Implied history

Aged oak cabinetry plays a central part in this kitchen's traditional charms. However, the old-world look belies its high functionality
A view of this kitchen feautring solida aged cabinetry, countertop, estate, home, interior design, kitchen, property, real estate, room, window, gray
A view of this kitchen feautring solida aged oak cabinetry, polished black granite benchtop, timber flooring, stianless steel kitchen appliances

Creating a traditional look for a new kitchen need not be at the expense of modern-day convenience. For example, classic cabinetry facades might conceal high-tech drawer systems and dedicated, compartmentalised interiors where everything is placed within easy reach.

This project, by interior designer Ingrid Geldof, reinvented an existing kitchen and laundry to create more attractive and functional spaces that are still in tune with the residence's overall formal decor.

"The new kitchen inhabits pretty much the original space, but we added windows that wrap round the corner of the house to maximise natural light. We also refitted an existing walk-in pantry," Geldof says. "Another structural change was to level the floors and stud heights to create a harmonious aesthetic flow right through the interior."


A view of this kitchen feautring solida aged cabinetry, countertop, furniture, interior design, kitchen, room, window, brown
A view of this kitchen feautring solida aged oak cabinetry, polished black granite benchtop, timber flooring, stianless steel kitchen appliances

Geldof's design features a classic U-shaped configuration of aged, oak-fronted cabinetry. The solid wood facades were made and installed by furniture-maker Ashton Grove, and are central to the kitchen's impact. They provide classic looks that imply history with every woodworking detail.

"The cabinetry has a solid, furniture-like feel. Cock-beaded drawer surrounds, floating panels, decorative studs and even cornices all reflect the handcrafted nature of the facades," says Geldof. "These are finished using traditional French polishing techniques, in conjunction with shellacs and waxes, to create a patina finish complete with myriad hand-applied imperfections."

While the fronts appear old world, the cabinet storage layouts and operating mechanisms are decidedly modern. The oak exteriors conceal everything from ergonomic storage compartments, such as bottle pull-outs and spice drawers, through to smooth-glide drawer return mechanisms. There is even an appliance garage.

A view of this kitchen feautring solida aged cabinetry, countertop, furniture, interior design, kitchen, room, window, brown
A view of this kitchen feautring solida aged oak cabinetry, polished black granite benchtop, timber flooring, stianless steel kitchen appliances

"However, the idea wasn't to hide all the mod cons away and pretend the kitchen was old. Rather, we wanted to create the general sense of the traditional with the implied benefits of longevity, solidity, and looks that won't fall from favour."

Some appliances, such as the refrigerator, aren't swept out of sight, but the dishwasher is partially integrated, and Geldof also made provisions for the coffeemaker to merge into its environment.

"The coffee maker was in fact deeper than the cabinetry that appears to contain it. We hollowed out a wall cavity behind this cabinet to allow the machine to sit well back and not protrude out into the kitchen," says the designer.

Aug 24, 2007

Credit list

Interior and kitchen designer
Ingrid Geldof, NKBA (Christchurch)
Cabinetry
Solid aged oak exteriors from Ashton Grove
Splashback
Granite
Oven, cooktop and ventilation
Gaggenau
Dishwasher
Flooring
Timber
Kitchen manufacturer
Sydenham Joinery
Benchtops
Kitchen sink
Refrigerator
Whirlpool
Coffee machine
Miele expresso, built in
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