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An Interview with our Minmi Road Residence

Mar 5, 2019

Photography: Katie Wade Studio

The brief for our Minmi Road Residence called for a warm, industrial edge, with careful consideration to functionality for the foodies who call this home.

We redesigned the floorplan to accommodate a full butlers pantry and new laundry through the custom barn doors. By opening adjoining walls, we enabled a dual zone fireplace to link both the casual and formal dining zones – a welcome connection of spaces when entertaining with family and friends. Here we chat to Tina about the renovation.

Mel: So this space was a pretty big renovation. What prompted this reno?
Tina: Kitchens have always been my love.
Mel: Are you a big foodie?
Tina: Yeah I’m a big foodie, Jeff’s a big foodie. When Jeff retired, we decided to renovate. We just wanted a space that was workable and with easy access to things. The old space was quite lifeless. It was just a kitchen like they normally do in spec homes, but the functionality wasn’t there and we were quite limited in our material options at the time, so we didn’t really get what we wanted. Obviously, we wanted to choose something long term, because we couldn’t afford to change it again if it went out of fashion.

Mel: So did that affect your material choices for this new design; picking things that would last?
Tina: Yes that would last and also be a backdrop for things as they change over the years. So the classic lines were there if my style changed. We like the idea of the warmth of the wood against the starkness of the black and white. I wanted materials that were easy to wipe down and doesn’t show the marks. And I really wanted those big benches again for when you’re cooking; we just needed the extra space. I love the fact we have things that are so accessible now in butlers pantry. I don’t have to go and drag things out. Everythings just there.
Mel: Those butlers pantries are just gold aren’t they!
Tina: (laughing) I made a cake on the weekend and I didn’t have to pull things out, it was just so easy. It hides all the mess. You’d think I wouldn’t utilize the sink out here in the island, but I do. I just keep all the main washing out in the back one.

Mel: So how do you feel about having that long window splashback, because the sliding window has been replaced now hasn’t it?
Tina: Oh, I just love the glimpse that it gives into the garden and introducing the greenery. And the light; it’s just so light now. We love it.
Mel: I think the garden glimpse was really important, it’s balanced the industrial with the earthiness of the garden view.

Mel: And how do you find the storage?
Tina: We store all our glasses and some lesser used items in the overhead cabinets, and the pull out drawers are so good, everything is just so quick and accessible now when Im cooking. Not having to hunt for things.

Mel: How about the laundry being off to the side, does that still work for you?
Tina: It’s perfect. Its all we need in a laundry; we had a much larger laundry before but it was underutilized. I think it was just that the functionality wasn’t there; it was an awkward door space and didn’t flow.
Mel: Yeah relocating the entry point made for better space planning. We had the entire bank of cabinetry to work with. And I’m so glad we went with the barn door. It’s the one feature we needed.

Mel: Do you have any morning rituals?
Tina: Coffee! My avo on a bagel, my coffee machine goes on. And then I go to work.

Mel: How are weekends spent here now, do you use the fire?
Tina: We do. We have just started putting it on, and it just gives that cosiness to the space and watching the flames dance is just beautiful. It’s easy to turn on and off so we do use it during the week.

Mel: Any dinner parties yet?
Tina: Christmas! It’s so much more open and plenty of room now for everyone.

Mel: Which objects or aspects of the home are important when you have the family here?
Tina: Spaciousness. Just having the room and not feeling cramped when we have everyone here. I think that’s the keys thing you’ve achieved. People actually think we have made an addition.
Mel: Really? They think this is an extension?
Tina: Yeah! Rather than a renovation. That’s how spacious it feels now.
Mel: That’s funny because all we did was work within the confines of the walls. Maybe because we opened up the fireplace wall too?
Tina: Maybe, but they really thought this was all new because it feels so much bigger now. You’ve done that Mel.
Mel: Well that’s good! That’s what you paid me to do! (laughing)
Tina: Not everyone! You’ve got the skill and the heart.

And with that, I thank another gorgeous family who’ve invited our studio into their home. We hope you make many more happy memories here, thankyou for having us Tina and Jeff x


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