Bre adds her magic to the fairytale Coach House.
Price guide*: $100K for whole project including; Kitchen, Laundry/ Pantry, Main Bathroom & Master Suite (WIR & Ensuite)Specifications
Carcase/Internals: Melamine high moisture resistant interiors/shelving, White, 16mm, Polytec (BORG) Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: All below bench, Custom Tasmanian Oak Veneer fronts with 15mm solid timber frame, charcoal stain, Redwood Furniture Polishing Door/Drawer/Panel/Kicker: Overhead doors, 15mm Oceanic Profile, Porter’s Washed Linen, 21mm door, Redwood Furniture Polishing Feature: 250mm curved radius to Peninsula ends, charcoal stain, Redwood Furniture Polishing Feature: 20mm solid Tasmanian Oak ribbing to Peninsula ends & back, charcoal stain, Redwood Furniture Polishing Feature: Concealed wine storage to Peninsula back – (36 bottles) Feature: 18mm brass shadow line detail, Laminex Drawer Hardware: Intivo Blumotion soft close drawers, BLUM, White , FHS Top & Splashback: u/mount sink cutout, std hot plate cutout & curved ends, CDK Stone, Arabescato Vagli, 20mm, Ideal Stone Kickers: Tasmanian Oak Veneer, Veneer Panels, charcoal stain, Redwood Furniture Polishing Hardware/Wireware: Sige 150mm Pull-Out, Wilson & Bradley Hinges: Soft close, BLUM , FHS Waste Management: 2 x 42L liners, WBPB26084, Wilson & Bradley Handles: Leather Recessed Pulls, Black/ brass, 195mm, Made Measure Oven: Built-in Pyrolytic Oven, Belling, BDO609PYBK, 597W 595H 550D, CLIENT Cooktop: 60cm induction cooktop, Belling, BDC64INF, 590W 57H 520D, CLIENT Rangehood: concealed rangehood, Euromaid, UCB52S, 505W 275D 305H, CLIENT Dishwasher: fully integrated, Belling, BD16FID, 598W 818+100H 550D, CLIENT Sink: Vita Double Bowl (1 & 3/4) Kitchen Sink, Abi Interiors, Brushed Brass Tapware: Elysian Pull Out Kitchen Mixer, Abi Interiors, Brushed Brass Lighting: LED Strip lighting to underside of overheads, Hettich, Warm White, remote on switch Power Sockets: Recessed into panels, Zetr – by client Flooring: Herringbone floor
*Price guide includes: cabinetry, tops and splash backs. Exclusions: appliances, electrical, and plumbing
...Bre couldn’t believe her luck with this demanding but highly rewarding brief and, like Cinderella, she went to town and had a ball....
Once upon a time, 20 years ago, our clients were married at a magnificent manor in the Adelaide Hills. And in that love-struck moment, a crazy dream was born: someday, they would live here. Every time they drove past it over all those years, the yearning fluttered anew and, against all hope, they watched and waited. Then, in 2021, they discovered the manor had been sold. But instead of crushing their dream, that was actually the catalyst that made it real. Because adjacent to the manor was the shell of its old coach house, which the new owners decided to subdivide and sell. The fairytale had a new chapter: the Cinderella Coach House was going to get its make-over. And our Bre Tarca would be the fairy godmother who waved her magic wand.
Originally, this Coach House was the manor’s barn and stables, built at the same time in about 1915. When our hero couple bought it, it was basically just a shell. But it was anything but humble or a mere blank canvas, with splendid heritage features including the quoin work, raked gable roof, brick floors and massive arched barn doors. These would need to be honoured and complemented, albeit in a manner befitting a modern lifestyle.
As avid renovators, our clients were finally ready to create their dream home and the Coach House provided the perfect starting point. (See? It sometimes pays to wait for your dream.) With 20 years’ life and renovating experience behind them, they knew exactly what they wanted to do. Basically, this project will take two stages. First, which is what you see before you, was to renovate the Coach House as it stood as the landing space. Later, they will extend on behind it.
When Bre met them, they greeted her excitedly with a wad of pictures for inspiration and those all-important approved plans, which Craig Van Diemen would be building from. Scanning through those plans, the ideas became as clear as day. The barn doors in the massive arch would go, to be replaced by showstopping steel-framed windows and the main entry door: a fair trade for all that light. There was going to be a new loft for their daughters’ bedrooms. And, our mission, should we choose to accept it, was to design and build all the joinery for the kitchen, master suite (including walk-in robe and ensuite), combined laundry/pantry and the main bathroom.
The kitchen was to be located right next to the arched window. And that arch would excitingly set the shape of things to come. An adjoining room was going to serve as both a pantry and laundry combined, so it needed to house the household groceries, a freestanding French-door fridge, microwave and Thermomix, as well as a washing machine/dryer tower and linen storage. Bre couldn’t believe her luck with this demanding but highly rewarding brief and, like Cinderella, she went to town and had a ball.
...using the same textures, colours, materials and design elements throughout to give the whole plan a pleasing cohesion...
In the original story of Cinderella, the fairy godmother turned a pumpkin and mice into a coach and horses. In the real world, Bre had a lot more sophisticated ingredients to draw on to turn the Coach House into the stunning beauty it is today. All agreed on using the same textures, colours, materials and design elements throughout to give the whole plan a pleasing cohesion. The more open a space is, the more important that becomes. And, as alluded to, Bre picked up on the grand arch to inspire the signature curves for almost every joinery element.
