Kitchen

Inspired by Spanish restaurants, this kitchen is an entertainer’s dream

Travelling through Europe gave seasoned hostess Stephanie Conley Buhre the inspiration she needed for a kitchen with Mediterranean flair.
A Spanish-style kitchen with a blue-tiled splashback, marble island and shaker cabinets.Photography: Con Poulos / Styling: Kerrie-Ann Jones

In Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs sits this heritage home, built in a classic Spanish mission style. The interiors had been neglected for nearly 40 years and so, when experienced hostess Stephanie and her husband bought the property, they decided to gut the kitchen and redo it. “We took a huge amount of inspiration from the architecture of the house,” says Stephanie. “It’s a quintessential Spanish mission and we were lucky enough to be travelling in Spain after we bought it.”

A Spanish-style kitchen with a blue-tiled splashback, marble island and shaker cabinets.
A custom tiled splashback sets a stylish tone. For similar, see Portuguese Azulejos tile mural (PT2355), Etsy. (Photography: Con Poulos / Styling: Kerrie-Ann Jones)

Surrounded by the exact Mediterranean style she wanted to emulate at home, Stephanie started gathering ideas. “It’s quite normal in Spain for restaurants to have tiled blue and white murals and I thought, ‘Oh, we have to get somebody to make this and incorporate it in the kitchen.” And so the idea for the custom tiled splashback, which features a hand-painted motif of poultry, pork and fish, was born.

Recreating a Spanish influence is all in the colour palette and materials, says Stephanie. While she suggests including Spanish tiles, they don’t have to be custom made. “There are lots of tiles that you can buy that are blue and white, or green and white.”

Kitchen design tip
A classic brass cooker and stove beneath a Spanish splashback mural.
La Cornue ‘La CornuFé’ dual fuel freestanding cooker in Polished Steel, E&S. Amoretti Brothers ‘Fiore’ dutch oven in Copper, Peter’s of Kensington. (Photography: Con Poulos / Styling: Kerrie-Ann Jones)

While the mural, which was commissioned and painted in Spain, is a hero feature of the room, Stephanie is thrilled with how all the other materials have harmoniously come together. The American Oak island, complete with Arabescato marble stone atop, is luxurious and sizeable.

Oak flooring, laid in a herringbone pattern, is the perfect base for this kitchen. The American Oak island panelling perfectly complements this and the brown leather of the Laura Kincade stools create another warm touch to the space.

Crucial kitchen details

The Laura Kincade stools ensure that cooking is never a lonely venture, no matter whether Stephanie is joined by her frequent guests, her husband or her sons, aged 11 and eight.

A farmhouse sink inset in a marble island with brass-style tapware.
For similar herringbone flooring, see Spotted Gum flooring, from $110/sqm, Nationwide Timber. (Photography: Con Poulos / Styling: Kerrie-Ann Jones)

Dulux Natural White is the perfect shade to highlight the classic mouldings and Shaker-style joinery while accents of brass, in The English Tapware Company fixtures and the Noble Elements handles, add warmth and character. A classic cooker from La Cornue and statement pendant lighting from Laura Kincade are the final flourishes. “I just love it,” says Stephanie of the final result, which took a year to complete. “I think it’s beautiful and completely original.”

Interior design: Stephanie Conley Buhre, @thehostess, thehostess.com.au.
Joinery: Freestyle Joinery, freestylejoinery.com.au.

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