Modern kitchen: Smart style

Drawing from the past, a highly contemporary kitchen cooks up flair and functionality
Shania Shegedyn

The highlights come thick and fast in this Melbourne kitchen designed by Fiona Austin of Austin Design Associates.

Modern kitchen
(Credit: Shania Shegedyn)

Hidden treasures

This handsome kitchen features a showcase large island bench and cabinetry in Elton Group’s Likewood ‘Burnished Oak’. Seamlessly integrating the fridge
and freezer behind joinery doors is another winner. 

“It’s a great look, as it allows a continuity in the beautiful wood grains in the cabinetry”

Fiona Austin, Interior designer

At your service

The ultimate in hidden storage and preparation space, the butler’s pantry is a glamorous addition to such a hard-working room.

“It helps make this a superb and functional family zone,” says interior designer Fiona Austin. “The perforated [customised powder-coated aluminium] cabinetry is a design feature that gives a modern twist to the classic Shaker-style panel. It also provides effective ventilation for stored food.”

Modern kitchen
(Credit: Shania Shegedyn)

Set in stone

A slab of Neolith ‘Estatuario’ porcelain in White from CDK Stone – which has the look of veined marble in a highly durable material – was a top choice for the benchtops here and in the kitchen. “The brief was to supply a hard-wearing and beautiful material,” says Fiona. “The benchtops also allow hot things to be placed on them, and they’re stain-resistant.”

Glow & show

‘Cloche’ pendants by Porcelain Bear were introduced to light up the island bench. “They are classic, yet contemporary,” says Fiona. “They don’t create conflict with anything in the room, which is important.”

Modern kitchen
(Credit: Shania Shegedyn)

Family comes first

In a large home such as this, the kitchen had to be conducive to cooking for a crowd. “The appliances are generous, and with the oven wall-stack  and 900mm-wide Bertazzoni cooker you can have different meals on the go simultaneously,” says Fiona. Mattiazzi ‘Branca’ ash stools from District offer seating for casual dining and help supply a modern edge. “These stools have a low back and the colour co-ordinates with the kitchen materials,” says Fiona. “It’s also important to consider the useability and height of stools, to make sure they fit comfortably under the bench.”

Modern moments

It’s vital to get it right with island bench lighting. “Hang pendants 650mm-700mm from the bench, keeping them as low as possible,” says interior designer Fiona Austin. “This gives an atmospheric mood light and looks great. The number of lights depends on the size and proportion of the island bench and the size of the fixtures. For generous islands, try three feature pendants.”

Get the look

Get the look: Modern kitchen

(left) Home Republic ‘Horizons’ jugs, Adairs; (middle) The Design Gift Shop ‘Karlsson Mr Black Numbers’ clock, Hard to Find; (right) Organic Modernism ‘Kurf’ bar stool, Life Interiors

Get the look: Modern kitchen

(left) Verve Design ‘Argo’ pendant light in Black, Bunnings; (middle) ‘Black Urban Diamond’ 200mm tile, Jatana Interiors; (right) Mondella ‘Vivace’ mixer in Black (WELS-rated 5 stars), Bunnings

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