Melbourne Kitchen Design - A famous view, house and client

What a mix, a incredibly commanding view, a home where one of our most iconic films was made in Mad Max and a famous Australian - Janine Allis from Boast Juice and the Shark Tank. Janine went into a major renovation of this iconic home and new that planning was key to success. Throw into the mix that the home & client was situated in Victoria and Minosa based in Sydney...the challenge was set for us to come up with a kitchen design that did not command the space rather this modern kitchen design had to sit in the space a kitchen that disappeared and could appear when needed. 

Description of the House, its local & occupants
This 70’s weatherboard home featured in one of Australia’s most unforgettable films – Mad Max.  Held by the present-day owners for the last 14 years this was to be the homes 2nd renovation in that time. 

The family consisted of two professional well-known business professionals’ The Allis family and their five children ranging from 5 to 22 years of age.  Their relax time at this property was taken very seriously. 

The Brief
The kitchen was to be centre of the family home, as the client understood materials and wear ability well was in the hospitality industry the space needed to be well

·      Hub of home
·      Relaxed feel to overall design of space
·      Ocean views had to be the focus
·      Entertained on occasion, one big do at least once a year
·      Kitchen had to reveal itself when required
·      White palette and natural stone accents
·      Good quality large commercial style work surfaces
·      Cater to large shopping buys especially during holiday season,
·      Used for work gatherings on occasion
·      Lockable areas just in case it was holiday let
·      Good quality appliances
·      Breakfast bar sitting face to face
·      Understated pendant lights
·      No downlights

·      Initial architectural plans indicated location of kitchen and lounge away from the view
·      Harsh weather – fittings and fixtures need to hold up,
·      Clients interior colour palette,
·      One wall of full height glass,
·      Low head height in proposed area,
·      Our imagination – apparently…

Design Statement - How the requirements of the client brief were achieved & problems solved

The challenges of this space where few, a commanding view of the Southern Ocean, two walls of glass and a client that wanted something different but did not want anything “showy” it had to be understated and not take from the real hero of the space….that view!

The designers had to reconfigure the entire layout as the original design from the architect had the lounge where the kitchen is now home and vice versa. By relocating the kitchen to the western wall it solved many problems, it allowed the view to play a larger part of day-to-day life in the spaces. When sitting on the lounge you now addressed the Ocean, when in the kitchen you also stood front on, Mirror was placed behind the cooktop for obvious reasons.

The client had a real desire for everything to have a home and not be “on display” so the designer’s chose to conceal most of the day to day elements thru pocket door systems, this allows the kitchen to open depending on function. The three sections to the left of the Fridges house a small appliance cabinet which is home to the much loved Thermo mix, next to this is the bar area that serves drinks when entertaining and to the end is the breakfast cabinet. By bringing these elements out of the standard working triangle we have created an active and passive zoning to the kitchen space. The passive areas can work with out the interruption of the active area. 

A hurdle in the design process was the decreased height on the cooktop run, the plans had been approved by council and we could not raise the height of the windows so we chose to install a pop up rangehood that comes out of the raised section of the splashback. The raised step in the splashback has many functions, it houses the pop up rangehood, it acts as a shelf when cooking and it also gets the mirror further away from the cooking zone.

The Barazza cooktop was chosen, as we did not want to see the cooktop so it is sunk into the benchtop. This allowed the designer to increase the height of the benchtop as the trivets are not pushing up the elbows when cooking.

To make this cooking section look like it was always meant to be there, the designers chose to wrap this section with the Calcutta marble the client adored. This ties together the island and tall wall section.

The island unit was the last element to be designed as the function of the cooking took precedence, with this function solved it came to cleaning, a long island now could reside with the change of location, it allowed for the a informal sitting area at the end of the island unit with face to face contact. The long benchtop is also great for those larger gatherings.

The Calcutta marble was book matched and wraps around the island unit, concealing it and creating a striking feature to the space. A recessed LED section has been routered out of the stone and angled to push light across the benchtop, as one of the largest considerations when working with a view & glass is the lighting.

The rule of thumb with lighting, glass, views and night is what ever you do to the front you have to do to the back in order to see thru the glass at night, if you do not the glass will become a mirror and you will only see your reflection. With this in mind, task lighting is recessed into sections for energy efficacy but also to prevent the light directly hitting the glass.

What is created is an integrated space that allows the Southern Ocean and its ever-changing appearance to be the hero with a space, a space that opens and closes to suit the function required. Understated elegance

See the Parents Retreat design here


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