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

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

This centrally placed island includes a wealth of cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, room, gray, brown
This centrally placed island includes a wealth of storage on both sides. The bevelled edges on the mirror subway tiles echo the cabinetry inserts, adding to the harmony of the kitchen.

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.

Wood floors and a taupe-coloured wall tone create cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, floor, flooring, hardwood, home, interior design, kitchen, room, wood flooring, gray, brown
Wood floors and a taupe-coloured wall tone create contrasting backdrops to the pristine white cabinetry in this kitchen design by Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath.

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."

Everything is on the tall side in this countertop, kitchen, sink, tap, white, gray
Everything is on the tall side in this kitchen, with both owners being well over six foot. Even the marble countertops are deep, effectively adding another 5cm of height to the prepping surfaces.

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 designer
Paul Bentham NKBA, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath
Cabinet company
Duluth pull and Quincy nobs in polished nickel
Decorator’s White
Antiqued mirror bevelled subway tile from Architectural Ceramics
Grohe K7 Pro faucet in chrome
Wolf Pro Hood
Sub-Zero, French door
Waste disposal
Michael Thornton and Sons
Plywood casework with solid maple painted Sonoma door
Mont Blanc granite
Casbah crystal chandeliers from Restoration Hardware
Kitchen sink
Lenova square, under-mounted bowl with matching Mont Blanc apron
Wolf duel fuel range
Wolf Micro Drawer

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Bob Narad

09 Feb, 2017

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