A Modern Kitchen for a ‘Caribbean Colonial’ Oasis

Carlo Sta Barbara

Designer Kate Walker’s Biscayne demonstrates how choosing the right appliances can help turn a dated dwelling into a dream home.

Located in Mount Martha on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, renowned designer Kate Walker’s glorious new coastal home ‘Biscayne’ blends its traditional British Colonial feel with a Floridian, Island flair. A refurbishment of an existing property previously known as ‘Fontainebleau’, Kate saw potential in the traditional colonial-style home with its impressive beachfront vantage point, turning it into a luxurious coastal residence through carefully thought-through renovation.

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The founder of design studio, KWD, Walker is at the helm of a dynamic team of project managers, interior designers and design professionals. Walker has a growing reputation for her innate sense of style and ability to translate ambitious design visions from concept to reality across any aesthetic.

Walker’s latest work, Biscayne incorporates much of its existing architecture – its soaring 3m ceilings, impressive staircase and large double-deck verandah – to retain the home’s old-world atmosphere. Elsewhere, a stunning selection of hard finishes, soft furnishings, architectural details and joinery design throughout merges beautiful formality with a relaxed conviviality. The end result is a skillful blend of classic styles, modern luxury and resort-style living dubbed ‘Caribbean Colonial’.

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Some major reworking of the residence was required for Walker’s new creation, particularly the design of the kitchen, which was situated in the darkest corner of the house and ill-suited to the demands of modern lifestyles. Walker knew that the quality and aesthetics of the appliances she chose would have a substantial impact on the space, which is why she partnered with Winning Appliances, Australia’s leading supplier of premium kitchen and laundry appliances, to ensure her unique creative vision was achieved without compromising on convenience or functionality.

Walker opened up the original U-style shape kitchen and transformed it into a stylish, luxurious, modern kitchen space that serves various purposes. The ILVE Majestic Oven with its white and brass details is the true kitchen centerpiece, with the ability to customise the colour of the unit and finish enabling Walker to select the perfect tone for her chosen colour palette. The ILVE Majestic Oven was also key to setting the dimensions of the kitchen workspace, as the bench size and height were based on the oven height and depth, and the oven legs determined the height of the kick plates.

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Made in Italy, the ILVE Majestic Oven is the ideal intersection of functionality and aesthetics. It comes with touch control display with touch and sliding movement control, and a steam valve for dry or humid cooking. Designed for professional chefs, but equally at home in Biscayne’s modern kitchen interior, this freestanding unit opens up possibilities for the home cook without detracting from the home’s distinctive design signature.

In the spirit of combining with style with performance, Walker installed a sleek Fhiaba refrigerator and wine cabinet. Exclusive to Winning Appliances, the Fhiaba range features advanced technology that makes it possible to create and maintain perfectly balanced preservation climates for optimal food and wine storage.

An ILVE dishwasher provided a subtle yet valuable feature. Hidden behind cabinetry to preserve the kitchen’s flowing elegance, this fully-integrated dishwasher unit offers a multitude of wash programs, while being super quiet and efficient in operation. A sleek double-down sink and custom rangehood added the finishing touches to the updated space.

This modernised kitchen helped complete the home’s Caribbean Colonial transformation from ‘Fontainebleau’ to ‘Biscayne’. All it took was the right design – and the right appliances – to draw out the potential of this old-world residence and turn it into a 21st century icon.