kitchen + living interior design June 24 2019, 0 Comments

We were approached by a client recently to assist with pulling the look for her and her husbands 70's built home renovation together. The areas being updated were the kitchen, dining and living spaces along with the hallway and main entry to the home.

Of course we were up to the challenge to help and asked for as much detail we could get prior to having our first consultation. They had already narrowed down a kitchen floor plan with their choice of kitchen company and therefore wanted to have a second opinion on the design but mostly direction for colour and finishes. So we had the kitchen design and some inspiration images emailed to us to go over and start gathering our own thoughts and visual ideas ready to discuss with them on our first meeting.



 The first hurdle to get past was the size and shape of the kitchen space there was to work with. Initially the kitchen was designed to have one end of the space purely for dining and the larger portion as a functioning kitchen. The new design plan was to have full cabinetry running along the solid wall as well as the shorter opposite wall. This was to allow for as much storage space as possible as cooking was a great love of the family and many tools were currently spread through the kitchen and other parts of the home. As most of this was to be closed cupboard/drawer storage there is only a small area of bench space which was to have the sink and cook top installed as well as used for preparation. Our client could see the situation of limited preparation bench space as an issue for her so she began investigating the idea of having the dining table serve two purposes and become the additional bench space she required.

Her inspiration images sent to us had various types of movable island benches with the possibility of dining use as well. Our thought was to keep the bench/dining table as sleek as possible due to the amount of space left for it and came across the image in our moodboard which our client agreed would be suitable for her use too. The caster wheels added to the bottom of the legs means when they entertain the table can be moved into to the living room slightly to have better access and space.

So onto the colour and finishes our brief was to have it looking traditional and contemporary but with having long lasting aesthetics. With these thoughts we instantly agreed that the finishes needed to be natural and that's how the idea of marble, white, wood and brass came about. All these are timeless finishes ensuring the look of the kitchen to date gracefully. Now we had to find finishes that would achieve a warm and interesting feel.

 Wall colour was the first on the list of concerns as there was already a very creamy white on all walls and kitchen cabinets and not wanted in the look of the renovation. A more contemporary white was needed. Taking into consideration the fact that the spaces got direct sunlight in the mornings we didn't want to use a too cooler shade so we opted for them to test out our suggestions of either Dulux Casper White Quarter or Dulux Snowy Mountain Half or quarter strength. Our advice is to buy sample pots of each white and paint onto a board a reasonable size and test out how it looks in the space with the different light throughout the day and night and then make a final decision. Our choices of white were from the cooler shades of white however they are the warmer versions so should keep the space feeling warm rather than stark.

The chosen white will then become the colour of the white kitchen cabinets in a matt finish which will blend the lines between cabinetry and walls therefore giving a feeling of space. Then comes the bench and dining table tops. Our suggestion was to go for a Calcutta Gold Marble which has a lovely warm grey veining with hints of brown, however as marble is porous and would need constant maintenance, we suggested that something like Smartstone in Calacatta Blanco which is very similar but a more durable product. 

Splashback tiles were next on the list and for two reasons we decided something quite bold was possible as firstly there is minimal amount required due to the glass window running through most of the back of the bench and not to mention a few of the inspiration images had a two toned look to them. We had both loved the look of a Black Nero Maquina Marble Mosaic in chevron pattern to contrast with the Calcutta benches. Not only adding a bold contrast but some much needed texture to balance out all the white in the space. Of course these needed to be in the same brown undertones as the stone benches to work nicely together.

The tiles and benches were already bringing in texture to the space we agreed a sleek tap would finish the look nicely and not date. Due to appliances and our suggested colour scheme the possibility for either a Black, Stainless Steel or even Brass finish would work.

 Being very lucky the flooring under the current tiles in the kitchen is the same pine timber as the living room and hallway flooring. The idea is to refinish the full timber flooring in a warm mid brown tone in a matt finish which will give the space a much larger feel and flow nicely from one to the next.

This colour flooring is then our suggestion for the timber used on the dining table/bench however in a shade or two lighter for a nice contrast and to pair beautifully with the Calacatta Blanco stone bench.

Obviously the next thought is the pendant lights above the dining table and something in a brass finish would give added warmth to the room and contrast against the white of the cabinetry behind. Task lighting in the kitchen was advised to be considered.

 We have included an image of a stool we liked so they could gain an idea of what look might work. Due to the nature of the dining table being used as preparation benches we suggested to consider a leather or timber option to be easily cleaned. We were definitely liking something in a dark grey or black to tie back in with the splashback.

We are looking forward to seeing how this renovation progresses and can hopefully share with you the final result.

K & N