We found a place for everything in Matt & Megan’s kitchen, including their creative juices.
Price guide*: $55K - $60KSpecifications
Carcase/Internals: Melamine high moisture resistant interiors/shelving in White 16mm by Polytec (BORG) Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: Floor to ceiling cabinets in tall section doors in Wilsonart Ebony Traceless laminate 910mm benchtop height Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: Base cabinet door and drawer fronts in 2pac satin Dulux lexicon Feature: Shadow line detail between fronts and top in Tasmanian oak 25mm clear finish Feature: Rangehood block and island under panel—shaped timber slats in Tasmanian oak 35mm by 35mm, clear finish Feature: Liquor cabinet to back of island— Push to open drawer, satin clear veneer internals – ebony traceless shelving Shelving: Solid Tasmanian oak shelving in lieu of appliance nook 400mm deep in Traceless back panel Shelving: Solid Tasmanian oak open shelf unit to base unit, in satin clear 21mm Drawer Hardware: Blum intivo inner drawers to pantry section in White by Wilson & Bradley Drawer Hardware: Intivo Blumotion soft close white steel sided drawers BLUM White Wilson & Bradley White steel sided Top: Island—Caesarstone Rugged Concrete 40mm with 1 x waterfall to island end Top: Stone to remainder including server outdoors—Caesarstone Airy Concrete 40mm with hotplate and undermount sink cutout Splashback: Stone splashbacks to 700mm in height Caesarstone Airy Concrete 20mm Hinges: Soft close BLUM by Wilson & Bradley Handles: 2pac doors finger pull – no handles to remainder Waste Management: Twin bin door mounted with soft close features WBPB4560 by Wilson & Bradley Cutlery Inserts: Stainless steel cutlery insert by Wilson & Bradley Oven: iQ700 Single oven with pulseSteam HR876G8B6A 595H x 594H x 548D oven tower with drawers below by Siemens Oven: iQ700 Compact oven with microwave CM836GPB6A 455H x 548D x 594W by Siemens Cooktop: iQ700 90 cm Induction cooktop EX975LVC1E 520D x 51H x 912W by Siemens Rangehood: SL906 EML 850, 850W x 290D x 350H by Sirius Sink: Santorini Double Bowl Undermount Sink ST-BL1563U 210H x 860W x 450D by Oliveri Dishwasher: iQ500 stainless steel finish fully-integrated 60 cm dishwasher SN657X01MA 550D x 875H x 598W allowance for integration by Siemens Fridge: 681L dark stainless steel French door EHE6899BA 913W x 746D x 1782H by Electrolux Appliance: Point pod V1 compact 2xGPO Point pod 822.74.945 Hafele Tapware: Vilo Pull Out Mixer VT0398C-ST-BL Santorini black by Oliveri Flooring: Existing timber
*Price guide includes: cabinetry, tops and splash backs. Exclusions: appliances, electrical, and plumbing
...Being people who like to cook and entertain for family and friends without any fuss or ceremony, the original kitchen layout was proving to be something of a straightjacket...
It might have been their careers that brought Matt and Megan over from Melbourne. But, now, happily established with three kids and a group of firm friends, it looks like our city might have won them over for good. Especially since they bought this lovely, old stone property in Hawthorn.
Being people who like to cook and entertain for family and friends without any fuss or ceremony, the original kitchen layout was proving to be something of a straightjacket, although their love for the home’s overall aesthetic style never wavered.
So, they cast about for someone to help them realise a better arrangement and, indeed, invited another kitchen designer to come up with some ideas. Unfortunately, however, they were a little underwhelmed.
Frustrated, Matt found some online design software and started to dabble with some layout concepts himself. What he’d soon discover is that the ideas came freely but resolving them all into a functional layout proved a little harder.
About then, someone who’d put SpaceCraft Joinery on their own shortlist suggested us to Matt and Megan. (Ironically, our punishing schedule couldn’t accommodate the original recommender.)
What we discovered was a lovely couple, who – despite both being very busy with kids and careers – invested all the time Nathan asked them for to get inside their heads and evolve the brief that would help transform their living.
In their own words, what they really wanted was, ‘a design that addressed the functional and aesthetic constraints’ of the space as well as a ‘finished product that would complement and build on the overall aesthetic of the home’. They wanted the kitchen to fit softly within its surrounds and not feel at odds with the period of the home.
That said, they were also really open to something different, quirky and inviting, which the whole family could enjoy. Early on, Nathan suggested something curvy and you could see their faces light up. The creative juices were really starting to flow.
...we used one curve to soften the edge of the benchtop into the dining area, and mirrored that on the rangehood block to create a symmetrical visual link...
The first challenge to be resolved was that the original kitchen was U-shaped. The one advantage of that was it offered lots of bench space. The trade-off, however, was that it also brought you into a dead-end, both traffic-wise and creatively.
Nathan’s solution was to block off an unnecessary external doorway, which uncorked the genie: this simple change not only opened up the internal traffic flow but allowed him to extend the length of the kitchen and the benches. It also made way for a servery window and a barbecue directly outside.
The next problem was that the wall behind the fridge concealed a stairwell. That meant we had a very shallow wall, which governed the ultimate depth of those cabinets. We’re not called SpaceCraft for nothing, however. To compensate, Nathan built a wall of cupboards all the way to the top of the tall ceilings. He then lined up the top of the rangehood with the top of the window to save it from being overpowering.
Remember those curves we all got very excited about? Well, not only did we use one curve to soften the edge of the benchtop into the dining area, which helps to make the space look bigger; we also mirrored that on the rangehood block to create a symmetrical visual link.
What must truly stand out to the casual observer, however, above all else is the timber slats which feature on the island bench and rangehood block. Not only does the perpendicular profile add a strong textural element but also the warmth of timber (in this case, Tasmanian oak) to the otherwise unapologetically monochromatic palette. The last thing we wanted to do was clutter that look with handles, so Nathan devised a reverse-bevel finger-pull used throughout instead.
Apart from this, timber was used sparingly so as not to compete with the existing floorboards, architraves, window- and doorframes.
The anchor for the whole design is that tall wall, with its vast store of cabinetry fronted in traceless ebony: this finger-proof finish ensures it will always look great without too much effort. (Using a standard melamine or two-pack finish in such a dark tone might look great in a showroom but would very soon prove hard to live with, especially with sticky little fingers.)
This is where – if you look carefully – you’ll also find the black oven and microwave tower, within easy reach of the benchtop to ensure sufficient landing space.
To offset all that ebony and contrast with the joinery, Nathan chose Dulux Lexicon two-pack paint for the rest of the island, which reflects the play of natural light coming in from the east-facing window during the daytime. For night time or darker days, LED lighting is mounted under the rangehood as well as directly over the island.
For durability, the benches were all topped in matt Caesarstone to complement the earthy vibe that pervades the space, but in two different shades. The island top is the darker Rugged Concrete, whilst the top for the back wall and the splashback are the lighter shade of Airy Concrete. The idea behind using Caesarstone for the splashback, instead of the usual tiles, was to lessen the textural competition for the rangehood above it.
The more you look, the greater depth of thinking you’ll find. For example, there’s a concealed pod in the benchtop offering electrical points for appliances, just where you need them. Inside the pantry space, there’s a clever set of drawers. And there’s an appliance nook along with an open shelving area to allow Matt and Megan to display some treasures and have frequently used items close at hand.
But there’s one idea that was completely non-negotiable, right from the outset: and that’s the very stealthy liquor cabinet hidden away on one end of the island, where you’re welcome to mix yourself a drink. We dare say, though, there’ll be plenty of Matt and Megan’s creative juices in those concoctions, too.