Smart style This Mel­bourne kitchen blends past and present

DRAW­ING FROM THE PAST, A HIGHLY CON­TEM­PO­RARY KITCHEN COOKS UP FLAIR AND FUNC­TION­AL­ITY

Home Beautiful - - {EDITOR’S LETTER} - WORDS JACKIE BRYGEL STYLING WENDY BAN­NIS­TER PHO­TOG­RA­PHY SHANIA SHEGEDYN

great back­drop “DARKER CAB­I­NETRY PRO­VIDES A TO THE KITCHEN, WHILE SOFT GREY CAB­I­NETRY uni­fies THE SPACE” ~ FIONA AUSTIN, IN­TE­RIOR DE­SIGNER

Four chal­lenges faced in­te­rior de­signer Fiona Austin of Austin De­sign As­so­ciates when she started to work her magic on the heart of this ex­pan­sive new home in in­ner Mel­bourne. “The kitchen had to have great workspaces, an easy flow be­tween the ap­pli­ances, a large is­land bench and a but­ler’s pantry,” she says. These fea­tures have be­come needs in many con­tem­po­rary kitchens, and with good rea­son. “We all live fast-paced lives these days,” says Fiona, “so we want to come home to a kitchen that is easy to use and ex­tremely func­tional, and that also makes a style state­ment.” Fiona, who de­signed this beau­ti­ful kitchen for one of Verde Homes’ dis­play homes, adds that it was im­por­tant to come up with a cook­ing and ca­sual din­ing area that was el­e­gant, time­less and im­bued with warmth. “We were in­spired by the ar­chi­tec­ture of the prop­erty, in par­tic­u­lar the Hamp­tons-style ex­te­rior and win­dows,” she says. Bal­ance was also a key con­sid­er­a­tion. “None of the ma­te­ri­als used in the kitchen com­pete with one an­other,” says Fiona. “They all work well to­gether and with ev­ery­thing else in the home.” Full of stor­age op­tions in the main cook­ing zone and a well-equipped but­ler’s pantry, this kitchen makes light work of keep­ing clut­ter at bay.

HID­DEN TREA­SURES

The high­lights come thick and fast in this Mel­bourne kitchen de­signed by Fiona Austin of Austin De­sign As­so­ciates, with its large is­land bench and cab­i­netry in El­ton Group’s Like­wood ‘Bur­nished Oak’. Seam­lessly in­te­grat­ing the fridge and freezer be­hind join­ery doors is an­other win­ner.

“It’s a great look, as it al­lows a con­ti­nu­ity in the beau­ti­ful wood grains in the cab­i­netry,” says in­te­rior de­signer Fiona.

FAM­ILY COMES FIRST

In a large home such as this, the kitchen had to be con­ducive to cook­ing for a crowd. “The ap­pli­ances are gen­er­ous, and with the oven wall-stack [above right] and 900mm-wide Ber­taz­zoni cooker you can have dif­fer­ent meals on the go si­mul­ta­ne­ously,” says Fiona. Mat­ti­azzi ‘Branca’ ash stools from District of­fer seat­ing for ca­sual din­ing and help sup­ply a mod­ern edge. “These stools have a low back and the colour co-or­di­nates with the kitchen ma­te­ri­als,” says Fiona. “It’s also im­por­tant to con­sider the use­abil­ity and height of stools, to make sure they fit com­fort­ably un­der the bench.”

GLOW & SHOW

‘Cloche’ pen­dants by Porce­lain Bear were in­tro­duced to light up the is­land bench. “They are clas­sic, yet con­tem­po­rary,” says Fiona. “They don’t cre­ate con­flict with any­thing in the room, which is im­por­tant.”

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