Kitchen Renovations

A 1970s kitchen is transformed into a sophisticated, hard-working hub

How this "dark box" morphed into a modern, bright and spacious kitchen.
Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Danielle Victoria Design

For Sydney couple Namrata and Raju, a spacious, light-filled kitchen is still somewhat of a novelty, as for years they lived with a kitchen Namrata describes as a “dark box”. The solution came early last year, when the couple embarked on a major renovation and extension of their 1970s home and enlisted the expertise of interior designer Danielle Bonello-Dunsford of Danielle Victoria Design Studio. The clever concept was to convert the existing footprint into a butler’s pantry and laundry then transform the adjoining lounge room into the new-look kitchen.

For added warmth, The Table Maker & Co used reclaimed timber for the custom open shelving teamed with aged brass brackets from Domino Brass. (Credit: Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Danielle Victoria Design )

Tactile choices include VJ panelling below the island, subway splashback tiles from Leader Bathrooms & Kitchens and a Turner Hastings ribbed fireclay sink. “The design had to be practical and hardwearing for a family that loves cooking and entertaining, yet also evoke a timeless and classic quality,” explains Danielle, who wove charming rustic elements into the scheme, along with modern conveniences. Dulux Casper White on Shaker-style cabinetry, classic white subway tiles and brass hardware formed the foundation palette.

A larder-style benchtop cabinet, complete with brass mesh inserts, provides additional storage. “It creates interest and the brass fronts visually link the other aged brass elements such as the door hardware, pendants and the patina of the Eco Brass sink mixer from Astra Walker,” explains designer, Danielle Bonello-Dunsford. 

“We didn’t want the kitchen to look too white and new, and brass is the perfect ingredient to add a sense of lived-in warmth,” says Danielle. (Credit: Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Danielle Victoria Design )

The family’s beautiful leafy garden, framed by a kitchen window, was the inspiration for the green-grey hue, Dulux Coriole, which grounds the focal island bench. To further enhance the island’s starring role, a pair of Ashford ceiling pendants in Antique Brass from Florabelle Living provide the perfect finishing touch. Namrata and Raju couldn’t be happier.

“The green island oozes sophistication and complements the gardens outside”

Danielle Bonello-Dunsford, interior designer
fluted farmhouse sink with brass sink mixer and zip tap
(Credit: Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Danielle Victoria Design )

Conveniences for easy entertaining and everyday living were subtly incorporated, such as a Siemens induction cooktop and Electrolux 30cm Natural Gas Cooktop. For a hard-wearing surface, Danielle used non-porous, sealed tiles from Leader Bathrooms & Kitchens and Caesarstone Organic White for the benchtop. “Opting for 80mm thickness on the island gives it an added wow factor,” explains Danielle.

“I wanted the island to be exclusively for prep and entertaining, and for Danielle to achieve that was really the cherry on the cake,” says Namrata. “The kitchen is now a brighter, more cohesive space.”


Interior design: Danielle Victoria Design, (02) 9960 1901,

Builder: G Harding Constructions, 0410 468 477.

Kitchen: Leader Bathrooms & Kitchens, 0437 373 941,

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