Located inside a 1920’s weatherboard home in the Melbourne suburb of Aberfeldie, this kitchen underwent an impressive makeover recently against the background of an extended COVID-19 lockdown. “The lockdown meant all the shops were closed and we had to select all our colours, cabinetry, tiles and hardware via Zoom or with tiny samples sent from our suppliers,” says the home’s owner Carla Salsone who lives there with husband Adrian and daughter Sofia.
Part of a whole-home renovation, the family had planned on vacating the home for five months, but that was extended to almost nine and half which meant a very long stay with the in-laws! “I’m a visual person, and we’d planned for the renovation for two years, so I hated not been able to visit the house and test paint colours or sit down with the cabinetmaker in person to go through drawings. But it was a tough year for everyone, so I can’t complain that my only issue was making renovation decisions remotely and we’re so happy with the result,” says Carla.
Pandemic constraints certainly didn’t hinder the project though, with the home’s former kitchen rendered completely unrecognisable post-renovation. Carla looked to traditional English kitchen designers like deVOL Kitchens and Humphrey Munson, and America’s Studio McGee, when designing the space. “They absolutely nail the kitchen in terms of design and function,” says Carla who believes the new kitchen set the tone for the entire renovation.
Custom shaker-style cabinetry (in Dulux Natural White) combines with Moroccan zellige tiles while natural stone and brass hardware complete the space. “We debated open shelves versus overhead cabinetry and, in the end, didn’t fancy having to have perfectly styled shelves so opted for closed cabinets that would conceal clutter and prevent dust,” says Carla who finished the cupboards with burnished brass knobs, pulls and latches from Armac Martin’s Cotswold Collection.
“We pretty much designed our whole kitchen around the Lacanche range cooker. It was a huge investment but so far it’s proved well worth it,” says Carla who chose black with brass and stainless steel to complement the nearby stainless-steel fridge.
The kitchen’s marble benchtop was subject to much debate too, with many people trying to talk Carla out of choosing its natural stone – a gorgeous Calacatta marble that has grey and gold veining. “I don’t mind a little ‘character’ staining and I figure it’s covered most of Europe for centuries!” says Carla.
And while a fairly monochromatic space, all-important warmth was brought in courtesy of the kitchen’s gorgeous oak flooring, square gloss splashback tiles in various shades of white, brass taps and hardware and the show-stopping antique brass and crystal chandelier above the island. “I still pinch myself when I walk into the kitchen as I can’t believe it’s ours!”