History repeats

Every kitchen tells a story in this case it's the tale of an 1830s farmhouse evolution
Story by: Colleen Hawkes
View of a remodelled kitchen in this 1832 cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, dining room, floor, flooring, hardwood, home, interior design, kitchen, living room, real estate, room, wall, window, wood flooring, gray, brown
View of a remodelled kitchen in this 1832 farmhouse kitchen island, sinks and faucetry, marble countertops, pine cabinetry, pine flooring, lighting, doors and windows, blinds.

Most kitchens are remodelled several times in the course of a lifetime, but on occasion even the best intentions cannot make a space work.

The kitchen in this two-over-two plantation house, which was built in 1832, was located in a lean-to at the rear. The owners say the lean-to was probably added on to the original house around the turn of the last century, but it had long since passed its expiry date. The solution? A new two-storey addition to replace the lean-to, providing bathrooms on the top level and a new kitchen on the ground floor.

Designer Matthew Rao says the kitchen had to respect the era of the house, but also reflect the ongoing needs of the clients.


View of separate drinks area with wine fridge countertop, floor, flooring, furniture, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, laminate flooring, living room, real estate, room, table, wood, wood flooring, gray
View of separate drinks area with wine fridge and sink beside the door to the dining room, wooden flooring, television, furnishings.

"We wanted the kitchen to fit with the period of the house, so we developed a story line an implied evolution. Parts of the kitchen were designed to look like they could be original elements, while others are like found elements that could have been cobbled together over the years the last thing we wanted was a modern, fully fitted kitchen."

To this end, the perimeter cabinets feature pine wood that has been treated with three layers of paint wash and given a distressed finish. The sink cabinets are also stepped back slightly, to convey the sense of symmetrical hutches on either side of the window. The overhead display cabinets have glass sidelights, which help ensure the room is light and airy. The island, however, features natural pine Shaker doors with a well-worn patina.

Most appliances have been integrated into the cabinetry. However, several stainless steel elements, including a modern take on the traditional butler's sink, are on display recognition of the kitchen's 21st-century role.

View of the original 1832 farmhouse door and cabinetry, furniture, home, interior design, room, gray
View of the original 1832 farmhouse door and medallion mouldings at the entrance to the new kitchen.

To minimise the impact of the cooking centre, the island features a downdraught rather than a hood, and a dark soapstone benchtop ensures the black induction cooktop is unobtrusive.

Aug 28, 2009

Credit list

Kitchen manufacturer
Draper-DBS
Benchtops
Calacatta Gold marble and soapstone from G&L Marble & Tile
Taps
Dornbracht Tara Classic
Refrigeration
Sub-Zero
Cooktop
Wolf
Ventilation
Wolf
Ceiling fans
Matthews Fan Co
Cabinets
Pine, painted and distressed
Sink
Kindred
Flooring
Wide-plank pine
Oven and microwave
Miele
Warming drawer
Dacor
Dishwasher
Miele
We know the specialists