From a converted shed to a dramatic pavilion home: Anne receives her ultimate mother’s day gift.
Price guide*: $30K - $35KSpecifications
Carcase/Internals: 16mm Melamine high moisture resistant interiors/shelving in Laminex White by Laminex Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: V-groove panelling to doors, drawer fronts and panels in 2pac satin paint, Taubmans black flame 34D5-3Ne by Redwood Feature: Solid timber floating shelf, island frame American oak 34mm Wood ‘n’ Doors open base unit Feature: Either side of rangehood, as per doors in V-Groove panelling Drawer Hardware: BLUM Intivo Blumotion soft close drawers in White by Wilson & Bradley Top: Caesarstone 20mm Frosty Carrina with hotplate and undermount sink cutout by Ideal Stone Hinges: BLUM Soft close hinges by Wilson & Bradley Handles: T-pull handles in Rose Gold by Lo & Co Cutlery Inserts: Stainless steel by Wilson & Bradley Oven: Victoria Aesthetic pyrolytic built in oven Black SFPA6925N 597W x 592H x 548D by SMEG Cooktop: Induction cooktop PIE631FB1E 592W x 522D x 51H by BOSCH Rangehood: Under cupboard rangehood 700×282—676 x 264 cutout by BOSCH Dishwasher: Fully integrated dishwasher SMV46GX01A 815-875 x 598 x 550 by BOSCH Fridge: 458L Bottom Mount Refrigerator SRL451BLS 700W x 1700H x 705D by SAMSUNG Sink: Schock soho polaris single large bowl by Abey N120W 550 x 430 x 200D from Routleys Tapware: Sink mixer with swivel spout A69.08 in Tuscan Bronze by Astrawalker Splashback: Tiled in Crayon rose gloss 75×300 Tile by National Tiles, Tiling by Bjorn Wagenknecht Flooring: Herringbone 14mm Installed prior to joinery Lighting: LED strip lighting to underside of timber shelf in Warm white by Hettich
*Price guide includes: cabinetry, tops and splash backs. Exclusions: appliances, electrical, and plumbing
...do something a bit different in modern farmhouse/barn style...
A cup of tea and toast in bed. A bunch of flowers. Maybe lunch at a posh restaurant. Most of our mums would be happy to be spoilt by such simple gifts. But imagine you were able to build your mum a new home. And not just any home, either, but a dramatically unique bespoke little gem. Well, that’s the latest project we’ve been involved with, helping our good friends Susie and Aaron at Aaron Martin Construction in Strathalbyn to build Susie’s mum the forever home of her dreams.
The first challenge was for Anne, having to wait three years while the idea formed and the plans all came together. Meanwhile, she bided her time in a converted shed behind Susie and Aaron’s home in Strath. (Brilliantly converted, of course, but a shed nonetheless.) The block they chose nearby for the new home is quite small by country living standards at just 600 square metres but it was all Anne really wanted and the position is perfect: on a corner looking out over the tops of 100-year-old gum trees lining the River Angas walkway.
For Susie, obviously, the challenge was emotionally charged, wanting to honour her mum by building something exceptional. Especially as Anne had given her and Aaron an open brief, with unconditional faith in their abilities and eye for design. In fact, she had but one, single request: to position her bedroom at the back of the home for peace and privacy.
And, boy, did they deliver in spades. The concept they evolved was to incorporate three pivotal factors. First, they wanted to make the most of the treetop views by incorporating a lookout loft/mezzanine. Second, they imagined a pavilion-style layout with light-filled rectangular volumes linked by walkways. Finally, the overriding look they wanted to capture was of a modern farmhouse/barn style. Sounds fantastic. But it also sounds expensive and better suited to an acreage rather than a suburban-sized block.
For us, fortunately, that was their problem. (A problem they solved with their characteristic brilliance.) Ours was that the kitchen had to fit a certain space. Normally, AMC designs homes around the hub, the kitchen/dining/living area. However, even after a lot of midnight oil, redrawn plans and torn-out hair, the pavilions and loft inclusion dictated where the kitchen was going to be. Typically, though, Susie very sensitively called Nathan up to seek his opinion and make sure he felt comfortable with the situation (in both senses) at a very early stage of proceedings. (He was.)
For SpaceCraft, our brief was to design the joinery for a kitchen, walk-in pantry, laundry and linen cupboard, along with vanities for the main bathroom and ensuite. Nathan’s distinct memory was that Susie saw an opportunity for us all to do something a bit different. And Susie had some cool ideas. Like, pops of rose gold, dark navy cabinetry with a V-groove (linking to external paneling) and white tops, and she’d seen these crayon rosa tiles at National Tiles, which really got her excited. In addition, from very early on, she’d found a picture of a kitchen with a beautiful, big bifold window and servery, which she loved and was desperate to incorporate.
So, all Nathan had to do was pull all that together…
...at the heart of the kitchen is an island bench that appears really more like a big table...
Scott, the draftsman at AMC, really ran with the ideas Susie kept feeding him. And it’s not surprising the home he ended up designing had wings because his imagination really flew. Linking these two wings is an open-plan living/dining/kitchen area with a mezzanine.
This U-shaped layout cleverly maximises the miserly block size and shape, making it feel much larger, more functional and irresistibly inviting. Cocooned in the centre of the building’s exterior walls, the private courtyard garden is inextricably connected to the interior of the home.
Within this bold structure, Nathan created his own triumphal kitchen, answering the Hamptons barn-style notions Susie had asked for with some flourishes of his own. One of these was his placement of the fridge beneath the mezzanine stairs, making very effective use of what is normally a dead space. Another idea was to tile the rangehood block in the same pale-pink tiles chosen for the splashback. Susie still remembers the moment he suggested it to her. Without hesitation, she delightedly agreed. And then spent the rest of the build worrying if it were just a tad too much. Fortunately, by the end, she loved it.
At the heart of the kitchen is an island bench that appears really more like a big table, with its framework finished in American oak to make it feel less kitchen-y. At one end is a breakfast bar with a couple of stools. This hugely practical device maximises the utility and gives Anne all the food preparation space she’d ever need.
One of the problems of the kitchen space was that it sits beneath the mezzanine, making the ceiling relatively low. Fortunately, Susie and Aaron decided to paint the ceiling white to keep it light and visually lift the space. To help deceive the eye further, Nathan made the joinery appear bottom-heavy. (A good trick for anyone with a height deficit, architecturally speaking, of course.)
To offset the eye-catching pale-pink tiles, Susie’s inspired colour palette included black flame/cobalt blue for the doors and drawer-fronts in V-groove paneling, softened by the American oak timber detailing and white Caesarstone. To give that little bit of bling, without going completely OTT, there’s the aged-looking brushed-brass mixer tap and the Lo & Co brass T-pull handles.
And, yes, Susie got her very first wish with a servery that opens up to the courtyard for all the family gatherings Anne will hopefully host for many years to come.
According to Susie, “The kitchen remains one of my favourite and most talked-about spaces in the home”. And that’s saying something for such an amazing building. For Anne, we imagine living here will feel like Mother’s Day every single day.