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Antiqued mirror tiles and traditionally built cabinetry are features of this kitchen

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This luxury kitchen combines traditional features such as antique chandeliers and dense marble countertops with more contemporary door panels

Antique mirror tiles and traditionally built cabinetry are features of this kitchen Discover this article's resources


What can be missing from any given kitchen design picture is the path taken to arrive there. Before reaching this kitchen, you have already stepped into a grand 1900s Victorian home with 3.7m-high ceilings, elaborate wood carvings on mantels and stairs; walked past leather panels with brass button detailing; and under giant chandeliers hanging in the formal rooms below.

Designer Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath says the challenge was to create a kitchen with modern amenities that would feel true to the historical nature of the home, in all its glory.

"We started out by combining a small dining room with the adjacent existing cramped kitchen to create a bright, lively space," says Bentham.

To achieve the grand look that marries the kitchen to the rest of the home, the pristine white upper cabinets are created in a classic style.

The 1.5m tall top cabinets are constructed traditionally – with solid 2.5cm-thick doors set into the carcass, while the 20cm-high stacked crown mouldings add to their presence. These upper cabinets boast exposed polished chrome barrel door hinges – adding to the formal tone.


"We also added antiqued mirror inserts to the upper doors for sparkle and visual interest."

However, with storage at a premium, the designer created the under-bench cabinets with doors mounted over the carcass – a more modern approach that optimises internal cupboard space. Despite the overall formal look, this door panel design is simpler, adding a transitional air.

"For the glittering splashback, we chanced upon matching antique mirrored subway tiles, embellished with a bevelled edge. These ideally complement the cabinet mirror inserts and, like the latter, help bounce light around the room."

To match the tall stature of both owners, the upper cabinetry sits high up the wall. The lower cabinets are also tall, while the chunky marble countertops add another 5cm to their height.

Contemporary aspects of the kitchen include the chrome cabinet handles, strategically and discreetly placed electric sockets and the large, function-rich stainless steel appliances.

Wideplank oak floors ground the design, and the walls are painted a taupe, a tone that lets the ornate tall upper cabinetry stand out.

"We also chose this colour to harmonise with both the chrome cabinet handles and the bronze of the antique-look chandeliers," says Bentham.

Credit List

Kitchen designerPaul Bentham NKBA, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath
ContractorMichael Thornton and Sons
Cabinet companyQuality Custom Cabinetry
CabinetryPlywood casework with solid maple painted Sonoma door
HardwareDuluth pull and Quincy nobs in polished nickel
CountertopsMont Blanc granite
DoorDecorator's White by Benjamin Moore
LightingCasbah crystal chandeliers from Restoration Hardware
SplashbackAntiqued mirror bevelled subway tile from Architectural Ceramics
Kitchen sinkLenova square, under-mounted bowl with matching Mont Blanc apron
FaucetsGrohe K7 Pro faucet in chrome
OvenWolf duel fuel range
VentilationWolf Pro Hood
MicrowaveWolf Micro Drawer
RefrigerationSub-Zero, French door
Waste disposalInSinkErator

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