At last - the design is finished, and here it all is.


Firstly, lets start at the beginning. I started off with basically an outline of a space with a placeholder kitchen on the plans that were submitted to the council for planning approval (shown above). I was too busy to work out the nitty gritty of the kitchen joinery at the time (and considering how long it took for me to get it actually done, we'd have never have submitted the plans by now if I had, let alone be midway through the construction process). A few things determined the shape of the room - the roof line (as I've said before a pitched roof going into an exiting Victorian roof is quite tricky to get right) directly influenced the size that we had for the rooms below, along with site constraints and our desire to (at that time) retain the old grass tennis court in the garden.

When I sat down to actually work out the design earlier this year, it became apparent that I really needed another wall in the kitchen to fit the full height joinery/ storage/ appliances and pantry on. As I've previously discussed with the appliance selection, we wanted a separate side by side fridge and freezer, a pantry, two dishwashers, and a double oven. Trying to fit the appliances into the design that I'd sketched out for the council approval plans was virtually impossible without removing all the storage for plates/ crockery etc. rendering the kitchen impossibly small and compromised.


So, after wracking my brain, I decided that we really needed to introduce a solid wall, and to effectively divide the space from the open plan dining and living room. Now, for overseas readers, this would seem like a no brainer. But in Australia, we have a big love affair with open plan living areas, so this was controversial for a few reasons (resale, and how it might be viewed was also a big consideration, although we don't plan to sell, you can never know what the future holds). Mr AV was also dead against it. It led to a lot of .... lets call them "spirited discussion". The solution I came up with was to have two large full height joinery elements opposite one another that introduce symmetry to the space, one acting as a divider between the dining and kitchen, but crucially stopping a meter short of the ceiling, so they are freestanding rather than built in. We also have a wider opening between the stairs down to the cellar and the joinery unit, and no door, so it still has the feeling of being open plan, but slightly separated from the dining and living rooms.



After that, it became very easy to fit everything into the kitchen as needed, although the island was also something that I went back and forth on. I really wanted it to look like a free standing table in the centre of the room (it's quite a small island), but in the end my practical side won, as it's the main storage zone for cutlery, plates and glasses. It's directly opposite the dishwashers for ease of unpacking, and handily located for the children to help themselves to what they need when they are able to make breakfast to themselves (still waiting for that day to arrive.....).

The Island will function as the central linking point - I have power points on one side of the unit, and it's somewhere to put things pulled out from the pantry and fridge, somewhere to roll out dough for biscuit (cookie) baking, or plating up meals, it's really the general prep area. There's space on one side for the three children to perch on stools.

So here are some (hand drawn - The Dark Ages) elevations:


This is the unit with the Freezer on the left, Fridge next to that, and walk in pantry next to that. The fridge and freezer are fully built in - I wanted this as it will be the first thing you see when you walk into the new extension and look to the left at the kitchen... a big bank of stainless steel or white fridge doors would visually jar and distract from all the good features (like the window). To refresh your memory, here's the photo of the partially installed window that I showed on the weekend




The unit under the window is to be a feature, so everything is concealed behind matching doors, and from left to right the first unit has a series of drawers behind the door (to keep baking supplies and utensils in), dishwasher 1, cleaning supplies under the sink, pull out bin, dishwasher 2, and corner unit (Hafele make very clever ones that slide baskets out from behind one another) that I will keep tupperware etc in. As the window is the feature of the kitchen, I've chosen a beautiful tap in antiqued brass from Perrin and Rowe, which has traditional overtones. The sinks are underbench mounted stainless steel (mixing metals can work quite well, and the sinks will be fairly subtle as a contrast). Here's the tap I've chosen in chrome (my tap is brass, and with a separate spray head for pots as well).



