Straight from the garden

A hard-working kitchen in a home with a permaculture garden in inner-urban Melbourne has been transformed for greater purpose and usability; it’s part of our Greener Kitchens & Bathrooms special.

High-quality efficient appliances, no hard-to-clean surfaces or fiddly deep cupboards and everything the owners need within reach are the features of this kitchen renovation, in the same tiny, five-square-metre space as the original.

Designer Megan Norgate wanted to avoid a cold and minimalist outcome in an essentially cosy home, and instead merged functionality with an organic, homemade charm. One side of the kitchen became the utility bench with all the appliances. An induction cooktop, built-in oven, efficient 450mm-wide dishwasher and a tiny sink were included under a stainless benchtop making a junction between wet and hot areas. Stainless steel is also less likely to be damaged and easy to clean.

Terrazzo floor tiles give the splashback a natural feel and minimal grout reduces the amount of cleaning needed. A reclaimed blackbutt drying/shelving plate rack was made and thoughtfully designed for plates and cups to drip over the sink area; cut-outs from repurposed plastic bread crates were used to line the shelves.

A distinctive salvaged red box eucalypt branch acts as a vertical element for a floating shelf over the island bench, marrying the utilitarian with the organic. The walls were painted in Murobond paints and energy-efficient LED strip lighting is recessed under the open shelving.

Sustainable features

  • Efficient 45cm Bosch dishwasher for small spaces
  • Induction cooktop – no gas used in the kitchen
  • Hand-made recycled blackbutt shelving/dish rack
  • Post industrial waste terrazzo tiled splashback from Fibonacci Stone
  • E0-rated laminate joinery
  • Salvaged red box branch for structural support, air-dried and hand-whittled
  • 100% recyclable stainless steel benchtop
  • Dish rack drainage from recycled bread crates
Paints, finishes and floor coverings
  • Tung oil timber sealants
  • Walls in Murobond paints
  • LED strip lighting
Other features
  • Tiny 5m2 footprint
  • Use of vertical space to support productive kitchen
  • Wall-mounted dish drying/storage rack so drying dishes don’t take up bench space
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