Coogee Beach Scandinavian Kitchen

A couple came to Dan Kitchens with the hope of changing their uninviting kitchen into modern entertaining space.

Jason and Nicki knew they needed a new kitchen in their Coogee apartment. So they called on Dan Kitchens in January 2016 to transform their small, dark and uninviting kitchen into a modern space complete with a large island. The project was finished in February 2017 and the couple now have a crisp and clean kitchen that they love.

The apartment kitchen was remodelled so it would become the focal point of the apartment. The couple also wanted to entertain more, have family and friends at their place, especially their daughters’ friends who would visit more during the teenage years.

“We wanted a kitchen that would accommodate a group of people to sit comfortably and socialise,” Jason says, in our old configuration, food was frequently taken to the couch because the kitchen was too small. The new kitchen is so practical – we can cook, eat, drink and socialise. The party is now drawn to the cook. The cook is no longer in a rush to join the party” he says.

Photo of the kitchen before

Before: The original apartment kitchen and buffet divided the space inefficiently.

Photo of the kitchen after renovation

After: A completely different feel. The space feels more open and is connected to the living room.

Looking past the kitchen towards the beachfront

Sight lines now lead the eye past the galley towards the view beyond.  

The practical features and design

The couple and Dan Kitchens designed a galley-style kitchen, which allowed them to take full advantage of the width of the space and install a 2.6 metre long island bench. One end of the island is completely open without cabinetry underneath. “We chose this approach to make that end of the bench the focal point, complete with stools,” Jason says, “once you are attracted to that end, the ocean views can be enjoyed. This seating area is also in close proximity to the Sub-Zero integrated fridge and freezer and Sub-Zero integrated wine storage.”

Jason says one of the standout features was the smoked mirror glass splashback, which he describes as “really complimenting the white cabinetry”. He says the reflection made the apartment feel larger.

“LED cool white lighting was installed under the island bench top and at night it creates a great ambient light,” Jason says.

“All the VZUG appliances have to mentioned. We installed a combi-steam oven, pyrolytic oven, induction cooktop and dishwasher. The appliances are a dream to operate. Even though they (VZUG) are relatively new to the Australian market, Dan Kitchens seamlessly integrated them into the design.”

The couple’s benchtops are made of a new material called Dekton. It is a “sintered compact surface”, similar to porcelain but stronger. Dekton is incredibly stain-resistant, chemical-resistant, and heat-resistant. “The heat-resistant specifications of Dekton were very appealing,” Jason says, “although we can feasibly put hot oven trays on the bench tops, we do not but it is comforting to know that if something hot were to find its way to the benchtop then we do not risk any damage.”

The couple also installed a Franke sink with KWC Zoe tap. Jason says the tap looks ostentatious on its own but once installed in the kitchen, it compliments the size of the space.

Galley photo looking towards the freestanding refrigerator end

Galley style design with a 2.6m long island benchtop.

Full height kitchen to ceiling

Large bench for cooking and cleaning. The smoked mirror makes the apartment “feel larger”.

Integrated Sub-Zero Wine Storage

Integrated Sub-Zero Wine Storage, a good choice for wine preservation.

Integrated VZUG dishwasher & KWC Eve tap beyond

Integrated VZUG dishwasher & KWC Eve tap behind.

All roads led to Dan Kitchens

The couple trawled the internet until they found a company that had designed kitchens similar to their tastes.

“We were particularly struck by the reviews that had been posted online,” Jason explains, “on most occasions, a person is motivated to post a review because they are unhappy with a service. We could not find anything but positive reviews. Nonetheless it was still a scary decision to make given the capital outlay.”

During the initial design process, Dan Kitchens provided a concept picture that matched the couple’s tastes and they knew they had found the right company. “We had in our hands a lifelike photo of what we could expect to be delivered,” says Jason, “The similarity between the concept picture and the finished product is astounding.”

Like most people, the couple had unpleasant experiences with builders in the past, however, that was not the case with Dan Kitchens staff. “From Daniel in the design stage, to Greg in the final measure and schedule implementation, to Matt and Mitch installing our kitchen – they all delivered within the timeframe and to the quality they promised,” he informs.

“Dan Kitchens staff and contractors will be there when they say they will but the client needs to facilitate the smooth running of the process. For a small management fee, Dan Kitchens will engage and co-ordinate their tradesman including the electrician, plumber and plasterer” says Jason, “these tradesmen were highly experienced and left the apartment fully functional after they left.”

Jason confesses there was nothing he or his wife would do differently in their kitchen.

“Using experts like Dan Kitchens ensures that you are unlikely to dwell on what you could or should have done in hindsight,” he says, “for example, during installation, we thought the island was too big for the area. This was because it was a big shock to move from such a small kitchen to a feature so commanding in the apartment. After a few days of adjustment, it was clear that Dan Kitchens designed the island’s proportions relative to the rest of the kitchen. Had we been in control, half way through the installation we probably would have panicked and reduced the size of the island. That would have cost money and most importantly, it would have been a big mistake” explains Jason.

