Kitchen renovation opens up surrounding spaces for better flow and functionality

As well as wanting their new kitchen to be open-plan and light-filled, the homeowners needed enough space for more than one family member to use it at a time
Story by: Charles Moxham
Walls and a flat low ceiling were removed, architecture, ceiling, daylighting, home, house, interior design, interior designer, living room, real estate, window, gray, white
Walls and a flat low ceiling were removed, and a higher raked ceiling introduced in its place on this kitchen renovation by Bijl Architecture. The large bulkhead conceals lighting, services and a rangehood.

What are the stand-out heroes of the design? It's a question that architects and interior designers ask themselves on every project. On this kitchen design, part of a comprehensive whole-house makeover by architect Melonie Bayl-Smith, the heroes were the abstracts of space and light.

"Prior to this renovation, the interiors had a compartmentalised feel, says Bayl-Smith. "The original heavy, wooden kitchen had been situated at the end of a dead-end U-shaped space."

"This had meant there wasn't room for more than one person to be using it at a time."

Together with wanting an open-plan, light-filled new kitchen, the owners needed sufficient usable space to accommodate more than one family member. They also wanted it to be discreet within the wider area and Bayl-Smith took several approaches to achieve this.


Tall order  this new kitchen, part of architecture, ceiling, daylighting, estate, house, interior design, interior designer, living room, property, real estate, window, gray, white
Tall order this new kitchen, part of a whole-house makeover by Bijl Architecture, benefits from a dramatic change to the surroundings.

"We decided to hide the kitchen in plain sight. But first we took out walls and opened up the spaces while being mindful to create an overall sense of scale that would be in keeping with the new look.

To this end, we removed the old ceiling and replaced it with a raked version to follow the roofline opening up rooms while retaining low ceilings can create a flat look.

A two-sided clerestory window was also added over the kitchen area."

Having a large bulkhead containing the air conditioning, services, rangehood and lighting allowed the cabinetry and cooking area to integrate with the building.

In this whole-house renovation by architect Melonie Bayl-Smith, ceiling, daylighting, home, house, interior design, living room, property, real estate, window, white
In this whole-house renovation by architect Melonie Bayl-Smith, walls were removed to make the living, dining and kitchen area a combined space.

Using components in the Aleve kitchen model by Stosa Cucina, the architect's integrating strategy also included placing pantry cupboards in a nearby stairwell, thereby keeping food storage close by but out of sight.

The light-toned benchtops and glass-fronted doors and drawer fronts reflect light across the space, while the darker cabinetry anchors the island bench in the larger dining and living area.

Large-format tiles on the splashback respond to the proportions of the now open-plan volume.

Oct 26, 2017

Credit list

Melonie Bayl-Smith, Bijl Architecture
Aleve glass doors in Bianco Opaco and Grigio Piombo, satin finish; pantry glass doors in Azurro Opaco, satin finish; internal carcass and shelving in Champagne melamine
Nimbus, Brightgreen LED downlights by Koda; MondoLuce LED strip by Eurolife
Kitchen sink
Smeg, from Winning Appliances
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA)
Interior designer
Vanessa Tang-Lee, Bijl Architecture
Cabinetry hardware
Grass soft-close mechanisms and aluminium profile handles
Preference Cannes European Oak, from King Cork
Lea Ceramiche City Tiles by Bisanna
Blanco Linussa, from Winning Appliances





Similar stories

X-Sign from DOMUS LINE™: Stunningly Different LED Feature Light

DOMUS LINE™ X-Sign and X-Sign 4F are stunningly different, patented LED feature lights.Designed for surface installation, X-Sign and X-Sign 4F are quick and easy to instal... Read more

Be water wise – simple water saving tips

Water wastage isn’t just bad for the environment, it’s expensive too, with every little bit of waste adding up to a bigger monthly water bill.  Read more

Paint choices help downplay on-view kitchen’s functionality

Black beauty – this kitchen in an open-plan living space is finished in Resene Nero to create a furniture appeal Read more

Latest books

Fowler Homes

These high-quality homes proudly designed and built by Fowler Homes are just the starting point for your own inspiration. They reflect the latest and best  ideas, materials and technologies to benefit your own home Read more

Home Trends 3307

While we might all have ideas for the home design that we want, consulting a good architect or designer will also open us up to other design possibilities that we haven't thought of.To help get you started on creating the home ... Read more

Home Trends 3306

Renovating a tired and dated kitchen will not only add to your enjoyment of cooking – it can also totally transform the way you use all of your living spaces, indoors and out. But where do you start and what's actually possible... Read more

Related profiles

CDK Stone

Our wide range of natural stone is sourced from the finest quarries around the world where each piece of stone is as unique and individual as nature itself. Read more

Midea Appliances

Established in 1968, Midea is a publicly listed and, since July 2016, Fortune 500 Company that offers one of the most comprehensive ranges in the home appliance industry. Read more