A Quirky Country Kitchen With a Story to Tell
Who lives here: Trent McNamara, Bec Hegeman and their three young children
Location: Just west of Brunswick Heads, New South Wales, Australia
Size: 172 square feet (15.9 square meters)
While the project may have had budget constraints, the couple’s creativity certainly didn’t have constraints. They both have a “love of materials and furniture that already have a history etched into them,” McNamara says. The pair scoured antiques stores and salvage yards, and engaged experienced woodworkers to design and decorate a kitchen that oozes character and personality. “Everything in the kitchen has a story to tell,” McNamara says. Being that it’s the heart of the family home, those stories will surely continue to grow.
McNamara and Hegeman’s house sits in a valley traditionally occupied by banana and dairy farms. It was originally a one-bedroom cottage owned by a banana-farming family with six children. The original owners relocated the cottage to the area in the 1950s and converted it to a three-bedroom home. They sold it to McNamara and Hegeman only a few years ago, and it now comfortably accommodates the whole family, including three young children.
It had to feel homey and cozy — “a bit like one of those getaway [vacation] shacks or cottages that you hear about through a friend of a friend,” McNamara says. It also had to hold up to the wear and tear of three children under 5.
“The floorboards are one of the things we love most about this kitchen,” McNamara adds. “They were the biggest challenge for us, and we can sit back not caring if the kids are dragging a chair across them. We know the wear and tear will just add to their rustic charm.”
An old wooden ladder above the sink holds pans and utensils for cooking. Open shelving, made from floorboards that were used on a movie set, accommodates dry-food storage over the countertop.
Not only did McNamara and Hegeman love the materials they found, but so did the local old-school woodworker who turned their designs into reality. “Stan Ceglinski at The Billinudgel Woodwork Co. was practically salivating when I showed him my design and described what I wanted built,” McNamara says. “He loves using recycled timber and knew exactly what we were after and why.”
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