“We placed our trust in Dan Kitchens and we could not be happier, Jason reflects, “they are now producing our entertainment cabinets and we entered that process with no angst, just excitement.”

Island benchtop in Dekton with a "beachy" style timber pattern

Island benchtop in Dekton with a “beachy” style timber pattern.

Beech timber drawer internals

Beech timber drawer internals.

Wide angle of the apartment kitchen looking towards the beach view

Slimline and integrated handles create a minimalist look for this beach-side apartment kitchen.

Coogee Kitchen - artists impression

Not far off the final design: A 3D illustration produced by Dan Kitchens during the design process.

Dan Kitchens have been renovating apartment kitchens for over 30 years and is regarded as one of the most trusted in the industry. Contact their Design Studio on 02 9624 2344 to enquire about your own kitchen reno project. Alternatively, visit the Dan Kitchens showroom and speak to a Designer in person.

Wahroonga kitchen renovation

A white minimalist kitchen renovation with the outdoors at its heart.

When Jackie and Charlie Reilly enter their outdoor entertainment area they no longer feel it is separate from their kitchen. Thanks to a recent kitchen renovation by Dan Kitchens, there is now a seamless transition from one area to the next as both spaces incorporate greenery, natural light and have a modern feel.

The Wahroonga residents first found Dan Kitchens in March 2015 and their kitchen, wardrobe and vanity were completed in September 2016.

The kitchen before

Before: The original timber kitchen circa 1990’s.

Wahroonga kitchen overall

After: A completely different feel to the room. The original small room that was connected only via the kitchen is amalgamated into a single large space.

Mirror splashback reflects light from the outside

A narrow window between the benchtop and wall cabinets delivers light and nature inside.  

Seamless transition from kitchen to garden

The Reilly’s enjoy entertaining and they wanted a large and open kitchen that connected to their outdoor area and garden.

“We wanted lots of natural light and to bring the greenery of our trees and hedges closer,” Mrs Reilly said.

“We now have a large, modern, bright and functional kitchen that extends our house via large sliding doors to our garden.

“The island, benchtops, lighting and glass splashback create a great sense of space.”

When designing the kitchen, Mrs Reilly wanted a significant change from her Tasmanian oak kitchen. The previous kitchen was smaller and was a traditional L-shaped design.

“Our kitchen space, which is now integrated with our outdoor entertaining area creates a very different atmosphere and feel to the house,” she said.

Looking at the kitchen from the outside

Outdoors and indoors are now connected via large sliding doors.

Large sliding doors were added to deliver light to a once dark room

Large sliding doors were added delivering light to a once dark room.

Bells and whistles plus functionality

Mrs Reilly said her kitchen was perfect for entertaining because of its practical and interesting design elements. The kitchen features a Miele Brilliant White Oven with chrome handles as well as an integrated Miele dishwasher. The kitchen also has a KWC tap, Franke sink, Sub-Zero refrigerator hidden behind integrated doors, Miele induction cooktop and the under bench corner cabinet has a Kesserbohmer Le Mans unit. Mrs Reilly said the marble and white benchtops and walls created a modern, sleek kitchen.

The island uses Smartstone Calacatta Blanco and other surfaces in the kitchen use Smartstone Absolut Blanc. The splashback uses a smoked mirror, glass window and Smartstone Calacatta Blanco. The doors are gloss polyurethane. There is also a fixed window above the sink that looks directly at the hedges.

Whilst the kitchen looks and feels luxurious, it still includes all the practical design elements necessary for preparing family meals and entertaining.

“Our kitchen features lots of free space for preparation,” Mrs Reilly said.

“We have power points in many locations which means all space is usable and we have lots of cupboard space to ‘hide’ appliances when not in use.”

Mrs Reilly said she and her husband loved the spaciousness and functionality of the kitchen because it was bright, clean and uncluttered.

“The finishes are five-star and the fixed window above the sink is a great feature as it brings the greenery right into the house,” she said.

“Also the mirror splashback behind the cooktop is magnificent as you can see the entire backyard including the pool and greenery while cooking.”

Mrs Reilly said she would not change any elements of the kitchen because she and her husband spent a lot of time refining the design, finishes and features.

“We are very happy with the outcome,” she said.

Kitchen island featuring Smartstone Calacatta Blanco

Kitchen island featuring the marble-like Smartstone Calacatta Blanco.

High-end fittings and appliances throughout

High-end fittings and appliances were specified throughout this kitchen renovation (Fully integrated Miele Dishwasher, KWC Eve tap and Franke sink shown here).

Taking the journey with Dan Kitchens

The Reilly’s kitchen was inspired by designs in magazines such as Grand Designs and House and Garden. They researched the web for designs, finishes, marbles, glass, doors, cabinetry and appliances. The Reilly’s discovered Dan Kitchens in Grand Designs and they loved the clean and modern layout and finishes.

