Compact Kitchen Covet with Two Australian Designers

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    Melbourne architect Lisa Breeze and Sydney architect Mukesh Vanjani share how they’ve designed ergonomic kitchens for inner-city homes by making the most of every square metre.

    We all want to maximise the potential of our kitchen. It’s the space where people-centred design comes to the fore, seeing a careful mapping out of light, layout, storage and appliances to align with daily routines. And when space is at a premium, this utilitarian hub of the home begs for clever intervention. 

    We spoke to architects Lisa Breeze and Mukesh Vanjani about designing an effective kitchen space in a small footprint. From a townhouse in Melbourne’s hip Fitzroy North neighbourhood to a quintessential Paddington Terrace in Sydney, both projects share a tailored approach, functional solutions and a resolved aesthetic in the kitchen. 

    Produced in partnership with Bosch

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    Lisa Breeze introduced cool grey tones through the material, appliance and fixtures mix in the Fitzroy North Townhouse kitchen: Superwhite quartzite benchtop, a stainless steel Bosch Series 8 Oven and chrome kitchen mixer.

    Fitzroy North Townhouse by Lisa Breeze

    Melbourne architect Lisa Breeze took on a townhouse in Fitzroy North, Melbourne fully aware of its spatial challenges. She saw the kitchen in the centre of the home’s small footprint as the best opportunity to make use of storage. It was also the place to play with the 1970s theme of the home, revealed in the painted brick, open stair treads and exposed ceiling beams. 

    Lisa describes the palette in the kitchen as simple yet hardy. The joinery reflects the timber wall lining in one of the bedrooms, while the Superwhite quartzite benchtops pair with the blue-grey cabinetry and natural timber handles; all a contemporary nod to the 70s. 

    While functionality is first and foremost in the compact space, aesthetic was important given the kitchen’s prominence. “For a small home the space ended up as a very generous kitchen, with all of the lovely wide bench space and appliances a comfortable distance from each other,” Lisa says. 

    Lisa believes quality appliances are important in every kitchen, but especially those where space is limited, where “every centimetre counts in terms of generosity of space and function”. She says the stainless steel Bosch Series 8 built-in oven was an ideal fit for its sleek and simple interface, as well as the metal detailing that works with the tapware. “If there is only space for one oven, it has to be a great oven,” Lisa says. “The Bosch appliances work beautifully, and look sharp, without compromising space.”

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    The blue-grey joinery in the Fitzroy North Townhouse kitchen was inspired by the 1970s timber wall panelling in the bedroom.

    “Quality appliances are important for every kitchen and this is especially the case when space is limited. Every centimetre counts in terms of both generosity of space and function. If there is only space for one oven, it has to be a great oven.”

     

    – Lisa Breeze

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    The staircase was preserved in its original state.

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    Lisa Breeze took cues from the 1970s painted brick, open stair treads and exposed ceiling beams to revive the townhouse.

    Paddo Terrace by Sandbox Studio

    Architecture and interior design firm Sandbox Studio, based in Sydney and Canberra, were asked to redesign a narrow Paddington terrace for modern living. They created an efficient kitchen space through a long, narrow island bench and storage space below while retaining a good flow to the outdoor space beyond. 

    Sandbox Studio director and practice manager Mukesh Vanjani says that despite the lean space, the clients were set on having an island bench kitchen. “The clients love cooking and baking, so a generous cooking and preparation space was a requirement, with enough circulation space to move around freely,” Mukesh says. 

    To deliver on a light and bright kitchen, Sandbox Studio kept to a clean and restrained material palette. The all-white joinery and polished concrete floors reflect light from all angles, highlighting the vibrant indoor greenery. The studio also used a mirrored kitchen splashback to enhance the sense of space, while the original exposed brick wall and timber staircase bring warmth and connection to the original terrace building.  

    Mukesh says they looked for robust and low-maintenance appliances to specify in the kitchen. “High-quality appliances are very important in any kitchen because they are used on a daily basis,” he says. “The Bosch Series 8 built-in oven has a contemporary, minimal aesthetic and a brushed stainless steel finish that complements the other kitchen elements in our Paddo Terrace project.” 

    Explore the Bosch Series 8 range in the est Product Library here

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    An island bench kitchen was key in the redesign of the Paddo Terrace. The client also requested premium integrated appliances such as the Bosch Series 8 built-in oven and plenty of food storage. A mirror splashback was specified to augment the sense of space in the narrow kitchen area.

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    Sandbox Studio worked with a site width of only 3.5 metres in the Paddo Terrace. While they wanted to create space, they also wanted to retain the sunny courtyard garden.

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    A private guest studio lies at the rear of the site connected to the garden.

    “The clients love cooking and baking, so a generous cooking and prep space was a requirement, with enough circulation space to move around freely…”

     

    – Mukesh Vanjani

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    The studio designed a bedroom and study in the existing roof space.

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designing an efficient kitchen space