A little bit French

With its customised canopy hood and antique chandelier, this new kitchen brings a touch of France to a traditional Queenslander home

view of this kitchen with a french influence cabinetry, countertop, floor, flooring, interior design, kitchen, room, brown, gray
view of this kitchen with a french influence featuring black absolute granite benchtop, large customised canopy, stainless steel double cooker,

Older homes may have plenty of character, but they can be restrictive when it comes to space. With the right design, however, a small kitchen needn't be a compromise.

The original design of this kitchen, in a renovated Queenslander house, was visually constrained by heavy overhead bulkheads and clumsy detailing, including planter boxes on the top of overhead cabinetry.

Designer Cathy Cowell says the clients, who frequently entertain large numbers of people, needed a completely new kitchen with new cooking facilities and improved storage.

"Removing the overhead planter boxes was imperative," Cowell says. "Once these were removed, a wall was pushed out to align the refrigerator with new overhead cupboards, which feature glass doors.

"We were able to lighten the look of the bulkhead over the sink area by removing an angle from the front edge. This allowed the kitchen ceiling to follow the slope of the roof, with dramatic effect."

View of the kitchen before it was was cabinetry, chest of drawers, countertop, cupboard, drawer, floor, flooring, furniture, hardwood, kitchen, room, wood, wood stain, brown
View of the kitchen before it was was renovated

Two large columns, clad in sandstone, introduce a strong textural element to the kitchen, and are a link to the outdoor landscaping. The sandstone is contrasted by a highly polished black granite benchtop that wraps around the columns, enclosing the kitchen in a U shape.

While the original kitchen had an upstand in front of the sink, this was removed in the new design. This helped open up the kitchen, and allows a direct view of a waterfall beyond the windows

The kitchen is further highlighted by a custom-designed canopy hood and a large double cooker.

"The canopy further accentuates the soaring ceiling space, as does the Parisian iron chandelier the owners love French design," says Cowell.

Display cabinets also enhance the traditional character. But practicality has not been sacrificed, says Cowell.

view of this french influenced kitchen featuring black cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, floor, flooring, home, interior design, kitchen, room, wall, window, brown
view of this french influenced kitchen featuring black granite benchtop, tiled flooring, chandalier, timber cabinetry

"Every aspect of the storage has been fully utilised to provide a very functional space. Soft-closing drawers are customised so everything is right at hand."

The kitchen also incorporates a walk-in pantry to the left of the display cabinets. The refrigerator and an appliance garage are positioned to the right of the cooker.

"The actual floor space is not large, but with the overhead alterations the increased volume in the kitchen creates a feeling of space and lightness," says Cowell.

The designer also says that while it is a small kitchen, the efficient work triangle suits the busy lifestyle of the owner, and makes it easy to cater for a crowd.

Credit list

Kitchen manufacturer
Furniture of Distinction
Nero Absoluto granite from Marble Works
Optique Lighting; French chandelier from Cathy Cowell Design
Coffee maker and microwave
Two-pack polyurethane paint finish
Drawer hardware
Blum Tandem runners
Kitchen sink
Blanco Conoisseur

Story by: Trendsideas

29 Jul, 2006

An inspiring range of lift systems