Modern kitchen connects with traditional home through materials appropriate to the time

This main floor living zone benefits from a strategic renovation that opens up the spaces and creates a new kitchen empathetic to the home’s origins

​​​​​​​With a wall between the living zone and home, interior design, living room, furniture, timber floor, tradtional
​​​​​​​With a wall between the living zone and original kitchen removed to create an open-plan layout, designer Meghan Browne chose to clad the now-exposed structural beam and pillars in recycled, semi-industrial materials. The effect was sympathetic to the 1920s terraced residence.

Creating a new kitchen in a traditional home requires a balance between acknowledging the history and delivering modern functionality. Of course, referencing the setting can mean choosing elements that are in the spirit of the architecture rather than delivering a detail-for-detail match.

This early 1920s terrace house still had many of its original features, such as access to what was the ice box, says designer Meghan Browne.

“Needless to say, the main floor’s living room and kitchen were in need of an update.  The existing modest galley kitchen was cut off from the rest of the home by two intervening rooms, used as a pantry and a rear hallway.

“To create a more open-plan kitchen, we took the wall down between the kitchen and living spaces, along with the small pantry and hall.”

However, with this wall removed, Browne then had to contend with the exposed structural posts and a dropped beam.

“We dressed these structural elements as architectural details with a refined industrial style,” says Browne. “The dropped beam in the ceiling was wrapped in reclaimed barn wood and the vertical posts were clad in reclaimed brick from old row homes of a similar period.”

​​​​​​​This reinvented kitchen is graced with simplified versions cabinetry, benchtop, dining room, floor, flooring, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, table, wood flooring, lighting, bar stools
​​​​​​​This reinvented kitchen is graced with simplified versions of the home’s original room detailing – as seen with the crown mouldings.

The result is an implied history – as though the renovation had exposed the brick and the wood. While the home isn’t industrial in style, this look complements the 1920s architecture.

The choice of finishes in the kitchen furthers the refined, semi-industrial aesthetic. Elements include a custom hot rolled steel hood with a live edge walnut apron, as well as oiled soapstone countertops – also popular in the 1920s.

“One of my favourite pieces is the custom black pantry with an X across it, reminiscent of old carriage house doors,” the designer says

​​​​​​​One way to optimise a feature in your cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, floor, flooring, home, interior design, kitchen, room, under cabinet lighting, wood flooring, gray, black
​​​​​​​One way to optimise a feature in your kitchen is to have other elements help showcase it. The rolled steel hood is a feature of this kitchen, so designer Meghan Browne accentuated the cabinet directly below through colour and by popping it out to draw added attention to the rangehood above.

Sources and inspiration can come from all quarters and the equally in-keeping green tile splashback was chosen by one owner as it reminded her of her grandmother’s hearth.

The black-stained central cabinet component ties in with the steel hood and the freestanding pantry, while the contemporary, efficient stainless steel ovens and fridge offer a timeless finish.

Plus, the pendants over the island call to mind Edison lamps seen in factories of the time.

“We gave the bumped out black cabinetry flat, modern faces while the cream cabinetry to left and right is panelled – a perfect metaphor for the wider classic-meets-modern aesthetic.”

Credit list

Meghan Browne, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath
Custom, hot-rolled steel by AK Metal; live edge walnut apron by Treincarnation
Soapstone, oiled
Kitchen stools
Marus Antique Firwood bar stools by Hayneedle
Décor Cabinetry – maple, Benjamin Moore White Dove, Cobblestone Stain on pantry and cooking bump out
California Art Tile, from Architectural Ceramics
Sundance Meridian Single Pendant

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: John Cole

02 Mar, 2019

Home kitchen bathroom commercial design

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