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Cottage charm revisited

Marilyn Kirkup with Jag Kitchens Designer Caroline Charman.

After more than 30 years, it was time for a genteel Cockle Bay kitchen to have a bit of a spruce up. Putting their faith in Jag Kitchens, the homeowners received a charming outcome worthy of their picturesque storybook dwelling.

jag-kirkup-kitchen01Moving into a 1930s English cottage built on land once owned by pioneering Fencible, Captain MacDonald, Marilyn and David Kirkup found the perfect home for their young family and for new memories.

That was 34 years ago. Although much has changed, the kitchen remains the heart of the household especially for visiting grandchildren who eagerly await freshly baked treats.

Still, it was time for a new kitchen – one that did not stray too far from old memories. “Because our home’s a cottage, we wanted to preserve the olde-worlde style, bearing in mind that it has to look good and function as well,” says Marilyn.

Given today’s convention of contemporary styles and materials, this was no simple task. Fortunately, Marilyn knew just the place. “I knew of Jag Kitchens from shopping at the Danske Mobler Home Centre in Botany, and its Ti Rakau Drive sign had caught my eye several times,” she says.

jag-kirkup-kitchen03She was further convinced after meeting Jag Kitchens’ designer Caroline Charman. “More than anything else, it was Caroline who helped me decide on Jag. I felt she understood what we needed and knew exactly what we were after – an old English kitchen.”

Caroline says Marilyn and David had some really great ideas. “It was just a matter of working them in together. The biggest thing for me was to listen to them and marry the style with modern hardware.”

In fact, this intuition was just what the couple needed, as she translated the brief word for word into a work of art. “Caroline read my mind!” says Marilyn.

The physical representation doesn’t disappoint either. Elegant yet unpretentious, the kitchen glows a translucent white courtesy of Dezignatek cabinetry in Alabaster balanced with an ample engineered stone bench which twinkles in the sunlight.

Peppered with a combination of gunmetal grey vintage knobs, ornate bar handles, and cup-style pulls, the simple recessed panels are both chic and endearing. A square island centrepiece doubles up as a breakfast bar, houses the microwave in a trim kit, and has practical functions too.

“David insisted on the island and I’m so pleased he did,” says Marilyn. “I use it to cut my sewing on and to prepare food. It’s also an excellent work station to bake from.”

jag-kirkup-kitchen02But it’s the matching black gloss appliances that really steal the limelight. Furnished with old-school dials, the roomy oven looks every inch an English housewife’s best friend.

Other heart-warming details include a hatch, which offers a glimpse of Marilyn’s china in the sitting room, a set of black antique scales, white butcher tiles and twin black faucet handles – a nod to the windows’ handles and blinds with a black floral print.

In contrast, the contemporary touches are more subtly hidden. A full revolving Mondo corner stays concealed and a sleek beer and wine fridge blends into the island.

Not wanting to share her fridge space, the additional chiller was for David’s benefit, admits Marilyn. “It’s his pride and joy and holds 18 bottles – it’s a great size!”

The grandchildren are quite taken with the corner, she adds. “It’s the first thing the 10-year-old shows to people, and then he’ll say ‘but wait; there’s more!’”

What’s more, the kitchen is simply a joy to work in. “I love the fact that it’s much lighter and more open. The storage capacity has increased by at least 50% and it’s such a delight. Caroline has created a really beautiful kitchen that works as well as it looks and we’re ever so grateful.”

– Article courtesy of H&P Times

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