Even though Bonnie & Adam’s home was small in size, we created a space that was big in personality.
Price guide*: $30K - $40KSpecifications
Carcase/Internals: Melamine high moisture resistant interiors/shelving, White, 16mm, Polytec (BORG) Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: Tall cabinetry & below bench (back wall), Wilson Art, Khaki K003-V, 18mm LMP panel, Halifax Vogel Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: Overhead doors, filler, 60mm frame detail, 2pac satin finish – to match WilsonArt Dawn Redwood Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: Concealed push to open doors to back of island, WilsonArt Dawn, 18mm LMP PanelDawn WilsonArt Overhead Doors: 2 to have 60mm frame & Cathedral glass inserts, 2pac paint finish to match WilsonArtDawn + Cathedral Glass, Federation Glass Feature: Open shelving above fridge, Tasmanian Oak Veneer, 25mm, Veneer Panels – Back panel to have horizontal grain Feature: Open shelving above islands & 2x shelves w/ curved ends, Tasmanian Oak Veneer, 25mm, Veneer Panels Drawer Hardware: Intivo Blumotion soft close drawers in pantry, BLUM, White, FHS Drawer Hardware: Antaro soft close drawers, BLUM, White, FHS Top: Stone top, Caesarstone, Primordia, 20mm, Ideal Stone Handles: Mabel handles, Brass, LO & CO Handles: Harper pull, Brass, LO & CO Waste Management: Kia Ora 3 liner bin system to sit in drawer under sink, KKB503G, Wilson & Bradley – subject to plumbing Hardware/Wireware: Pull out basket, Sige, SVBSL200, Wilson & Bradley – Located left of oven Oven: N 70 Built-in Oven, NEFF, B57CR22N0B, H585-595 W560-568 D550 Cooktop: N 90 Flex Induction Cooktop 60cm, NEFF, T56TS31NO, H51 W606 D546 Rangehood: Provision for concealed rangehood, DeLonghi, DE60UM, External ducting by others Microwave: Carousel Microwave Oven, Sharp, R-291Z(ST) – To sit underbench in island Dishwasher: 45cm Freestanding Dishwasher, Home Appliances, GDW45S, H845 W448 Splashback: to Splashback & feature kicker, Jatana Tiles, Pink Retro Star, 200 x 200, Jatana Tiles Sink: Vari Single Sink 750mm, Brushed Brass 12362, Abi Interiors Tapware: Eden Square Kitchen Mixer, Brushed Brass 12158, Abi Interiors Other: Penelope Kitchen Sink Drainer, Brushed Brass 10449, Abi Interiors Other: Felicity Kitchen Sink Colander Accessory, Brushed Brass 10725, Abi Interiors
*Price guide includes: cabinetry, tops and splash backs. Exclusions: appliances, electrical, and plumbing
...Bonnie & Adam wanted to maintain a neutral colour palette but they didn’t want bland or boring...
Bonnie & Adam, their five-year-old son and miniature schnauzer, Lilo, made the massive move across the Nullarbor from WA to the beachside suburb of Hove pre-COVID in 2019. They made the change from sparkly new townhouse to, here, where they purchased a small unit in which they saw big potential. In other words, it was going to take some brains, money and muscle to make it work the way they knew it could.
The main problems centred on the modest dimensions of the property. What made it feel even more cramped was what little space existed was divided up into dark, poky rooms. The kitchen, for example, was around the corner and through the hall from the lounge/dining room. Bonnie felt cut off, making mealtime a lonely chore. Adding a further degree of difficulty to the task, the laundry was right where you’d want to knock through to open up to the living area.
And so they started their search for a partner to help them realise their dreams. Bonnie takes up the story: “No other kitchen company seemed to understand me, my taste, or what I wanted. Even though I was specific, it was too different from the usual, so I got a lot of blank looks, which was very awkward. I wanted an original and creative kitchen, but I didn’t have the confidence – or design skills – to pull it off myself.”
