Retro makeover: Colourful kitchen with unique touches

Vivid colour and the clever use of space has created and inviting kitchen in this Melbourne home
Shania Shegedyn

The owners were keen to respect the features of their 1960s kitchen while bringing it into the 21st century. Colour was going to play an important role, so when they discovered the original red hue of the cupboards hiding under a layer of beige, they decided to use this as their starting point, with olive and white completing the retro palette. Working with designer Fiona Austin, more space in the same footprint was created by having a wall removed between the kitchen and dining room, providing a larger area that ramped up the sociability factor, but left an intrusive structural column in the middle of the room. Fiona replaced it with a timber screen that is both decorative and functional, and designed a kitchen bench next to it, providing a new casual dining spot. There was already a laundry behind the room, so Fiona added a sliding door for easy access and installed an under-bench washer and dryer to free up valuable workspace; this area has now become a combined butler’s pantry and laundry, ideal for use as an overflow from the main kitchen.

(Credit: Shania Shegedyn)

STORAGE When space is precious, a clever pantry system is worth its weight in saffron. Häfele fixtures and fittings allow a full view of the contents and give super-easy access. Next to the pantry cupboard, on the end of the bench, is an appliance cabinet with a roller-door: a great way to declutter your kitchen and squirrel away the microwave, toaster, kettle and Nutribullet.

(Credit: Shania Shegedyn)

FINISHES A love of colour led the owners to choose Laminex in Olympia Red, Olive and White for their shelves and cabinetry. Dark grey Laminex in Licorice Linea on the base cupboards complements the blackboard wall and makes a crisp contrast with the white Essastone benchtop in Crystal Chalk. A collection of retro canisters not only works with the colour palette but, along with the stools, are a nod to the original 1960s style of the house.

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