The palette inside the Coach House is an uplifting, not-too-stark range of earthy neutrals starting with Porter’s Sphinx, French Green and triple Greythorne, with timber elements and brass details. It’s classic modern farmhouse, in a nutshell.
To settle this grand old structure and make everything true, Craig laid a concrete slab throughout with herringbone flooring to go over the top at the end of the build. That meant we had to manufacture the kickers or timber ribbing for any joinery extending to floor level 16 millimetres short to allow for that flooring to slide straight under when it’s installed. It’s little details like this that really make the difference. That’s why we always strive to have a good working relationship with any project builder and/or architect.
As the kitchen is the real hero (Prince Charming?) in this story, let’s start there. Sited butting up to the grand arch widow, it fills the kitchen with light and a glorious outlook. Bre planned the L-shaped layout meticulously to offer the maximum storage, as well as accommodate these Belling appliances: the 600-millimetre underbench oven with induction cooktop above; a concealed rangehood; and a dishwasher fully integrated to become invisible.
Whilst the palette is deliberately restrained, it’s not quite as black and white as it might seem. There is subtlety and nuance. The custom-built bench cabinetry, for example, is stained just a little lighter than charcoal, so it still reveals the grain and texture of the Tasmanian oak. The Oceanic profile overhead doors and open shelving, meanwhile, are painted in Porter’s Washed Linen. This shelving was a good test of our building and installing precision as they had to fit snugly underneath a support beam and line up perfectly with the frame for the overhead doors.
Every detail is clean, precise and beautifully understated. But like a duck gliding on the top of a pond, there’s a lot going on underneath the surface. The block curve end to the peninsula, for example, is made from solid 20mm Tassie oak ribbing, which continues along the island back with push-to-open doors concealing extra storage and a place for the wine. A protruding curve houses a charging station for iPads and mobile phones. And the radius of the peninsula continues right to the marble splashback with a return into the living room finished with another curved corner.
Originally, the marble benchtops and splashbacks were going to be made from the statement CDK Twilight, a mix of green, charcoal & cream to tie in with the charcoal Tassie oak. But with Bre’s help through selections, they opted instead for the 20-millimetre Arabescato Vagli from CDK with its more neutral white, grey and light brown tones, subtle & sophisticated.
Subtly shimmering between the dark joinery and the marble benchtop is a brass shadowline, which links to all the brass sanitaryware from ABI interiors used throughout the home. And there’s one more subtle touch of brass, quite literally: the black leather recessed drawer and door handles from MadeMeasure in Melbourne have a little brass core.
Opposite the kitchen is the multi-purpose service room that combines a pantry with a laundry (would that be a pandry or launtry?). Again, the clients had second and third thoughts about this. But, full credit to them, they finally went back to the idea as originally presented. As briefed, this small room had to pack in a lot of equipment and deliver a lot of storage, so Bre really sweated over the detail of the floor-to-ceiling storage to avoid door clashes and wasted space. In fact, as well as the huge fridge, washer & dryer tower, microwave and Thermomix, it now also offers a space for the toaster and kettle, keeping the kitchen benches gloriously sparse.
Originally, to manage costs, Bre proposed that – as it was a service room – they might consider melamine and laminate to be used in here. But, in the end, the budget allowed aesthetics to rule the day and all the joinery was finished in two-pack topped by more of that magnificent marble. In fact, now it’s almost a complete extension of the kitchen design, albeit with Lo & Co black Ascot knobs to echo the MadeMeasure ones next-door.
There’s even a narrow cupboard to store the ironing board. Mind you, that small cupboard did also create a small headache: the original plumbing had to be reconfigured to ensure the waste and water points fitted perfectly. Such is the cost of perfection.
Making our way into the master bedroom, let’s take in the walk-in robe on our way to the ensuite. On one side is the hanging robe, which is split into six equal doors. The far-left door hides an angled shoe display, whilst the remaining five open to reveal half- and full-hanging spaces.
Opposite these is the wall of tallboy storage with two narrow top drawers and two deep bottom ones. One of the lovely bonuses of the build was that there was just enough of the Arabescato Vagli Marble stone from CDK left over from the slabs we ordered to create the benchtop for this tallboy benchtop. The doors on all the units were built with a 15-millimetre Oberon profile and painted in two-pack satin finish (Porter’s triple Greythorne) adorned with Lo & Co matt-black Linear pulls echoing the hand-made handles in the kitchen.
The choices for both the ensuite and the main bathroom were totally in sync, with wall-hung vanities, Tassie oak timber veneer fronts (this time, stained to match the herringbone timber flooring in the living areas) and Arabescato Vagli marble tops with undermounted matt ceramic sinks, brass wastes and wall-mounted brass tapware once again from ABI Interiors. The trickiest part of building the vanities was – perhaps surprisingly – the drawers, which needed to be carefully shaped around the undermounted sinks and their plumbing.
The ensuite is tiled from wall to wall with a mirror-faced shaving cabinet overhead, its frame painted in a two-pack to match the tiles. The main bathroom features a soft block curve on the end of the vanity and neutral terrazzo floor tiles.
On the day we came back to take these photographs, the clients were very happy to tell us how thrilled they were with how everything had come together. And – just like a fairytale, they’re living in the Coach House for their Happily Ever After.
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