At KWD we work with a very wide range of design aesthetics, and whilst my team and I personally love a few different styles, we never let our personal preferences influence our selection of materials. When it comes to design, it’s the house itself, the land, the area and the aspect that determines the design style we recommend for a home.
When we met with the clients who own this beautiful property built in the early 1900s, it was very important that we paid homage to the traditional style of the home whilst upgrading it for a busy, professional family with three young children.
Being a traditional-style property we didn’t want the kitchen renovation to look like an add on. We wanted to pay homage to the era of the home so the whole kitchen design was based on a classic aesthetic but with the functionality to suit a contemporary lifestyle. We even put the rangehood in what looks like an original chimney – which isn’t in fact original. We designed it and had it built in to emphasise the traditional aspect of the kitchen. In terms of the colour palette, our clients absolutely adore navy and white, so it was only natural that we worked with this colour combination.
The man of the house loves to cook so it was really important to make it a cook’s kitchen. And the brief was all about family togetherness, so we wanted to make the space workable for him to cook comfortably in whilst creating a space where the whole family could congregate.
We consciously made the island bench a significant design feature. It was originally going to be a relatively small island bench with a breakfast table, but we decided against the idea of the breakfast table and instead created a dining table at the end of the bench with stools. It made the kitchen really multi-purpose.
The original blue came from the oven, which was the owner’s first purchase for the space. When we saw the navy oven it made sense to make it the focus – and to pair it with brass.
I love the fact the our clients were bold enough to follow our lead with the colour. It would have been predictable to have a white kitchen in this home, but we wanted to design something a bit punchier because we knew the clients were brave enough.
We also love the way the brass pops on the blue. It’s not a true navy, it’s quite a chameleon and changes with the natural light. It’s a very iridescent royal blue in the beautiful morning light and turns to a dark navy charcoal at night. Pairing it with white was the obvious choice – it allows the blue to shine.
The joinery with the Shaker-style profile doors was built from solid oak timber using traditional methods. The key to the success is that it’s hand painted so you can see the brush marks – no 2-pac was used in this kitchen.
We integrated the fridge/freezer into the tall cabinetry. The timber pantry, coffee station, toaster nook and drawers were concealed in the cabinetry as well, and we used solid oak throughout. We wanted these doors to be open a lot, so we had to ensure we created a beautiful feature of the interior that brought out the warmth of the design. It works so well with the European Oak herringbone flooring.
One of our favourite classic natural materials is Carrara marble. We used a beautiful block of very clean Carrara that KWD imported specifically for this property and featured it on both the rear and the island benchtop.
We love the detail of this island bench – we hadn’t used this detail before. We knew we wanted to create a really interesting feature that wasn’t predictable, and this profile really pops against the navy. We also put the marble under the fireclay sink to add a special detail.
The splashback treatment is a triumph. We selected a Mercury mirror – each piece is hand-aged and is a one off, and it works perfectly in this space.
I love this kitchen renovation. It’s ergonomically designed and is aesthetically pleasing, and really works so beautifully in this style of home. What I love the most though, is that our clients are so happy with their kitchen. They are so proud of it and they love using it. They get so much joy out of it, which brings me joy.
This kitchen was featured in the September issue of House & Garden.