Designing our kitchen was one of my favourite parts about our renovating our home. Because we had designed a kitchen previously — in our last house in London — I had learned a lot about what I like and what I don’t, and what works and what doesn’t. Kitchens are the heart of the home; at least this is the case in our family. We are always in the kitchen. We knew that when it came time to make budget compromises with our renovation, the kitchen is the one room in the house we didn’t want to skimp too much on.
I began by looking on Pinterest for kitchens that inspired me and looked like they would suit our old home. I created a board to collect ideas, and in the end I was most inspired by this kitchen and this kitchen. I also spotted this photo (which happens to be a photo of my friend, Natalie Walton’s kitchen in her last home), and knew I wanted to incorporate a spice jar shelf like that. In general, I knew I wanted a more traditional-style kitchen, one that would look like it’s always been in our home. This helped keep me focused when buying taps, appliances, lighting, etc.
I knew, from our last home in London, that I love the shaker-style type of kitchen with painted wooden cabinetry. I also remember admiring the UK-based kitchen companies, Plain English and deVOL. When I discovered this kitchen on the deVOL website, I knew I wanted to incorporate the same combination of brass pulls and painted wooden knobs. I love the simplicity of the wooden knobs, and liked that it didn’t make the kitchen look too fancy or shiny. So I had a good idea of what I wanted, and it was only a matter of finding someone to make it.
Finding a kitchen company or joiner to make this style of kitchen here in Australia proved to be a challenge. It became apparent that this type of kitchen, while more common in the UK, is not very typical here in Australia (perhaps too old-fashioned?). When I used the term ‘shaker-style’ with various kitchen companies, no one knew what I meant. It was a challenge to simply find a kitchen-maker who saw my vision.
Then, a friend recommended David from D Hinged Kitchens, and I was so thankful he was interested in our project and up for the challenge! I met up with David several times to go over the details of the joinery, and I was appreciative that he was as obsessed with the tiny details as I was. :) For example, I had spotted this photo on the Plain English Instagram account, and knew I wanted to incorporate similar grooves in our wall cupboards. I also wanted exposed brass hinges, an integrated rubbish bin and dishwasher hidden behind the joinery, pull-out drawers within cupboards for pots & pans (similar to this photo), etc. Essentially, I printed up a lot of specific design photos and shared my vision with David, and he was thankful for the guidance and attention to detail.
Here’s a list of resources and notes about our kitchen:
- While I drew the basic sketches and outlined where I wanted everything to go, our architect, Fiona Gibson, created the detailed drawings. While I think you could probably renovate a kitchen without architectural plans, it makes it so much more of a seamless process to have them, and easier for the joiner too.
- The joinery was all done by David Harris of D Hinged Kitchens, including the pantry shelf unit to the left of the fridge and the shelving within our enclosed pantry. We are so happy with how everything turned out.
- We splurged and bought the range cooker of my dreams. I’ve long admired the Lacanche cookers, and when I called to enquire about timing and delivery, they told me that if I placed an order that week, I’d be able to make the September quarterly delivery from France. Something about the urgency of placing the order enabled me to stop overthinking and just commit. It’s a huge investment, but it’s one of my favourite things about our kitchen.
- While we weren’t prepared to invest in Perrin & Rowe tapware throughout the house, we decided to splurge on the kitchen tap. We figured it’s the one tap that will get used all day long, every day, so it was worth the splurge. It was also one of the only options for a traditional-style bench-mounted brass tap with separate spray rinse. (Opting for the brass finish definitely limited our choices). We bought ours from The English Tapware Company based here in Australia.
- The Belfast sink is from BelfastSinks.com.au. I always like a big sink with a centre division. It’s nice when doing dishes to have one sink for clean dishes and one for dirty, or one for doing dishes and the other side for washing hands, etc.
- I loved our Carrara marble bench tops in our London kitchen, but when it came time to choose a marble for this kitchen, I kept finding myself drawn to something warmer in colour. We discovered ‘Blanc Marble’ at Finestone Granite & Marble, and liked that it is overall whiter in appearance and the streaks are more of a warm grey and light brown than a colder grey. It’s slightly more expensive than the Cararra Marble, but we are so happy with the decision.
- For the drawers, the dishwasher pull and the bin pulls, we opted for the classic cup pulls in unlacquered brass finish. We ordered all our brass cabinet knobs and pulls from House of Antique Hardware in the US, and we’re so happy with the quality of it all. The other cupboard knobs in our kitchen are simple wooden knobs painted the same colour as the cabinets.
- The walls in the kitchen are painted the same as the rest of our home: Natural White by Dulux. For the kitchen joinery, we simply opted for Natural White in double strength. (I had no clue you could do this with paint colours. You can double strength any colour for a richer version. You can also opt for quarter or half-strength colours, for paler versions. I will admit that having these options gave me a minor panic attack in the hardware store when faced with all the options, but I’m so happy with the result.) Because we chose the double-strength of Natural White, the walls and cabinetry compliment each other so well. There’s enough of a contrast, but it’s so subtle.
- The pendant lights above the island bench are the Chelsea Pendant Lights from Dunlin Home. We had several pendants in our London home from Original BTC and we were so happy with them. When searching for Original BTC lighting here in Australia, I discovered Dunlin as the Australian distributor. We now have several lights throughout our home from Dunlin and the quality is amazing.
- We love the retro look of the Smeg fridges and couldn’t resist buying the cream-coloured FAB50. I will admit that this was a purely aesthetic decision, as the fridge itself is not known to be the best quality, but it sure does fit nicely in our kitchen, and so far we have no major complaints.
- The spice jars on our shelves are from Stow & Co, a local company offering sustainable, zero-waste pantry storage options. We got the Stow Complete Pantry and are so happy with the quantities of jars, etc.
- We bought our bar stools from our good friend, Jeremy of JD.Lee Furniture. Jeremy makes all his furniture by hand in his local workshop using sustainable wood and materials. It was another investment, but one we are so happy with.
For more home inspiration, design info and home organisation ideas, check out my Nurture e-Course here.