Finally, they found SpaceCraft while Googling for a ‘boutique’ joinery. And in Bre, they found someone who not only got them but could take their ideas to an unimagined level. In fact, Bonnie & Adam were so impressed and keen to lock in a spot on our schedule to have their kitchen completed prior to Christmas, they paid a deposit before they’d even seen the design. Their gamble paid off: they didn’t make a single change to Bre’s in-studio design presentation.
And that’s pretty impressive when you consider just how many problems Bre faced and all the needs and wants she had to consider. First of all, there was a modest budget, so she couldn’t splurge on expensive fixtures, fittings and materials. The next trick was to open up the house, negotiate the laundry roadblock and bring in light. Then, it was all about maximising storage and bench space.
Sensibly, Bonnie & Adam wanted to maintain a neutral colour palette but they didn’t want bland or boring. What Bonnie had in mind was something natural and organic with a touch of funk. Bre was in her element. And speaking of organic, she also needed to find a way to display all the indoor plants Bonnie collects (her ‘jungle’). How she did it is a lesson in restraint and the power of imagination over indulgence.
...A place for everything and everything in its place. And, most importantly, Bonnie & Adam feel right at home with it. ...
First thing to do was to call in the builder to start removing walls and adjusting the structure to create an L-shaped, open-plan integrated kitchen/dining/living space. And over the new galley kitchen area, a skylight was installed. Then came the hard part: making that space work both practically and aesthetically. Bre’s solution was to wave her magic wand and make everything disappear: not just all the family’s possessions, but even the storage itself.
The way she did this was to use the same neutral colour palette, materials and flooring throughout. Unity and harmony make rooms feel bigger than they are. She designed all the kitchen cabinetry to extend right to the ceiling, which not only maximises storage but also looks cleaner and helps balance the space, with tall items grouped together. She used drawers instead of doors to make access effortless, including a set of hidden drawers inside the pantry.
The island bench was fully utilised, with four push-to-open doors incorporated in the island back to house the family’s games and craft supplies. And she somehow found a space and a place for everything on the wish list including an under-bench hutch for the microwave, a concealed rangehood, a pull-out spice and oil rack, and a bin system under the sink for garbage, compost and recycling. There are even pockets of open shelving to display little treasures, including some of Bonnie’s jungle.
With space and money at a premium, pragmatism ruled. Bre re-used the family’s compact 450-mm-wide fridge and dishwasher, and there was only space for a 600-mm cooktop and oven. But this all suits a small family anyway, using less power to boot. The other canny money-saver was the choice of two-tone melamine for the joinery doors: WilsonArt Dawn for the overheads and island; WilsonArt Khaki for the tall items. A compromise? Take another look. With clever design and a winning colour combination, this should change your mind about melamine for good.
Of course, all these clever hacks gave us a little left-over lolly for Bonnie’s required ‘funky bits’. The standout star is definitely the Jatana pink Retro Star tiles Bre used for the splashbacks, which she then also used as a tiled kicker on the island back. Wow! Taking their design as inspiration, the open Tasmanian oak shelves are curved to match the end of the benchtop, which softens the entry to the kitchen and hallway. Bre chose that neutral concrete benchtop (20-mm Caesarstone Primordia) for the rusty bands that flow through it to make that colour connection with the Tassie oak on the shelves and shadowline. For a touch of glam, the whole lot was set off by brushed brass accessories: the ABI Interiors’ sink and mixer, and the Lo & Co handles.
That just leaves one little detail to be covered: the missing laundry. Well, look again. Because next to the kitchen adjacent to the dining area is a cupboard with retractable doors that hides the washing machine and dryer. Not only that, as part of the same assembly, there’s open shelving for a bar, making the whole thing subtle and seamless.
A place for everything and everything in its place. And, most importantly, Bonnie & Adam feel right at home with it. As Bonnie says, “I felt completely understood. My brief was met entirely, and at the first draft no less. Bre worked her magic and I got exactly what I wanted: not just a high quality kitchen, but a beautiful, creative, warm space that’s unique, original and completely personal for us. I love being here.”
And we loved being there, too. We may have had bigger projects. But we’ve never had a bigger compliment.
> belowSee more projects of similar style