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The owner of this stunning Victorian terrace in tranquil Toorak purchased the property intending to renovate it. Equally entranced by modern design and heritage architecture, she wanted to create a space that married both worlds and truly felt her own.

Our brief was to transform her home into a modern, light-filled city dwelling that paid homage to the terrace’s original charm. To achieve this, we worked collaboratively with the client from the very beginning. Every decision was carefully considered to meet her vision, and no detail was left to chance.

The existing kitchen was dark and pokey, with a powder room and laundry that took up a lot of the footprint. Our client wanted to get rid of these internal walls and open up the back of the house, creating one ample space that integrated the kitchen and dining areas.

Our client also wanted a seamless indoor-outdoor connection that would invite plenty of natural light in. As she loved steel doors and windows, we proposed a big floor-to-ceiling steel opening.

There was a French door on one side and a small passage door on the right-hand side, which we filled in and then created props on either side with needles punching through the brickwork at certain distances to hold the weight up above. Then we had to implement a new steel beam across for support.

A non-negotiable in the brief was the inclusion of steel doors and windows, which the client loved and wanted to have in abundance through the house. She also wanted a beautiful steel curved arch, which ended up serving as a catalyst for the rest of the design. In the vein of trying to marry old and new, the arch retains the home’s original architraves on one side, while the other has been updated to showcase clean, modern lines.

Because the house was so dark when re-designing the kitchen, one of the top priorities was to improve natural lighting. For example, including two big mirrors and a blackened mirror splashback helped get the outside in. And once the outdoor area is landscaped, it will all be about the greenery and getting it into the home.

The client loves cooking, but she wasn’t cooking at all because her existing kitchen wasn’t functional and lacked efficient storage. We solved the lack of functionality and storage by creating a super functional, true galley style kitchen.

We designed a galley style kitchen for ease of movement and flow, with two clear entry points and no corners. We made sure there was a door to the exterior where the kitchen ends so when the client came in from the back of the house, she could plonk her shopping on the island benchtop and then put it away in the pantry and the fridge. We didn’t want the refrigerator on display, so we enclosed it in the cabinetry next to the pantry.

The curves in the hallways’ arched steel door are replicated in the VJ panelling of the island, the curved tapware and the circular black timber handles.

For the benchtops, we used Caesarstone Excava for its beautiful pattern and highly tactile quality. Here it works beautifully paired with a copper sink and copper tapware.

One detail our client loves about her kitchen is the pantry with retractable doors, which allows her to have appliances neatly tucked away or on display as needed. The pantry also has drawers underneath for easy access to the pantry staples she reaches for every day.

To get the lighting right, we collaborated with a lighting designer. We made sure there were plenty of standard downlights for task lighting, and we included a beautiful pendant light above the island bench for mood lighting. There’s plenty of mood lighting via wall lights strategically positioned all around the open living area.

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