Featured Renovations: Fitzroy North
We’re so happy with the way the kitchen has turned out. Rosemount were great and I don’t think anyone else could have done it, to be honest with you.
Jacqui Ryan, Fitzroy North
You could say this is a kitchen renovation with a difference.
Jacqui Ryan and partner Claude Sgroi didn’t want people to be blown away by their new kitchen. In fact, they didn’t want people to realise it had been renovated at all.
“We really wanted to keep the original design and structure in place, and not change much,” says Jacqui.
The last thing she wanted - unlike most renovators - was for visitors to walk in and say: “Oh my god, you’ve got a new kitchen.”
“We just wanted it refreshed and nice, but so it didn’t look like it was new,” she says. “I didn’t want a ‘new looking’ kitchen.”
That proved challenging for the first renovation company Jacqui spoke to, who struggled to get on board with the concept.
“The kitchen they had in their showroom was what they wanted to put in my home,” she says. “They wanted to change the whole configuration. They had no idea what I was asking for.”
Then Rosemount’s designer Brad Dossor met Jacqui at her property in Fitzroy North, an architecturally-designed home the couple have lived in since 1999.
“We absolutely adore this house and Brad immediately got it,” she says. “He really appreciated and understood what I wanted to do.”
Despite the brief to retain the original design’s look and feel, the resulting renovation is stunning and, most importantly, beyond Jacqui and Claude’s expectations.
Brad not only worked with them to create a kitchen that kept faith with, and enhanced, the design of their much-loved home, but also introduced superior functionality that makes the kitchen a dream to be in.
The kitchen’s footprint is exactly the same as the one it replaced, but design features like the Signorino Terrazzo island benchtop provide a striking update to the architect’s original vision.
From a practical perspective, storage space - to use just one example - has been dramatically increased.
Find out more below on this renovation. You can also see more client stories like Jacqui's at the bottom of the page.
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Jacqui and Claude raised their now adult twin children in a forever home designed by architect George Hatzisavas.
The kitchen is part of a light-filled open-plan living and dining area that flows out onto the backyard.
But the couple felt her kitchen had become “dated” and decided to update while remaining true to the original design.
Jacqui was dismayed by her interaction with the first renovation company who she said had “no imagination and were unable to think out of the square”.
In Rosemount’s designer Brad Dossor she found a “sympatico” who immediately understood what she was trying to achieve.
“When Brad came around I must say he was terrific because he really appreciated the house, the design of the house and what I wanted to do,” says Jacqui. “It was really great to have someone so empathetic.”
New Take On An Old Vision
COLOUR AND CONTRAST:
The “footprint” and layout of this "standalone" kitchen (it's not attached to any walls or the ceiling) is almost identical to the previous iteration, but form and function have both been updated and improved.
The matt white cabinet doors and V-groove panelling on the island contrast well with the darker grey gloss end panels.
The Signorino Terrazzo island benchtop along with the stainless steel splashback, topped by Bisazza tiles, provide the space with eye-catching pops of colour and texture.
Claude’s parents are Italian and they have a lot of terrazzo, and we saw this particular one on the counter of a cafe in Prahan and absolutely love it.
Jacqui loves the wide island benchtop that gives her far more workspace than the previous tiered bench.
The increase in storage has to be seen to be believed.
A more functional pantry - with shelving above three deep drawers - provides space to put away appliances when they are not in use.
But that only tells part of the story.
Under the Siemens induction hotplate there are six deep and spacious drawers, with another two below the Asko combi oven.
Did we mention another 10 - yes 10 - drawers under the island bench?
As if that wasn’t enough, there are now seven deep drawers under the stairs that run adjacent to the kitchen. Such a great use of space.
Add in narrow hidden cupboards for glassware on the opposite side of the bench, and a super useful pullout drawer for oils and spices, and Jacqui is thrilled with the practicality of the new space.
It’s a fantastic space. With the drawers, everything is so accessible. The storage space is miles better than we had before. It’s just amazing, and all on virtually the same footprint.
At first, Jacqui and Claude weren’t keen on Brad’s recommendation to include a fully integrated fridge. But they’re glad they took his recommendation.
Brad insisted on the integrated fridge and we weren’t keen on having it covered. But he was right. It looks really good. Now I look at other kitchens and think, ‘why didn’t you make your fridge integrated?
The metal handles on the cabinet doors are from the old kitchen, and the V-groove panelling on the island bench ties in nicely with other features in the house, like the sliding door above.
“I insisted on using the original handles because they’re in other parts of the house like the laundry, and I just wanted to keep the integrity of the architect’s original idea," says Jacqui.
“They’re a bit daggy but they look really great.”
Smooth Renovation Process
Jacqui describes the renovation itself as “really good”. She and Claude used the laundry tub while the kitchen was unavailable and cooked using a barbeque and microwave.
Like most renovations, some issues cropped up that needed addressing.
“A couple of things went wrong but Rosemount’s project manager was always there to correct them. I knew we were in good hands.”
Recently, Jacqui noticed a couple of drawers slightly out of alignment.
“We rang Rosemount and they came over to fix them,” she says. “You don’t want things to go wrong, obviously, but Rosemount do have lovely follow-up.”
We might love this kitchen but it also features something even more adorable - a Burmese cat called Miuccia.
She's a new addition to the household, providing companionship for the couple's other cat, a 13-year-old Burmese blue who had been lonely since the recent death of his mother.
“We had to get a new little friend for him and Miuccia has brought some life to him, which is good,” says Jacqui. “She's not even one yet, and she's very naughty. But we've got a little more sugar."
Jacqui is thrilled she opted for the more premium service Rosemount provides.
We listened carefully to what she and Claude were trying to achieve, and then worked towards a result they are delighted with.
If any issue cropped up, Jacqui was impressed by the care and attention Rosemount’s team put in to making it right.
She wanted her kitchen to be freshened up, but not so “outstanding” that it might distract from her home’s overall theme.
The result is a kitchen the couple will be able to enjoy for many years to come.
I wanted our renovation to be sympathetic to the design of the house and that was a challenge. But Rosemount's designer was on our wavelength and knew exactly what we wanted.
See the full specs of this renovation.
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