Planning your dream kitchen
While big is often touted as better, homeowners Janelle and John saw plenty of advantages in selling their large home and moving into their smaller investment rental by the beach – with a few updates, that is. To transform the bungalow into a comfortable family home, they gutted the interior to turn it into a Hamptons-inspired haven, including a charmingly elegant kitchen.
Bunnings product specialist Belle Haddon was enlisted to deliver Janelle’s brief for a classic white kitchen with plenty of storage and space for the family to gather, including a marble-topped island bench with drop-down table. “It works so well,” says Janelle. “In the mornings we have breakfast at the bench and at dinner time it’s nice to come together as a family and sit around the table and chat.”
Although smaller than their last kitchen, the light-filled zone is big on both style and functionality. “Our last house had so much dead space, but here we utilise it all and it’s got everything I want,” says Janelle.
The inclusion of a drop-down table expands the functionality of the island. “We positioned the sink and cooktop on the back bench so the island could be a sleek feature, doubling as a prep area and breakfast bar, with the lower table ideal for dinner,” explains Janelle. “Having the table in the kitchen is so convenient and because we can sit either side, it really encourages conversation.” For a cohesive feel, Janelle looked for furniture in the same range; rattan bar stools set an informal tone for casual meals, while cross-back chairs define the dining zone.
Symmetry is key to the kitchen’s good looks. The galley space is grounded with a pantry at one end and fridge/freezer at the other, while glass feature cabinets bookend Shaker-profile wall cabinets. “I loved the idea of having beautiful crockery and glassware on show in glass cabinets,” says Janelle, who completed the look with custom glass shelves. Fitted with downlights, the cabinetry creates an atmospheric backdrop at night.
Keen to evoke the luxurious feel of a classic Hamptons kitchen, Janelle chose calacatta marble to flow across benchtops and up the splashback. For a similar look, with the added benefits of a low-maintenance engineered stone, try Essential Stone in Calacutta Classique (order and arrange installation at the Special Orders desk*). “Opting for a 40mm waterfall edge at the end of the island adds a classic finish,” explains Belle. “It was also important to carry the Shaker-style profiling through to the face of the island to create the level of detail you expect in a Hamptons-style kitchen.”
The ‘working triangle’ is kept compact and efficient with major appliances grouped at one end of the room. An appliance wall with a 600mm microwave/oven combination stack fits perfectly below a standard 600mm cabinet, ensuring there’s no wasted space. Similarly, a 900mm French door fridge spans the width of the cabinet above, which has a gas-strut door for easy access.
Sometimes it’s what you don’t see that makes a kitchen. Integrated pull-out bins are handy and discreet and the dishwasher is also concealed from view. When planning the storage layout, Belle helped map out where everything should be kept. To maximise underbench storage below the island, 900mm soft-close drawers in two different depths helped streamline organisation. “Two narrower top drawers, rather than one deep one, make full use of the space,” says Janelle. “And when everything has a designated spot you’re not digging for things.”
It’s hard to beat a classic combination of white and grey. Kaboodle cabinetry in Antique White, teamed with marble, helps infuse the room with a light and bright feel and enhances the kitchen’s proportions, while laminate timber flooring adds warmth.
Timeless finishes have been chosen for the final details, with brushed nickel mushroom knobs and a Mondella ‘Maestro’ sink mixer in chrome.
Planning your own kitchen reno?
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Photo Credit: John Downs