The last elevation is the unit that divides the dining and kitchen zones. This is the cooking area - from left to right there is an appliance cupboard with slide up hatch, on the lower run of cupboards a narrow pull out unit for cooking oils, drawer unit for utensils and pots and pans, another narrow unit with pull out for spices, full height unit that contains the double oven, warming drawer and drawer unit for oven accessories (spare trays etc). The splashback to the induction cooktop above the drawer unit will be a single piece of the bench top marble. I wanted to keep it all fairly streamlined and unfussy. The focus is on the windows and I wanted the kitchen to feel serene without too much to distract.

For the finishes, as you can see, I've gone for a more traditional style with shaker profile doors. This was due to one deciding factor alone - the back of the unit that divides the kitchen from the dining area had to be in the same finish as the rest of the kitchen, and laminate (my first preference of finish) comes in fixed sheet sizes. On the one hand it sat uneasily with me that I'd be essentially creating a wall out of laminate (i.e. plastic) in the dining area, but the decider in the end was that I'd have to have split it in two somehow, as laminate sheet sizes are fixed, and it was wider than one sheet in width.


So, the finishes you can see are the linoleum flooring (which is kind of blending in with the carpet in the study that I photographed this on), the composite stone that looks like marble for the bench tops, a wavy, hand made looking matt tile to go around the window and right up to the ceiling. For the paint colour, I'm still undecided (and will not be using Porters - while the colours are beautiful, they are not suitable for a high use area like the kitchen. I'll be specifying a Dulux semi gloss enamel colour that matches one of these colours in a pale putty colour). These are the lights that will go over the island bench - a group of 3 pendants that are irregular and look like hand blown glass.


I'm still researching joinery pulls, but I'm going to go with antiqued brass in a modern rectangular profile, which will look really good against the putty coloured joinery. Unfortunately I haven't found what I like just yet (except for overseas), so I'm still searching, but it will come together fairly soon I think.

So that's it. Possibly an anti climax to all considering how angst ridden this process has been... but I'm happy with it. It has storage and zoning all sorted out correctly, has fitted in the appliances that I wanted, and will I hope be a really functional working kitchen, as well as being a beautiful space to be in. Lets face it - I spend a Lot of time in my kitchen, so it was important to me that I got it right. Oh, and if you're wondering why it took me 6 months to sort out a few measly little hand drawn elevations... rest assured that I have pages of sections through cupboards and details of how the routing and shaker profile doors are to look... I just won't post them here as they're a bit boring!

34 comments:

  1. Ahh the process...But well done you - it all looks fab and functional and long lasting! it's not everyday one refurbs a kitchen...Good luck with the pulls although I suppose they are easily changeable so don't stress too much about that! can't wait to see the finished product - that window is such a star by the way xx

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    1. I'll find the pulls - not too fussed about that (so wait and see my angst ridden post 6 months after the kitchen install when I'm still using bits of tape as I haven't found the right ones yet!!). Agree about the window - I really want that to be the focus. xx

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  2. THAT WALL WITH THOSE TILES & THAT WINDOW!!!!!!!!!! That will be a showstopper. I am crushing hard on those gorgeous tiles. You have hit a homerun! It will be a stunning kitchen. Your drafting has inspired me and given me guidance. Loving the antique brass tap! Perrin and & Rowe - Ohhh lah lah lah indeed! Order the hardware from the US. Stuff AUS. I see it all coming together and I see perfection. What coloured grout are you going with for the wall of tiles? Would you add sconces either side of the window on the tiles?
    I don't know what you mean by anticlimax?? It is fabulous.

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    1. Oh you're so kind Laura! I thought it might be an anticlimax because it's had a 6 month lead time with me posting all sorts of bits and pieces as I've thought it all through... and it all seems so obvious now! I may well have to order the hardware from the US, the only thing is that the installer will likely grumble over the imperial measurements for everything, rather than metric! I'm going to do matching grout - to do contrast grout will distract too much in the room. I'm going for a subtle texture on the window wall, rather than a stand out feature. I thought about sconces, but again, a distraction... actually the lighting has been tricky - with no overhead cupboards to hide them in, and 4.1 meter ceilings down lights are too high up... so I'm hiding a strip led light over the window to get light onto the bench top. xx

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    2. Ohh just convert all the imperial measurements for him! No biggie.

