Layer upon layer

Making a feature of natural materials such as wood, stone and metal creates a rich, textured space
Story by: Lydia Brewer Photography by: David Livingston
Ranch-style kitchen by Applegate Tran Interiors cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, cuisine classique, flooring, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, brown
Ranch-style kitchen by Applegate Tran Interiors

Renovating a kitchen in a large open space might appear to be easier than working in a smaller room. But when the list of requirements is even larger, achieving a result that is both functional and aesthetically cohesive is no easy task.

For this ground floor kitchen, designing a layout that would fit many appliances and provide ample storage space while avoiding a warehouse feeling was the challenge put to designer Vernon Applegate of Applegate Tran Interiors.

"The rest of the house is sleek and contemporary, so we wanted to mirror this in a Japanese style in the kitchen," he says.

By layering materials and textures, Applegate created a Japanese wabi sabi aesthetic, based on simplicity, imperfect beauty and transience.

The view outside was also an inspiration for the design.


Ranch-style kitchen by Applegate Tran Interiors architecture, cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, brown
Ranch-style kitchen by Applegate Tran Interiors

"The kitchen looks out onto a beautiful garden and pool, so connections with the outdoor area physical and aesthetic were imperative," says the designer.

"All the elements needed to relate to each other while providing a fully functional and user-friendly space."

The original kitchen layout had a large island in the centre, but Applegate broke this into two separate islands to create more flow in the kitchen and to make the most of the area.

The bronze wood-fired pizza oven, a request of the owners, is picked up by other elements in the same material.

The splashback behind the kitchen sink hides taps from view of the dining area and provides a space for utilities such as power outlets.

Ranch-style kitchen by Applegate Tran Interiors cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, cuisine classique, flooring, interior design, kitchen, real estate, gray, brown
Ranch-style kitchen by Applegate Tran Interiors

To create a sense of height, cupboards are tall with an intentionally horizontal grain. Timber beams were added to the ceiling to hide existing structural beams and create a point of difference.

Cabinetry is built from eucalyptus and walnut and is finished in a variety of stains for depth and warmth.

A cigar-box-style cabinet in walnut sets off the granite benchtop on the island, and a tongue-and-groove finish shows craftsmanship.

"We layered materials, textures and colours to create a space that was natural and inviting, yet in keeping with the modern style of the rest of the house," says the designer.

Feb 01, 2011

Credit list

Interior designer
Vernon Applegate, Applegate Tran Interiors
Kitchen manufacturer
Mueller Nicholls Inc
Benchtops
Granite; limestone
Chairs
Custom
Splashback
Limestone
Dishwasher and oven
Miele
Refrigeration
Sub-Zero
Kitchen designer
Gioi Tran,
Cabinets
Eucalyptus; walnut
Flooring
Ann Sacks limestone tiles
Wallcoverings
Plaster; steel; wood
Sink
Blanco
Ventilation
Custom Vent-A-Hood
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