June 28, 2016

To the Manor Born: A Shaker Style Kitchen Reno in Double Bay

Dan Stories

Double Bay kitchen detail 1

An incredibly sumptuous transitional style kitchen and marble Scullery. The main kitchen is a combination of ultra-modern appliances and dark veneer juxtaposed with traditional shaker style detailing.

Double Bay luxury kitchen

A 4.5m long island with traditional detailing topped with bookmatched Calacatta marble slabs. Mirror splashbacks draw in light from the courtyard. 

The clients were looking for a refit at the back of their home in Sydney’s exclusive Double Bay to accommodate extra rooms, including a kitchen and scullery. But when Dan Kitchens came on board, the project took an unexpected turn – and became the company’s biggest job to date.

“It’s a traditional, eastern suburbs manor house,” says Dan Kitchens designer Arthur Baskin, who worked on the project for three years in total.

“Originally, the client wanted to create a couple of bedrooms downstairs, a study, plus a kitchen – it was expanding and future-proofing the house. But after a while we came to the conclusion that we couldn’t do it, the existing space there was just too tight.”

Inside the marble scullery

Twin Sub-Zero integrated wine refrigerators were shoe-horned into the scullery. 

Double Bay kitchen detail 2

Not your typical kitchen feature: A fireplace stands prominently in the centre. The flue above is clad in v-groove paneling, providing an ideal place to display artwork. 

Starting again with a clean slate

After a three-month hiatus, Baskin was invited back to the house – and couldn’t believe what he found. The entire back section had been demolished, leaving a clean slate for renovations. “There was a bare block,” he remembers. “I said, ‘What happened?’ They said well, you said it didn’t work and so we’re prepared to start again.”

With the back of the house gone, it took three years of work with the architect and builder to create the new spaces then fit them out. “At the time it was our biggest single job. We probably fitted out about 20 rooms: bedrooms, a study, bathrooms, the foyer, the kitchen,” Baskin says.

He says this type of hands-on process is typical of Dan Kitchens. “Clients come to us and we throw ideas into the mix, or we often take over from where the architect has left off and bring it back to a more realistic solution.”

Luxury Laundry

Beautifully detailed shaker style laundry. The Miele dryer and washer have been lifted off the ground and built into the joinery.

Double Bay Hallway

Hallway Shot. 

Luxury Vanity

One of the many luxurious bathroom vanities throughout the home. 

Luxury fixtures and fittings

The materials and finishes are stunning. In the kitchen, a 4.5 metre island is topped with calacatta marble, with mirror splashbacks along the cook top area which is finished with Caesarstone Walnut. The kitchen has two Gaggenau ovens and an adjoining scullery, also finished with calacatta marble plus a butler sink, which provides ample space for professional caterers when large gatherings are held. The scullery also houses two Sub-Zero wine fridges and a Miele dishwasher.

Baskin says working with top quality marble like calacatta or carrara is exciting. “When it comes to the selection of the marble we’ll take the client to the yards to look at slabs. Calacatta marble is at the very top end of the market and it varies from slab to slab. If you want to join ten pieces of unmatched marble together that’s not difficult, but if you want one piece with the pattern running through, then you’ve got to be prepared to pay.”

Appliances were obtained through Winning Appliances, and with $150,000 worth of refrigeration in the house, including specialised wine fridges, it was a big order. The selection was made by Dan Kitchens, along with the clients’ caretaker and architect.

The clients also have an extensive collection of art, so the walls are finished with the kinds of wallpaper that shows the paintings at their best.

Luxury dressing room

A dressing room combined with built-in-wardrobes.

Window Seat

Opposite the makeup desk, sits a window seat complete with storage underneath.

Thinking outside the square for solutions

When it comes to finding solutions, Dan Kitchens is not afraid to dig deep. For example, when not in use, the large television screen in the family room is hidden inside a low cabinet. A mechanism raises the set out of the cabinet, but because the set’s height is greater than the cabinet’s, the concrete block beneath had to be excavated to hold the mechanism and allow the TV to disappear inside.

“The majority of the industry would probably tell the client to come back when they had the house built and take it from there,” Baskin says. “At Dan Kitchens we’re the sort of company that says, ‘how about we do this instead, how about we move that wall?’ Our clients like that, they respect that. That’s what gives us our repeat business.”

Meeting the clients’ expectations

When the home was finished the clients held a celebration around the pool and gave Baskin a gift of crystal glasses. They had been overseas during the final stages of construction, so Baskin says their reaction when they first saw the completed home was “very emotional.”

“When you look through the images of this project you can see an international, refined house,” he says proudly. “That’s what we’ve achieved here.”

Main Bedroom Double Bay

Upstairs, looking into the main bedroom.

V-Groove Wardrobes

Full height built-in wardrobes with v-groove detailing to the doors (satin finish).

Pop-up TV

Tv unit with tv concealed within the joinery.

Pop-up TV 2

Tv pops up through the bench. The concrete slab under the unit had to be excavated to accommodate the height of the tv.

Courtyard Swimming Pool

The courtyard pool.

For more on this Double Bay home and other luxury joinery projects, visit the Dan Kitchens Custom Joinery Gallery.