Heart and hearth

A new addition to an existing character home has given this family a communal space that encourages camaraderie
Story by: Justin Foote Photography by: Patrick Redmond Heart and hearth A new addition to an existing character home has given this family
View of a kitchen featuring long island with ceiling, chair, countertop, dining room, floor, flooring, furniture, hardwood, home, interior design, kitchen, laminate flooring, light fixture, product design, room, table, wood flooring, orange
View of a kitchen featuring long island with composite stone top and blue bar stools, stained oak flooring, large lampshades, appliances, cabinets.

Few renovation projects are straightforward affairs. At best, there are myriad concessions to be made between desire and practicality, and that's before stumbling on whatever obstacles lie hidden behind walls, beneath floors and in ceiling cavities.

In the case of this project, one major obstacle was very much front and centre, and it determined how the rest of the space was utilised, says kitchen designer Robyn Shrives.

"The new kitchen area is an addition, and right from the start it was apparent that a large existing chimney alcove was going to have to be incorporated into the design."

The homeowners weren't after an ultra-modern kitchen. They wanted something contemporary, but within the style of the house something with character, says Shrives.


View of a kitchen and dining area featuring ceiling, countertop, cuisine classique, dining room, floor, flooring, home, interior design, kitchen, property, real estate, room, table, white
View of a kitchen and dining area featuring long island with composite stone top and blue bar stools, stained oak flooring, large lampshades, appliances, cabinets and dining furnishings.

With a brief to incorporate character traits within a contemporary scheme, the decision was made to fully line the chimney alcove in stainless steel and to incorporate a freestanding range imported from America.

"This in turn meant that we had to place a bench parallel to the range as a preparation area," says Shrives.

"Another of the must-haves was an island bench where the homeowners' five boys could be accommodated. As the bench next to the range was impractical, we had to include another bench this one 3m long."

Also to be considered was the space on the other side of the chimney alcove. The solution was to enclose the area and utilise it as a butler's pantry, with the refrigerator alongside.

View of a kitchen and dining area featuring ceiling, countertop, cuisine classique, dining room, floor, flooring, home, interior design, kitchen, property, real estate, room, table, white
View of a kitchen and dining area featuring long island with composite stone top and blue bar stools, stained oak flooring, large lampshades, appliances, cabinets and dining furnishings.

"This has given the kitchen two preparation areas, which makes it possible for each family member to be engaged in a different task within the one space."

With the practicalities of the design met, the next task was to address the aesthetics. Shrives chose a mix of materials stainless steel, composite stone and painted cabinetry as a way of amalgamating traditional and contemporary elements into the kitchen's design.

"The mix of materials is the best feature of the kitchen," says Shrives. "The Shaker profile on the cabinetry is another great link between the old and the new, and the chunkiness of the benchtops adds a solidity that grounds the design, while the furniture-like aspect of the pieces lends an air of longevity."

Aug 28, 2009

Credit list

Kitchen manufacturer
Flooring
French oak stained
Splashback
Stainless steel in alcove by Royal Stainless Steel; glass behind coffee machine
Ventilation
Qasair concealed
Dishwasher
Miele semi-integrated; Fisher & Paykel single DishDrawer
Lighting
Fabric shades custom made by Surrey Lighting; wicker shades from Koskela Design
Dining table
A Day on Earth
Cabinetry
Shaker profile doors in two-pak satin finish
Benchtop
Quarella Beige Capri in 60mm mitre; Stainless steel 60mm edge hand polished by Royal Stainless
Oven and cooktop
Viking freestanding from Elite Appliances
Refrigeration
Liebherr stainless steel; Fisher & Paykel bar fridge
Blinds
Bracken Blinds
Kitchen sink
Franke Kubus undermount; custom-made integrated stainless steel sink in stainless steel benchtop
Art
Hope by David Bromley; Still life with coastal landscape 2003 by Richard Dunlop
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