From a bygone era Traditional style kitchen designed by Stephen Akehurst

Traditional style kitchen designed by Stephen Akehurst

Story by: Colleen Hawkes
View of traditional country home. ceiling, countertop, cuisine classique, floor, flooring, interior design, kitchen, room, gray
View of traditional country home.

Nostalgia is a powerful force when it comes to interior design, but it's not the only reason people are influenced by tradition.

Solid hand-made furniture and surfacing materials also have a durability that's especially appealing as is the patina they acquire over time.

All these factors helped convince the architect-owner of this new house to keep with tradition in the kitchen. Such a design was also appropriate to the architecture of the large, three-storey country house.

Stephen Akehurst says, however, that the design needed to fit the much more informal way of living today.

"People are inclined to do away with formal rooms they want to cook, eat and socialise in the one space. So this space needed to combine a large kitchen with a family room that opened to an outdoor living area at the front, and another one at the rear."


An integrated refrigerator and freezer resemble old-style ice cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, floor, home, home appliance, interior design, kitchen, room, window, gray
An integrated refrigerator and freezer resemble old-style ice chests.

Akehurst added a large island and a stone work top that can be used for food preparation, serving and casual dining. A hearth-style cooking centre, with an old-style range and large chimney hood, is essentially another island anchoring the middle of the room and providing an easy work triangle.

"We can have three to four people working in the kitchen at the same time, without anyone getting under foot."

Akehurst also took a cue from the traditional idea of a scullery. The area behind the cooking centre is lined with storage and additional bench space, and is designated the cleanup area.

"When you're entertaining, you don't want guests to be looking at mess and clutter. This can all be hidden out of sight in the scullery, which has two dishwashers and a trough-like stainless steel sink that is big enough to wash platters and oven trays."

In keeping with the overall character of the house, the wood cabinetry has a traditional panelled door design and was hand painted on site.

Traditional features include the door hardware and butler's cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, room, gray
Traditional features include the door hardware and butler's sink.

"As it starts to wear and age, it will acquire a patina, but it won't look shabby," says the architect. "The doors of the vertical cabinets in the scullery feature wire mesh, which ensures there is always fresh air circulating in the pantry."

Traditional door hardware also evokes an earlier time, as do the side-by-side refrigerator and freezer, which have been integrated into the cabinets.

"With their old-style steel hardware, these refrigerated units are reminiscent of old ice chests," says Akehurst. "They are not completely disguised, having some recognisable refrigerator elements."

The traditional range and chimney recall the days when the hearth was the gathering place for the family, and the place where all the cooking was done. Similarly, a large double butler's sink on the island makes light work of food preparation.

While a lot of the lighting in the house comes from lamps, the kitchen has both direct task lighting and indirect lighting. Lights above and below the cabinetry highlight the height of the ceiling, and work areas. They also give the room a warm, inviting ambience.

Jul 29, 2011

Credit list

Interior design
Stephen Akehurst, Adrian Cannata, Stephen Akehurst & Associates
Flooring
Recycled stringy bark eucalypt from Nullarbor Timber
Doors and windows
Carlson Bros
Benchtops
Italmarble Pocai
Range
Rosières
Refrigeration
Liebherr
Sinks
Villeroy & Boch
Kitchen manufacturer
Paints
Porters Paints
Kitchen cabinetry
Celtic Décor, hand painted; steel mesh doors in scullery
Splashback
Price Tiles
Ventilation unit
Qasair
Dishwashers
Miele
Tapware
Astra Walker
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