Material Closeup | Woodgrain in the Kitchen with CJH Studio

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    Following our tour of CJH Studio’s bathroom with European laundry in collaboration with Laminex, we get to know the driving ideas and materials behind the lustrous kitchen space.

    As part of a collaboration with Australian interior design practice CJH Studio, Laminex set a brief that challenged the use of woodgrain laminate through four key spaces. Seeing it as an opportunity to approach their love of bespoke joinery through a conceptual lens, CJH Studio have used the predominant material of woodgrain laminate and added moments of contrast and balance. 

    The kitchen is a testament to CJH Studio director Cassie James-Herrick’s love of texture and muted tones through woodgrain from Laminex’s Chalk finish range, all wrapped up in curved, consistent forms. Continuing the bathroom’s calming narrative, we explore CJH Studio’s unique brushstrokes in the kitchen and how they invited moments of surprise through clever detailing. 

    Produced in partnership with Laminex. Explore CJH Studio’s latest bathroom design using Laminex Woodgrain here

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    The kitchen is a celebration of laminate woodgrains – with Laminex Aged Ash in Chalk finish as the foundation, layered with Laminex Milkwood splashback and drawer interiors, a Laminex Danish Walnut in Chalk finish plinth and pantry shelving.

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    Laminex Aged Ash in a Chalk finish was used to create the bullnose benchtop. Cabinetry internals feature Laminex Milkwood.

    The kitchen is a subtle ‘patchwork’ of grains, finishes and textures from the Laminex Woodgrain range. CJH Studio selected Laminex Aged Ash in a Chalk finish as the ‘blonde’ foundation and created a bullnose benchtop and cabinetry with the material for visual continuity. Cassie says she was intentional about mixing other woodgrains and tones with the Laminex Aged Ash in Chalk finish, including timber floorboards, which is often uncommon. “I wanted to play on and show that woodgrains can be mixed successfully in one space, softening yet highlighting the woodgrain texture with curves and ensuring a streamlined consistency from bench area to cabinetry internals,” Cassie says. “The kitchen becomes a conceptual response both utilising and highlighting the woodgrain range to its full potential, aiming to achieve a higher-end feel,” she adds. 

    As a designer, Cassie prides herself on how joinery is designed and crafted in her projects, so she looked at ways this could be carried through the Laminex collaboration. In the kitchen, CJH Studio’s response plays on techniques of cold-forming and post-forming that create the curved features, particularly the overheads and the plinth. “The splashback shroud also adds a unique level of detail and divide between materials and planes while providing a practical storage element,” Cassie adds. Like the bathroom, storage is concealed for a streamlined and equally serene effect. 

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    CJH Studio director Cassie James-Herrick was very intentional about mixing woodgrains in the kitchen, which led her to also select timber floorboards. The kitchen features a Phoenix Vivid Slimline mixer and a Volker Haug Anton wall light in aluminium.

    “The kitchen reflects our approach to design through the use of bespoke and highly considered joinery and finer detailing, and an interplay of mixed yet minimal finishes with strong natural tones.” 


    – CJH Studio director Cassie James-Herrick

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    Laminex Mirror Smoked Metallic was selected for the bar cabinetry interior back panel to create a “luxurious feel”.

    Cassie also wanted to explore Laminex Woodgrain in the kitchen through a unique furniture piece: the Laminex Danish Walnut plinth. Conceived as a plinth for displaying artwork, the darker woodgrain nods to the tall bar cabinetry internals that feature Laminex Danish WalnutNostalgic Laminex Mirror Smoked Metallic evokes an old-time glamour in the internal bar, which Cassie says was a surprise inclusion to create a “luxurious feel”. “The metallic texture was introduced to intentionally balance out and interact with the warmer textures by reflecting and amplifying them,” she maintains. 

    Just like the bathroom and European laundry, Cassie and stylist Bek Sheppard worked to include Australian-only fixtures, lighting and accessories. A Phoenix Vivid Slimline mixer, Volker Haug wall light, and MUD ceramics are part of their considered curation. “Although a difficult self-set task, it was really exciting to see so many beautiful Australian pieces aid the designs and be supported within this campaign,” Cassie says.

    CJH Studio’s kitchen collaboration with Laminex sees an experimental dedication to the application of woodgrain that’s intuitive to how we use this space. The design studio have put a spotlight on the material’s capabilities through their highly-considered approach, in a way that has us rethinking woodgrain’s place in the kitchen palette. 

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    CJH Studio’s design explores the possibilities of laminate through cold-forming and post-forming techniques to create curved features.

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    Cassie says the Laminex Milkwood splashback shroud was designed to be a divide between materials and planes while providing a practical storage element.

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    The Laminex Danish Walnut plinth was designed to explore the use of Laminex Woodgrain through a furniture piece and features a Buzby & Fango sculpture.

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