Retro Cool Kitchen Design | SpaceCraft Joinery | Projects


James Fleur

Fleur & James turned out to be model clients.

Price guide*: $30K - $35K


Carcase/Internals: 16mm Melamine high moisture resistant interiors/shelving in White by Laminex   Door/Drawer/Panels: 18mm Paint grade in Polar white 2Pac satin by Redwood   Feature: 19mm Hoop pine plywood frames and panels in Satin clear by Australian Timbers   Inner Drawer Hardware: BLUM inner draws to pantry in White by Wilson & Bradley   Drawer Hardware: BLUM Intivo Blumotion soft close drawers in White by Wilson & Bradley   Top: 20mm—50mm Caesarstone in Urban by Ideal Stone [20mm to L-shape and 50mm to island]   Kickers: As cupboard doors in 2Pac satin by Redwood   Hardware/Wireware: BLUM HK TIP ON Lift up doors by Wilson & Bradley [Fixed panel to rangehood] and Vauth Sagel 1470-190VS CorFlex wireware pullout in Chrome to blind corner cupboard by Lincoln Sentry   Handles: Notch out detail to plywood rails Custom   Hinges: BLUM Soft close by Wilson & Bradley  Cutlery Inserts: Stainless steel cutlery insert by Wilson & Bradley   Waste Management: Door mounted bin, 4 bin liners WBPB6084 by Wilson & Bradley   Oven: SMEG Victoria Aesthetic Pyrolytic built in oven SFPA6925B 592H x 597W x 548D from Appliances Online
Cooktop: SMEG Victoria Aesthetic Natural Gas Cooktop SRA964BGH 30H x 600W x 500D from Appliances Online   Rangehood: SMEG Under cupboard rangehood PUM60X 420H x 600W x 290D from Appliances Online   Microwave: SHARP Smart convection microwave R890EW 315H x 520W x 510D from Appliances Online   Dishwasher: Fisher and Paykel Fully integrated DishDrawer Dishwasher DD60STI9 454H x 599W x 571D [Dish drawer style] from Appliances Online   Fridge: MIELE Integrated Fridge/Freezer combination KFNS 37452 iDE 559W x 1770H x 545D from Miele    Sink: ABEY Schock SOHO Large single bowl polaris N120W in White 550 x 430 [bowl depth 200] by Demor   Tapware: Emporio mixer 17051W in White by Demor   Splashback: Tiled Madoka MDK31in White by Eco Tile Factory   Lighting: LED warm white strip lighting to underside of overheads by Hettich   Pendants: Replica Sofie Refer Mega Bulb Pendant from Zest Lighting (online)

*Price guide includes: cabinetry and tops. Exclusions: appliances, tiling, electrical and plumbing.

The Challenge

...they came to us, for something they perceived they couldn’t get anywhere else...

We have a connection with most of our clients. They come to us, after all, for something they perceive they can’t get anywhere else. And we reciprocate by taking the time to understand their needs, so we really can deliver a bespoke, individualised design that fits their personalities as well as their lifestyle. And then, there are the clients we form a special bond with. We knew we’d enjoy this job from the very first contact with Fleur & James. But then, when James showed us the delightful, three-dimensional miniature mock-up he’d built to envision our plans, they instantly became our model clients in both senses.

Fleur lectures in audiology at the College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Flinders University, whilst James is a bricklayer and a very clever, handy man, as we started to appreciate with his model kitchen. They share their cool 1960s home in Blackwood with two pooches: Alby, the long-time resident, and Reggie, their recently welcomed rescue dog.

They first contacted us in May 2018 to create a replacement kitchen for the small, existing footprint, after opening up the maximum space available by taking out a wall. It was a relatively straightforward brief, for sure, compared to some of the monumental makeovers we’ve confronted over the years, but it was still genuinely exciting as they wanted something “a bit different”. (Three words that always make our day.)

When Nathan went to see them for the initial design consultation, he knew the limited space would be a challenge but he was heartened by the couple’s choice of cool, retro kitchen appliances. They were also keen to make the fridge, dishwasher and microwave as unobtrusive as possible. These guidelines would ultimately prove to be the key to the end result.

Apart from the size we had to deal with, there was just one other challenge on this job. When it came time to fit-out the kitchen, it was just when the construction industry was in full swing and we had a devil of a time finding a high-quality tiler to do the splashbacks. Then, when we did manage to secure one, he pulled out under the pressure of his other commitments, leaving us high and dry. Fortunately, at this stage, our old mate, Tommy the tiler, who is a master craftsman and takes immense pride in his workmanship, was able to come to our rescue. And he did a perfect job. Boy, were we sweating bullets there for a while.

Our Solution

...a design with clean lines and a groovy aesthetic...

This project offered Nathan a great opportunity to create a design with clean lines and a groovy aesthetic, given the clients resonated with our design philosophies and had complete trust in us. By creating an overall fascia to the kitchen that makes the appliances essentially disappear, it not only made it a highly functional space but one that seems much larger than it really is.

Mind you, this essentially started with the great choices Fleur & James made with their appliances. It’s hard to go wrong when you start with a package that includes a Smeg Victoria Aesthetic Pyrolytic built-in oven and natural-gas cooktop, topped off by a Smeg rangehood. These would be constantly visible, so they had to look good and we had to match them with the style of the kitchen. But then, they also bought a Miele integrated fridge / freezer and a Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer, both of which Nathan hid within the fascia. The microwave was also “hidden in plain sight” within a special nook in the island bench.

Continuing on with the great disappearing act, the space-efficient pantry includes a set of inner drawers to stuff in a lot of foodstuff. The great Houdini couldn’t have done any better.

But the fabulous fascia it’s all hidden behind isn’t just one slab of monotonous cupboard doors. Tying it all together and giving a beautiful link to the existing timber floors, Nathan used a grid of hoop-pine plywood as a gorgeous but subtle feature, including the bespoke door pulls and hand notches. Within this structure, he also included an open vertical shelf for trays and chopping boards. Very handy.

Across the top of the Caesarstone benchtops incorporating the white sink and Emporio mixer tap from Demor, are the textural domed tiles Fleur & James found at the Eco Tile Factory. All beautifully set off by the replica Sofie Refer mega-bulb pendant lights they purchased from Zest Lighting.

Simple. Subtle. Sublime. It’s a model (even at full scale) of how to transform a small space into a perfectly functional kitchen that can accommodate two clever people, two lucky dogs and a lot of smart thinking.

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