Hecker Guthrie Home

The clients didn’t need more space in this large and traditional Melbourne house, just better amenity. Interior designers Hecker Guthrie have fashioned a kitchen perfectly suited to the young, stylish owners by combining modern, quirky touches with classic, nostalgic forms.

Designers. Designer: Hecker Guthrie
Construction: Comb Construction
Joinery: Ashwood Design
Materials Stone Island Bench: Calacutta Honed Natural Stone
Bench Top finish: Smartstone Absolute Blanc Quartz Compact
Joinery Handles: BD Barcelona


Concept Design

Making the kitchen the centre of the home was the key focus for this space. The kitchen and dining area needed to have generous space for large family gatherings and ample storage for the crockery and cutlery the owner had collected over time. For the designers, the kitchen design became about respecting the architecture, but also highlighting the contemporary style of the owners.

Though the owner works in fashion and has a well-honed sense of colour and style, when it came to the kitchen she had very few preconceived ideas. Rather than a scrapbook of Pinterest kitchens, she showed the team images of things she liked – art and objects and colours. Many architects might have seized the opportunity of an open brief to try out wild ideas and extravagant concepts. Not Hecker Guthrie.

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Hecker Guthrie’s philosophy is that you create a beautiful and rigorous architectural space and then into it you insert objects that have personality that start to represent the clients. “I fundamentally believe that in the architecture business, every time we add colour we prevent the client from personalising their space,” says Paul. The palette of materials may be minimal, but in many ways the creamy white of the joinery actually helps to highlight the nostalgic forms and the subtleties of the materials.

“A lot of the time we are doing kitchens, there are old and new ideas in the way we approach a kitchen. So here, some of the old ideas was that the furniture wasn’t all built in joinery. So if you look at those pantries, the doors are detailed like old-fashioned fridge doors; they are actually about 40 mm thick in places, they are really substantial. We’re trying to bring some of that nostalgic aesthetic by treating it as a piece of a furniture rather than a piece of joinery.”

We’re trying to bring some of that nostalgic aesthetic by treating it as a piece of a furniture rather than a piece of joinery.


Developed Design

That level of craft, discreteness in the aesthetics, and subtle moments of luxurious quirk are seen over and over in the details of this kitchen. “The way we have designed those cupboards is actually very overt, but since we then coloured them in this neutral white there is a discretion about them as well. It’s only when you approach them that you realise these things are more than they might first appear. For instance, all the door handles on the cupboards are cast bronze designed by Antonio Gaudi.”

Paul suggests that after years of wrestling with kitchen designs, it is about intuition, not the working triangle. “You’re not going to do awkward things. In our minds, we’re going, ‘Does that make sense, to walk from there to there … it’s not too far?’… we consider the progression of cooking, if you’ve taken something off a cooktop where do you put it, if you take something out of the fridge, where do you put it… a lot of it is common sense.” The beauty of the space and the practicality of its use are just as strong as the other.

The designers walk this tightrope by creating a system that gives that rigor and functionality to the space. Paul explains, “What we do first when we start creating a piece of architecture is to establish all the heights – the datums. The first thing we determine are the bench heights because they are set at 900. Then we talk about the skirtings. In this house the skirtings were 200 high.

The heights of joinery, overhead cupboards, we’re always trying to rethink dimensions. That’s the beauty of the DishDrawer™ dishwasher, it allows you in elevation to create really high skirts, because as soon as you put in a conventional dishwasher you are forced to have a 100 high skirt. 100mm high is developer dimensioning.”


Detail Design

The cooking zone is an anchoring point in the kitchen with the robust 90cm Gas on Glass Cooktop sitting over the 76cm Built-in Oven. The generous size of the oven’s internal cavity and the power and space available on the cooktop means that meals are easily created for a hungry family as well as for entertaining.


Products &

  • 900mm 9 Function Pyrolytic Built-in Oven

    Fisher & Paykel ovens are designed with simply perfect cooking in mind. The 90cm Pyrolytic Built-in Oven includes a self-clean function for the ultimate in convenience, while clean lines and flat panelling in black reflective glass, with a stainless steel and mirror finish complement the style and elegance of any modern kitchen.

  • 900mm 5 Zone Induction Cooktop

  • 790mm ActiveSmart™ Fridge – Bottom Freezer

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