Handcrafted by artisans

This predominantly wood kitchen is a working example of the craftsmanship and attention to detail that are typical of the Arts and Crafts movement
Story by: Charles Moxham
View of the conservatory looking into the kitchen ceiling, estate, home, house, interior design, living room, real estate, brown
View of the conservatory looking into the kitchen with limestone tiled floor, exposed rafters on the ceiling, doors and windows, lounger.

A reaction to the automated excesses of the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era's eclectic revival of historic styles, the Arts and Crafts movement celebrates the hand-designed, the hand-built and the hand-finished. At its heart, the Arts and Crafts movement was the idealisation of craftspeople taking pride in their handiwork. At its height, from 1880 to 1910, this movement spread from England to Canada and the United States.

This kitchen, by designer Ernie Lehmann, is an outstanding example of the Arts and Crafts style. The pieces are simple and give the clear impression of having been built solidly, by hand.

"The wood boards comprising the cabinetry door panelling, for example, are in subtly differing tones," says Lehmann. "This shows at a glance that the doors are built from solid planks, rather than a slender veneer."


View of a kitchen with casual dining area cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, dining room, flooring, furniture, hardwood, home, interior design, kitchen, living room, real estate, room, brown, orange
View of a kitchen with casual dining area which features an island with solid walnut timber countertop, copper hood, solid timber cabinetry, farmhouse sink, integrated appliances, lighting, chestnut floorboards.

As well as reflecting solid construction, the wood is distressed in several ways to add to the rustic look and create an implied history for the cabinetry. Chaining or scraping, and cracking, where minute fissures are created in the grain, all contribute to this effect. A special tool is used to create worm holes. With all marks, holes and scrapes in place, the surfaces are then wiped with glaze, which seeps in to seal the wood and complete the look.

The Arts and Crafts style celebrates many forms of artisan skill leaded glass panes are set into the doors of the upper perimeter cabinetry.

"Even the granite used for the benchtops adds to the feel of a handcrafted kitchen," says Lehmann. "The black granite was antiqued by being brushed with large leather rollers, which creates a somewhat textured surface, rather than a machine-like polished finish."

View of a kitchen which features an island cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, hardwood, home, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, brown
View of a kitchen which features an island with solid walnut timber countertop, copper hood, solid timber cabinetry, farmhouse sink, integrated appliances, lighting, chestnut floorboards.

The substantial farmhouse sink, weighing in at more than 200 kg, is cast in bronze and needed a number of people to position it in the perimeter benchtop. The large copper rangehood adds to the Arts and Crafts feel and is designed to age or patina over time.

"The American Arts and Crafts style does echo the British movement," says Lehmann. "However, in the United States the look is perhaps slightly bigger, richer in tone, and places more emphasis on comfortable living."

Feb 02, 2010

Credit list

Interior designer
Cabinetry
Briar-stained, black glazed and distressed quarter-sawn white oak
Tile flooring
Antiqued Biblical Style Jerusalem Stone by Ann Sacks,
Doors and windows
Pella
Splashback
Variegated Slate
Cooktop and double oven
Wolf
Microwave
GE Profile
Dishwasher
Fisher & Paykel DishDrawers
Kitchen manufacturer
Benchtop surfaces
Perimeter in antiqued Cambrian Black; island in American black walnut from Craft-Art
Flooring
Scraped French chestnut, irregular planks
Door and window hardware
Sinks and taps
Ventilation
Silverado in Antiqued Copper by Independence
Refrigeration
Sub-Zero 600 Series Fridge, 700 Series Freezer Drawers, integrated Gravity Drain Ice Maker
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