NSW Wright

The client  was commencing an overhaul of their 1980‘s Castle Hill home, a tri-level contemporary house. Renovations were to be under-taken thoughout the home, with the kitchen one of the last areas to be completed. The house is well-presented with manicured gardens and generous living proportions. The kitchen is being used by a family of five and was a dated 1990‘s style with tired appliances thereby not really meeting the families storage and culinary needs.

Client Requests

  • Make the kitchen larger with a butlers pantry
  • Make the most of the outlook over the pool and garden
  • A large area for small appliances in the main kitchen
  • A seperate drink station
  • Minimal seating as the dining table is the preferred eating area for the family
  • Easy to clean was essential
  • Modern kitchen with a semi-industrial, yet earthy look, unique and distinctive, no white.
  • Special attention to lighting was important as the client did not want any downlights in the ceiling.
  • Incorporate ideas for thermal efficiency, given the large open plan room.

Design Challenges

  • The kitchen was part of a total redesign of the lower floor of the house so it had to complement the occupant‘s circulation throughout the home.
  • The design was for a very large 6 metre island which needed to house a cooktop and ceiling casette, so ducting was tricky.
  • Ducting for the downstairs air conditioning was difficult as the client did not want large bulkheads with vents incorpated.
  • A structural column needed to be removed to allow for better flow between the new kitchen space and the new dining area.
  • Difficult plumbing changes, requiring concrete chasing.
  • The old kitchen window was to be replaced with a sliding door.

The final space for the kitchen was large once additional room was gained from structural changes to the adjacent spaces. The most significant design recommendations were:

  • Build a room for a butler’s pantry in a currently unused downstairs area and use the plumbing from the nearby old powder room for the sink and dishwasher.
  • Slider doors opposite the proposed new island to maximise the outlook (and access) to the garden and pool.
  • Two large appliance cabinets in the main kitchen to meet the client’s request for suitable housing for small appliances in the main kitchen and also a drink station area.
  • The island houses the cooktop and a large sink area for food preparation with a versatile space down the end for seating/serving, but the focus for dining is the dining table so the bench height was left at work top height.
  • A dark colour for the bench top was the starting point when selecting colours as the client was adamant the island needed to be easy to clean. Flat profile satin polyurethane doors also meet this need.
  • A large stainless steel work area for washing up and food preparation was recommended due to it’s ease to keep clean and functionality. The stainless steel butler’s sink is an industrial take on a practical sink application, which the client’s loved. A small stainless steel splashback is also incorporated to house power points and provide privacy from washing up.
  • Warm timber tones were used, American Oak on the island bench surround (wire brushed and satin finished) to give the earthy industrial look the client’s were after and to eliminate the need for any bench top joins. The framing also identifies the work zones on the island, cooking, sink and serving/seating. The timber island legs feature 3mm black line breakers to fit the scale of the island and mirror the adjacent timber panelling.
  • Timber panelling was used on the walls on either end of the new kitchen space to balance and connect the new long, open room and tie in with the kitchen.
  • A large retractable frosted sliding door, which slides in behind the fridge was incorporated in the design to close off the open space for thermal ambience when the air-conditioning is in use. The stairs to enter the kitchen space were also re-oriented and a door installed to meet this purpose.
  • The downstairs circulation was important and movement around the island is unhindered and practical, with entry to the hallway leading to the powder room aligned with the island exit point.
  • The ducting connumdrum was alleviated by dropping the existing 2700mm ceiling to 2400mm, allowing enough space for the cassette and air-conditioning. The soffit above the island centres the space and houses task lighting (above the sink and cooktop) and allows for LED strip lighting around the perimeter, eliminating the need for ceiling downlights as per the client’s request. To ensure the ceiling did not feel too low, coffered sections were incorporated and LED strip lighting was installed in these. Further lighting was incorporated into the kickboards, glass shelves, book shelves, display ends and vertical sections of the appliance cabinet all for ambience. No direct ceiling lights so the joinery is featured of an evening.
  • Industrial look barn doors were installed leading to the pantry and hallway, a practical application for large doors and reflecting the industrial style the client’s wanted.


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