martin’s draftsman, included a stroke of genius: a walk-in butler’s pantry behind the kitchen, where the fridge and freezer were to be located. Not only did this mean the kitchen would be free of the visual clutter created by appliances, it gave our Nathan a free hand to design a beautifully balanced, symmetrical kitchen.
Again, this is what Gail said about the look and feel they were after: “The most important thing was for family, friends and visitors to feel welcome and relaxed, and to enjoy the beautiful surrounds with us. Hence, we wanted woodwork, large windows, natural materials and open design.” She loves timber and she’d decided on a reclaimed, rustic look with lots of character and a touch of the industrial. We were all inspired by her purchase of the big pendant warehouse lampshades from a local antique store (another of the joys of living in Strath).
Let’s start with the beautiful wormy chestnut timber Nathan suggested. Mind you, it was also nearly the end of us. When the first lot of timber doors and panels arrived, they were nothing like our sample or the previous batches supplied for our other jobs, lacking the feature grain and character we were all after. Nathan knew Gail would be disappointed and that was confirmed when he glumly showed her what had arrived.
It didn’t take a lot of discussion to settle on reordering the timber. While we all knew that would slow the project, we also knew Gail and Rob had waited too long for this kitchen to do it any less than perfectly. Luckily, our specifications were conveyed with crystal clarity the second time around and the timber arrived exactly as hoped. (Gail kindly said later: “In fairness, I don’t know that this delayed things much at all.”) Like judges, these things are meant to try us.
The new, improved but old-looking wormy chestnut is an integral part of the exact look we were looking for. Contrasting the shaker-style doors with the stunning black handles, 40-millimetre jet-black Caesarstone benchtops and black two-pack kick panels gave the kitchen a confident, stylish air. They also tie nicely to the black Falcon cooker. But to offset that crisp blackness and add a hint of irregularity, Gail came up with the amazing Spanish backsplash tiles. When they’re lit at night, these tiles make a stunning statement.
And so, after 17 years in a teeny-tiny, make-do kitchen on its last legs, Gail and Rob have their home just the way they’ve always dreamed it. And what an ideal place to spend time with their grandkids. We leave it to Gail to sum up the feeling: “We are now welcoming the next generation into our beautiful, updated home and it is wonderful to hear little footsteps running through the house once again.”