With its graphical terrazzo benchtops, warm grey cabinetry and newly opened-up floor plan, this kitchen renovation achieves an effortless balance between day-to-day liveability and contemporary Australian style.
When Amanda and Lauren Martin, sisters and co-founders of architecture and interiors practice Studio Martin, were asked to renovate the kitchen in this small unit in the Melbourne suburb of Beaumaris, they conceived a refreshing design to maximise space and natural light. “The home’s living areas were made up of a series of poky rooms,” explains Amanda. “So we needed to re-think the existing floor plate in order to create an open-plan kitchen and dining area.” By knocking down walls and relocating a European laundry to adjoin the kitchen, they’ve made the entire unit feel larger and brighter.
The original hardwood floors bring natural warmth to the revitalised scheme, which is anchored by a new island breakfast bar. Bold black, grey and white terrazzo benchtops pack a visual punch, with vertical surfaces in Laminex Oyster Grey providing a contemporary-feeling neutral backdrop. As Lauren says, “Laminex offers a nice colour range. We specifically chose the Oyster Grey because it’s subtle and soft and provides the perfect balance to the dramatic terrazzo.” The warm grey decor is used on the rangehood, shelving unit (positioned behind a theatrical blue velvet curtain that can be positioned to conceal either the shelves or European laundry), island breakfast bar and general cabinetry. Laminex White plays a supporting role, providing subtle contrast on the cabinetry’s shadowline detailing and fingerpulls.
The all-neutral colour palette is supported by white-painted walls and white large-format splashback tiles, with appliances, sink, light fittings and bar stools all in black. Blonde timber shelving floats above the splashback, breaking up the white wall and connecting the rangehood to the other elements of the design. The overall effect is unquestionably stylish, and also quite Zen-like.
Importantly, the use of Laminex laminates here wasn’t purely down to aesthetics. Their durability held great appeal for the clients, who were explicit about their desire for surfaces that were robust and easy to clean. Indeed, the dual role played by the Laminex decors echoes the success of the entire renovation project. Because Studio Martin has delivered an outcome that’s practical and hardworking without compromising style, and that supports contemporary living in a way that feels effortless.
Design: Studio Martin
Photographer: Albert Chandra
Cabinet maker: CV cabinets