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  3. Swoon-worthy! Love your choices and expect to see magazines clamouring to feature your home!
    I take ages with planning too - so many gorgeous possibilities! It was interesting to hear what your deciding factor for the style and materials was-isn't it funny how we need one thing like that to make a decision clear?
    Renie

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    1. Thanks Renie! Yes, sometimes something becomes quite clear with a deciding factor like the laminate sheet sizes... and I think the process that I went through was kind of necessary. My husband is very happy with the kitchen, as am I, and we both know we've got the best solution for the space through pretty much trialling every single other possible layout etc along the way!! xx

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  4. Oh my goodness Heidi - what a stunner!!!.... it was definitely worth the endless drawings and research. I adore the window - the large tiles, the colours, - everything .... and I think the unit dividing the space is a brilliant idea. I have 'divided' up our kitchen with a dropped ceiling, and four nib-walls - I really need to post a blog again.. have to muster up the energy! Really love that you have thought everything through so meticulously - I really cannot wait to see this all unfold! xx

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    1. I'd so love to see your kitchen plans - the tiles you've selected look amazing. Hope you're feeling better? It'll take a while to get your full energy levels back... hope someone has made you a big batch of chicken soup! xx

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  5. Also meant to say that I love the lights - and am so glad to see brass making a bit of a comeback! xx

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  6. Heidi, Do you mind me asking what bench stone are you going to use? I haven't tried engineered stone before but want to this time. The marble look one you have found is perfect.
    The company better give you discount for referring people!
    Cheers again, Renie

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    1. Hi Renie, the synthetic marble is supplied by Designer Surfaces here in Adelaide... their number is 08 8347 2833 It's called Bianco Venato Quartz... apparently it's been very popular though, and they have difficulty keeping stock, so I'm not sure they'll be offering a discount to me for referrals!! But it would be nice.... xx

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  7. The plans seem to be coming along very well and this sounds like a kitchen which is going to be attractive but practical too. Your choice of neutral tones is definitely my taste too. It really is worth spending extra time on the planning to get it just right. Gorgeous pendants by the way. Good luck with the pulls - frustrating when you see something only available overseas!
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Oh, pretty much anything good is overseas... lights, drawer pulls... but fortunately we live in the age of the internet, so at least we're not beholden to what is available locally any more. xx

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  8. Hi Heidi. Your kitchen design and finishes are really lovely - it will make for such a peaceful, elegant space. Our kitchen is also not completely open to the living/dining. As part of our renovation, I had to decide what to do with a load bearing wall between the kitchen/dining room which had an eighties style servery opening - it could not be removed due to structural issues. I ended up closing in the opening with open shelving on the kitchen side of the wall and am very happy with that decision. I went through very similar concerns with regard to any re-sale issues etc so understand the angst. After twelve months of using the new space, I have now found that I actually prefer the semi-open kitchen rather than a fully open plan kitchen/family/dining. In fact, I probably wouldn't have a totally open plan kitchen again by choice. Sometimes areas which are zoned for specific activities end up offering more options and flexibility than the open-plan concept we are all currently enamoured with. If you are cooking and clattering about, with someone trying to watch television and someone else trying to do homework at the table etc, it all gets a bit chaotic and noisy. However open plan is good for supervising computers, tv, homework etc while cooking and cleaning up though, so always two sides to every argument. I also found hardware and tapware other than standard chrome very difficult to find here. No brass - only gold-plate finish. Very hard to source nickel finish also, and I ended up having to get a lot of things through Mother of Pearl and Sons and Perrin and Rowe which was quite expensive. Also just wondering if you have seen a large slab of your benchtop material (which looks really beautiful by the way). I am asking because I had originally chosen a Corian benchtop from a small sample square, but then hated it when I saw the large slab. I then chose a marble composite finish for the laundry area, which also looked quite different in a large piece (don't ask me why) although still a nice finish (unlike the Corian!). The stonemason also told me that it looks different in a large slab because when I originally saw the small sample of marble-look composite, I started to question why I was using real marble elsewhere - but he was right - it is still lovely, but looks...different?!? Best of luck with your search for hardware. Tammy

