Going back to the future
A new kitchen takes its cues from its design heritage, writes Robyn Willis
Anyone who appreciates older houses will understand the dilemma that faced the owners of this mid-century home. On the one hand, they loved the look of their 1950s kitchen but on the other, the old benchtops were too narrow and the cupboard space was almost unusable, with doors that stuck and lots of wasted space.
In addition, the wall-mounted shelving was woefully inadequate for their needs and there was little connection with the dining space in the room beyond.
Blast from the past
While some might have opted for an ultra modern, sleek workspace, the owners were keen to retain the mid century vibe while adding some much-needed style and improved functionality.
They called in Cantilever Interiors to ease the transition. Given directors Travis Dean and Charlie Wilde are both fans of this design era, they were the ideal choice.
Rather than sinking their budget into moving services such as the sink and the oven, the owners opted to work with the existing layout as much as possible.
With new cupboard carcasses in place, this allowed them to focus their spending on fittings and finishes, which included a mix of blackbutt veneer and white two-pack polyurethane for the cabinetry with stone benchtops. White marble splashbacks and custom-made timber handles complete the quietly stylish look.
Pick and mix
Mixing the materials gives the kitchen a slightly unfitted look, in keeping with the age of the house.
While storage has been carefully considered — including a fully integrated fridge and pull-out pantry — some open shelving has been retained, both in the kitchen and the dining space beyond, allowing easy access to often-used glassware and display for decorative ceramics.
Indeed, expanding the original servery window has transformed the kitchen, allowing a direct connection to the dining room, which has also been fitted out with blackbutt veneer, making the space feel larger.
While the finished kitchen looks beautiful, it has also become a pleasure to use.
An example of Cantilever Interiors’ K2 system, which provides extensive design flexibility, the tired old cabinetry has made way for soft-close drawers, lift-up doors and corner cupboard systems to make the most of the available storage space.
Deeper benchtops make for more practical food preparation areas while a streamlined double sink with integrated chopping board positioned near a separate cooktop and oven maintains an easy work triangle.
Cantilever Interiors handled the whole process from the design and construction of the kitchen and dining space through to the installation.
The total cost for the design, manufacture and construction was $45,000 with an additional $20,000 for the marble used for the splashback and benchtops.
The new servery window from the kitchen to the dining room is a nod to midcentury design.