When Walter and Marianne agreed that their existing home of 26 years no longer suited their needs, they assumed their only option was to move. They trailed through several Open Homes, but the experience left them feeling despondent. Nothing compared to the feel of their existing home, or if it did, it was far too expensive.
But the good news is that the house-hunting process made them consider their own home more closely, which enjoys fantastic views and has a significant personal history. Walter is an engineer with a bent for design and building, and actually designed and helped build the home nearly three decades ago.
The pair realised the ideal outcome would be designing and achieving a contemporary home perfectly attuned to their needs. Then the search for an architect began. After a couple of false starts, they found Neil Simmons, who quickly came up with an appealing vision, the synergy between architect and clients was definitely there, and the architect wasn’t precious about the owner being very much involved with the project.
The brief was to integrate and achieve a better flow between the living spaces, with the design incorporating a new kitchen. Part of the interior was pushed out 1.8m, large sliding doors and windows were installed, opening up the front of the house and two, new sheltered verandahs framed with triangular pillars serve to emphasise the views.
The architect had a vision for the kitchen too, which the clients were happy to go with. According to Marianne, the original east-facing kitchen was pokey and closed off, which was pretty standard for kitchen designs at the time. “Now everything is open and we feel we’re living differently in a new home – it’s fantastic,” she says.
Featuring 80mm honed, grey-toned granite with 80mm jarrah wrapping around two sides, the bar measures 1300 x 700mm. The recesses dovetail neatly with the irregular angles of the kitchen space.
Two other granite benches surround the island bar, with one holding a double sink and the other the stove and oven bank. This bench is gently curved, to soften the design’s somewhat angular lines. All appliances are by Brandt from France, and include an induction oven chosen for its sophisticated technology, as well as its clean lines. “In a small space, we didn’t want to see raised elements,” explains Marianne.
The custom-painted splashback is another point of difference that the clients appreciate about their kitchen.
Using a technique called reverse painting, the design was applied by an artist to the rear of the glass, and adds shimmering depth and colour to the kitchen’s back wall.
The timber floor is in a light-toned, solid Tasmanian Oak installed by Armitage Wooden Floors. The kickboards in the kitchen are aluminium, with stainless steel repeated in the long brushed cabinetry handles, cabinetry legs, and the exterior rectangular profile balustrade.
The owners both agree the design is compact, clever and very easy to work in.
“It seems to wrap around us and there’s a sense of logical flow,” says Walter.” We’re delighted. It’s more than just a kitchen – it’s a whole new lifestyle.”