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A kitchen with broad appeal by RCI Designs


This residential development in Caulfield, Melbourne, comprises two townhouses that were built to be sold to unknown buyers. The design and finishes therefore needed to appeal to a broad market, ready for the new residents to put their own stamp on the house

Michael Factor Architect designed the townhouses and Rina Cohen of RCI Designs consulted on the interior design, including the layout, colours, cabinetry and selection of materials and finishes. The brief asked for a light and open aesthetic, resilient and practical materials, functional storage and easy, ergonomic access to appliances. Rina specified a durable and consistent material palette, timeless colour scheme and included thoughtful details throughout.

The kitchen, built by Fine Edge Kitchens, is part of an open-plan living space that includes the lounge and dining area with sliding glazed doors opening to the back garden. A butler’s pantry and laundry are adjacent to the kitchen.

Kitchen cabinetry is in soft grey colours – Dulux Calf Skin and Dulux Grey Pebble Half – with hardware concealed inside doors and drawers for a streamlined, modern look. A window for the splashback enhances the openness and light and provides a view of the side garden.

The large kitchen island stands out against this neutral and natural backdrop. It is clad with Sensa Bianco Antico by Cosentino, a granite sourced from Brazil and India with beautiful colouring and distinctive veining. The Sensa benchtop wraps down and around the sides of the island to form a thicker section at the front, which gives it more visual weight. Strip lighting underneath the benchtop casts a warm glow on the recessed front.

“The large island bench is a visually empowering statement. It invites visitors to gather around the island and supports buffet-style entertaining,” says Rina. “It is intentionally void of sink and other appliances to provide generous preparation and presentation area and a high-quality aesthetic for the display of food.”

Sensa is a maintenance-free surface with a protective coating that provides high-stain resistance backed by a 15-year warranty. It is also used for the kitchen bench; in the butler’s pantry, where it’s paired with metallic latte-coloured tiles; and for the plinth in the lounge area, tying in with the timber flooring and joinery and providing visual balance to the room. This consistent use of the material contributes to the harmonious and cohesive aesthetic throughout.

Dekton by Cosentino is used for the laundry benchtop in colour Galema. Dekton is made with raw materials such as glass, porcelain and quartz. This ensures that the surfaces are highly resistant to fire, heat, stains and scratches. As in the kitchen, grey provides a neutral and enduring backdrop, but Galema has greater intensity.

“It is a modern, timeless design with practical finishes that will appeal to a broad range of clients,” says Rina.

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