A Luscious Clay-Coloured Kitchen For A Family Home In The Dandenongs
The family home of Jeremy Wortsman, owner of The Jacky Winter Group, is situated on 10 acres and contains multiple buildings, but somehow its existing spatial planning fell short.
The kitchen, which was located right on entry, had become a huge thoroughfare; the family meals area felt cramped; and the hexagonal-shaped living and formal dining area was oversized and difficult to furnish.
Jeremy had worked with architect Stephanie Kitingan, co-founder of Placement, to design the Jacky Winter Offices (when she previously worked at Nest Architects), so they teamed up again to transform his family home in Selby, which straddles the Yarra and Dandenong Ranges.
‘The original brief was to just look at the kitchen and make it more of the centre of the house rather than an afterthought, but of course, they came back with some more ambitious ideas that were too good not to explore further!’ Jeremy says.
While largely a cosmetic renovation focused on joinery, the exercise of improving the awkwardly shaped space was complex. Jeremy explains, ‘The whole exercise was very technical in some ways, in terms of, how do we take this very strangely shaped room and reconfigure it for multiple purposes and needs.’
Placement flipped the planning of the space, turning the existing kitchen into an entry foyer and bedroom, and positioning the new kitchen, dining, and living area in the hexagonal space, making better use of the asymmetrical plan.
New joinery elements act as partitions to delineate use, without losing connection between communal spaces.
Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges are often cold and wet, so Jeremy wanted the interior to feel ‘desert-like’.
‘It’s hard to see in the photos but the house itself is in the middle of 10 acres of bush and the whole front area of the house just looks onto this fantastic greenery, so having a way to offset that was important,’ he says.
‘I think I was also watching heaps of Better Call Saul at the time and was really inspired by the set design there and the overall palette of New Mexico. I think that played a big part.’
Placement referenced this aesthetic in the use of Moroccan Clay Laminex across all the joinery pieces.
The architects also drew inspiration from Memphis design that plays with shape, pattern, and bold colour.
‘A custom kidney shaped dining table was designed for the new dining area to facilitate the “flexing” of this space, with its form being a nod to the playful shapes in the Memphis design movement,’ says Stephanie.
The home now does as it’s required — flex as needed without feeling overwhelmingly big or small — and looks mighty good while doing it!
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