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    1. Hi Tammy, It was interesting discussing the whole open plan thing with people when I was kicking the idea around in my mind... a lot of people complained about exactly what you said - that the kitchen created noise, and that people couldn't hear the tv or talk while the food processor or the exhaust fan was on. The playroom is right next door to the kitchen, I realised a long time ago that the kids gravitated to where I was, and that if the playroom was removed from the kitchen area they just dragged all their toys out to the living area... I did also think that it will morph into a teenager hangout in the future that I could keep an eye on to see what they were watching on tv/ internet etc.
      Agree with you re the hardware - I've looked through Mother of Pearl, who really have the best range in Australia. I've looked at other small companies that I knew of from when I worked, but they're still all doing stainless steel etc. Still have to go and look at the benchtop slab in a big piece, but yes, you're quite right on a few points - it's always a good idea to look at the slab before it's bought, and a composite stone will not look like real marble... but it's a pretty close second I think (and will definitely out perform marble which would not suit our lifestyle). xx

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  9. Saw this today and thought of you. Food for thought http://knightmovesblog.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/cabinet-hardware-finding-right-mix-of.html

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    1. Thank you so much Laura! Off to check out some of her suggestions xx

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  10. Clever you. I would love to have room for a side by side fridge/ freezer, double oven and two dishwashers. But times are tough here. We have a second fridge in the garage, and I happen to be the second dishwasher. I can't wait to see the finished product!!!

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    1. Sounds like you do indeed live in straightened circumstances!! I think that Au Pair you're getting will make up for it. If I'd been clever I would have put a room for one somewhere in my design and skipped the extra dishwasher!
      I'm very excited re the appliances... I've been dealing with what can only be described as bottom of the range ones (oven via buntings) for a long, long time xx

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  11. It's going to be stunning, Heidi and I can't wait to follow along as it progresses. The windows are mind blowing...such an amazing focal point and I love all of your choices. The pendant lighting is so pretty and will be just the right touch with the other finishes. All your hard work has been well worth it!!!

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    1. Thank you! I'm so pleased with the window... just not the bumbling installers who have to come back in two weeks to finish it all off properly! Hopefully the kitchen will all come together as planned - I can't wait! xx

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  12. Kitchen looks great. Love the finishes. The glass lights are gorgeous. I love the organic shape - I think they will make the kitchen look a little edgy which can only be a good thing. The whole thing will be beautiful and I can't wait to see the whole thing finished! I agree with Jenny - it was worth all that time and effort.

    I agree re the open plan arrangement. It is not all it has cracked up to be. We are currently really open plan but the kids have a play area off the main kitchen which has a door with glass panels. And the door is often shut to block out the noise etc! One other house had a wall that stopped halfway along between the kitchen and living area and then there was a bench with stools etc. It was perfect as it hid the sink and messy areas if people dropped in!

    I am spatially challenged so tend to struggle to imagine what plans will look like in real life. Those mock up computer programmes were made for imbeciles like me! I can remember being heavily pregnant when choosing our last kitchen and the kitchen designer being incredibly patient and showing me endless computer mock ups of what I chose while I sat there looking dumb and saying "Oh - now I get it." I can remember being pleasantly surprised when I saw it installed as I had managed to cobble something decent together.

