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Traditional aesthetic with contemporary flair

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In designing this kitchen, Natalie Du Bois needed to balance the owners' desire for two separate aesthetics

A small 'table' hangs out from the island


Designer: Natalie Du Bois

About the project: The clients wanted this kitchen to be the hub of the home – a place to have their family of four congregate for a multitude of activities.

An absolute essential was a window seat for relaxing.

The wife preferred a more traditional aesthetic, whereas the husband liked a more contemporary feel. A compromise needed to be found.

They also liked the idea of reintroducing some aspects of the home prior to the renovation.


Numerous entries and thoroughfares meant only two walls were available for cabinetry.

The design approach

Following my client’s brief as closely as possible, I designed a kitchen with a distinct French aesthetic, with a fun play of materials to make the room feel unpredictable and unique.

The cabinetry is kept light and, even though it has traditional lines, it has a modern simplicity about it. In the corner of the room, I added the window seat with additional large drawers below for storage.

I salvaged the original fireplace corbels and used them for the custom designed rangehood housing. Various ceiling scotia’s were repurposed to create a contemporary feature around the island, which is fun and different.

The timber table seating was layered over the granite benchtop, with turned legs to carry on the theme of tradition.

The client liked the textures of pressed tin so I specified the modern yet ornate pendant lights and recommended a newly launched splashback tile which has a similar look. The cabinetry height was carefully worked out so each tile pattern was visible without a cut.

First published date: 01 March 2018

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