Careful planning and a willingness to adapt led to this elegant kitchen being crafted to work beautifully for everyone
8 December 2016
What an architect plans isn’t always what gets built in the end. This was the case with the kitchen in this family house in Lower Bavaria, Germany. Initially, the architect designed a cookspace that was asymmetrically positioned in the room, open-fitted in the big hallway. But practicality led the team at carpentry company Thalmeier Einrichtungen to structure the space with a freestanding wall fitted with pocket doors. These can open up the room or seal it off, which gives the family the best of both worlds.
“This project was characterised by dialogue between us, the owners and the architect,” says Wolfgang Moser, master carpenter and interior consultant at Thalmeier Einrichtungen.
Room at a Glance
Who lives here A young family
Location Lower Bavaria, Germany
Kitchen-diner dimensions 40 sq m
Designer Wolfgang Moser of Thalmeier Einrichtungen
“The original idea was to put the kitchen in the entrance hall of the house. It would have been freely connected to the first floor by an open-air space. Thus, kitchen smells and noises could have penetrated the whole house,” carpenter Wolfgang Moser says.
After a long planning period and many versions being considered, the developers decided to go for the suggestion to separate the kitchen-diner from the entrance hall by building a freestanding wall unit with sliding doors.
The custom-made wall unit the carpenters created has two sliding doors and a cupboard that can be accessed from the hallway. When the doors are open, the family can enjoy the original, open-plan design with access to all living areas. The pocket doors are then virtually invisible.
“The handles were custom-built by a local locksmith,” says Moser. They allow users to open the oak doors, which slide along rails on the ceiling and small wheels on the floor.
If the doors are closed, the kitchen turns into a separate room.
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The kitchenware isn’t stored in the hallway, of course, but in the white cupboards. “The clients asked for a lot of wood in combination with white,” says Moser.
The white kitchen elements are finished with a dark granite worktop. Additionally, several electrical appliances, plus a pantry that stands separately at the rear, are topped with granite. It was the owner’s idea to leave the space above the devices empty up to the ceiling,” says the master carpenter, who likes the airy construction. Only a few shelves are attached to the rear wall.
White Epizodo kitchen units, Intuo. Granite worktop, Strasser Steine. Appliances, Miele.
Browse white kitchen photos
The worktop on the kitchen island is a custom-built element. It’s made of solid oak, with Bora sockets facing the kitchen – very handy for blenders and other small appliances.
The island contains a hob and sink. All cookware is stored in the cupboards and drawers underneath.
Hob, Gaggenau. Sink, Blanco.
The island contains nine drawers facing the dining area. They accommodate all the elements required for a beautifully laid table – from the dishes to cutlery and glasses. The stools in front of the island invite you to grab a bite to eat, or to sit down and chat to the cook.
Just above the hob, a flush-mounted ceiling extractor fan helps prevent odours. Just like the lighting, it’s installed in a suspended ceiling.
A cupboard is located in the rear part of the room, hidden behind a wall panelled in oak veneer. The door is barely visible and only the most attentive visitor would notice the small ventilation slots above it.
In the end, it’s not the technology that matters in this kitchen, but the comfort the carpenter, owners and architect have aimed for in the design. Whether family and guests want to sit formally at the dining table or relax at the rustic oak breakfast bar, this kitchen caters for them all.
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