    Hope you have a good weekend.

    xx

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  13. How funny T about the kitchen!! I think most people can't visualise off plans (or certainly, that has been my experience in the past with clients). And it did happen with Mr AV too... when the house started going up he was pleasantly surprised at how big it was. I think he'd really just glanced at the plans and not really taken in how big each room was (despite me showing him with a measuring tape in existing rooms of our house...). One day I imagine you'll get your permanent kitchen, and it sounds like you'll have worked out exactly what it is that you like and what works. My biggest arguments with Mr AV over the kitchen were that he wanted to sit watching tv with a glass of wine approximately 10 meters away from the kitchen and have the ability to glance back over his shoulder to see how dinner was progressing. I pointed out to him that it wasn't sociable at all (his main argument, as we've had a separate kitchen for the past 2.5 years in our house, which he hates going into, he somehow equated the new kitchen with the crappy old one and it being anti social for me to be separated from everyone). Glad you like the lights... that was kind of my aim, traditional but modern too. Actually the aim with the whole back extension really. Have a good weekend I'm about to do the run to ballet with E. xx

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  14. So good to finally see your plans, gosh you did have a slightly tricky shape to work with. Think you have resolved it beautifully and how awesome to have FOUR metre ceilings, I would be in heaven! I agree with you about the whole open plan thing, I have a love hate relationship with it myself but we hope by putting the tv in the room off the kitchen with doors that can be closed that the noise issue will be sorted. Love your lights, they are the icing on the cake of a good design in my mind. Cannot wait to see it all come together. mel x

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    1. I do love the ceiling height, but yes, the kitchen is actually not that big... I think if you plan it out properly you don't need a big kitchen. And big kitchens can be not that easy to cook in either. I look at some of the enormous kitchens in America that I see on Pinterest and wonder about it all... what on earth are they storing in all those cupboards for one??! Your plan with the tv sounds like it will definitely work well, and I'm looking forward to seeing your progress too! xx

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  15. Loving all your kitchen choices Heidi, especially the tiles around the window which will look amazing! A perfect fusion of modern vs. traditional. Hope things start moving along for you this week ... although I just looked at the weather forecast for Adelaide and sighed. I laughed out loud at Mr AV's comment re seeing how dinner is progressing - sounds just like my husband. I am off to have a "hot" date with my iron!! Enjoy your week. Jo xx

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    1. Oh no Jo - not bad weather again??! I've started to avoid looking at the weather forecast. It's all too depressing. I think the weather is trying to give us the annual rainfall in 6 weeks at the moment!!! Ironing... not a lot of fun! Hope it goes quickly... I'm cake making this afternoon, and doing load after endless load of laundry on the veranda. Have a good week xx

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  16. Dear Heidi
    This kitchen is going to be completely stunning! Love the colour combinations. Specially love the faux marble bench top and those wonderful glass pendant lights - which somehow manage to combine a sleek and glossy modern feel with a kind of irregular rusticity. Outstanding! You're going to be so happy when it's all in place.

    What are you reading now? Or don't you have time with all this going on?
    Best wishes, Pamela xx

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    1. Thank you Pamela- I can't wait for the kitchen to go in!!

      I have to say that War and Peace stares at me with reproach from my bedside table....! I last read the book on Mary Delany that I blogged about the past weekend (and loved it - she was such an interesting woman), but have nothing else left on the pile (aside from W&P). This week has been very busy and I've been too tired at night to read, so next week I'll try to get stuck into it again! xx

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  17. Hi Heidi,
    What a great informative post. I'm knee deep in kitchen joinery drawings at the moment and currently researching taps, drawer pulls etc. Seems we have very similar taste as I have my eye on that Perrin and Rowe tap set myself. Loving your paint colour choices with the tiles and bench top. Very chic.

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    1. Hi Kristine, I've been following your boards on Pinterest, and yes, we do have similar taste! I'm looking forward to seeing how your plans all come together as well xx

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  18. You are the Queen of Problem Solving H! I reckon you need to head off to Syria & straighten that lot out.
    Millie xx

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    1. Ha! Think Syria might be beyond me - but I can assure you that it did feel like we were having a few civil war type moments in our own home...! xx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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