“Vagn and Bente never rushed us and took the time to listen to what we wanted,” Mrs Reilly said.

“Then they interpreted what we told them and came up with initial designs.

“They provided their experienced opinion on materials, finishes and colours. We then refined the designs.”

However, it was not all smooth sailing for the couple who waited a long time for council approvals.

“We had contracted a builder to do major works by opening up the back of the house to install very large sliding doors,” Mrs Reilly said.

“The builder also took down walls between the previous kitchen and dining room.

“We had a long delay getting council approvals before we could finalise our kitchen measurements and designs.

“And we are thankful that Dan Kitchens coordinated with our builder seamlessly.”

Mrs Reilly said Dan Kitchens provided a five-star service when it designed and installed her kitchen.

“If you want the best then you won’t go wrong by selecting Dan Kitchens,” Mrs Reilly said.

“The team will not let you down. Vagn and Bente take ownership and great pride in the full service they provide from initial chat to follow up after installation.

“We would have no problems in recommending Dan Kitchens.”

The couple did have some extra advice for others who wanted to renovate their kitchen.

“Use the space to full advantage,” Mrs Reilly said.

“Develop at least two options then sleep on it before deciding the best way to go.

“Don’t rush the decision.”

Additions like beech drawer organisers add a sense of luxury

Additions like beech drawer organisers add a sense of luxury.

Swing out corner cabinet unit

Swing out corner units are ideal for utilising hard to access spaces.

An early 3D illustration of the Reilly's kitchen

Not far off the final design: An early 3D illustration produced by Dan Kitchens during the design process.

Dan Kitchens have been in the kitchen renovation field for over 30 years and is regarded as one of the most trusted in the industry. Contact their Design Studio on 02 9624 2344 to enquire about your own kitchen reno project. Alternatively, visit the Dan Kitchens showroom and speak to a Designer in person.

A truly unique industrial kitchen melding raw and eclectic elements

An industrial kitchen that plays with a host of raw and eclectic elements.

Sophie and Craig first approached Dan Kitchens half way through their kitchen build and the team were not sure what to expect. Dan Kitchens rose to the challenge and created a beautiful industrial style kitchen, pantry and laundry for the couple who live in Mulgoa. The design process started in November 2015 and was completed in June 2016.

Kitchen island made of concrete

Overall image of the kitchen space with pantry entry to the left.

Reverse shot of concrete island showing axolotl copper panels

Sophie and Craig’s love of antiques, curios and industrial furniture influenced many of the design decisions for the kitchen space.  

Finding the one

Building their kitchen was a rocky path for Sophie and Craig until they eventually found Dan Kitchens.

“My husband is a carpenter by trade and he wanted to do a lot of the build himself,” Sophie said.

“Craig was originally going to make the cupboards but then realised the time frame wasn’t realistic because of work commitments.

“We got another kitchen company to do the concrete benchtops but they had to be redone three times.”

Sophie said working with the other company was not a good experience so they pulled the pin on the project.

“I took a long time to find another kitchen company,” she said.

“After speaking to designer Arthur Baskin, we decided to go with Dan Kitchens.”

Inside the pantry. White subway tiles and black grout

Inside the pantry. Many of the materials from the kitchen are revisited in this space, with the addition of white subway tiles and dark grout.

Kitchen doors made of copper from Axolotl

Kitchen doors made of pitted copper from Axolotl.

Unique materials and beautiful style

Sophie and Craig wanted to find a kitchen company that was more capable than your average kitchen company.

“We found that Dan Kitchens’ workmanship was fantastic and they were also willing to go outside the normal square,” Sophie  said.

The couple did not have a particular design style they wanted to achieve rather they wanted elements and materials they loved.

“We do not like the run of the mill, standard or normal designs and materials,” Sophie said.

“We wanted to find styles we actually liked and that was achieved.”

The kitchen uses rustic and industrial-style materials.

“I love the pressed metal splashbacks Craig did and Dan Kitchens did a great job on the rustic cupboards in the middle island bench,” Sophie said.

“I love that my kitchen is a bit out of the norm. There is nothing I would change about it.”

Sophie said the biggest challenge of the project was removing and repositioning the concrete benchtops because they were extremely heavy. Dan Kitchens built and installed the joinery for the kitchen cabinets, the polyurethane doors and the copper panelling. The company also installed the appliances and fittings and assisted in the selection of appliances.

Craig’s company Craigs_Workshop created the reclaimed timber plank barbacking, the reclaimed timber bench in the pantry, the rustic bar stools and the powder-coated pressed metal splashback feature walls.

The kitchen has a St George 60cm oven as well as Scholtés fridge drawers and a Scholtés flush mounted gas cooktop. A Sirius downdraft ducted rangehood was installed along with a Fisher & Paykel french door fridge. The kitchen also includes a Franke under mount sink, Bowser style tap and an integrated Siemens dishwasher.

The laundry is similar to the kitchen and uses the same pressed metal splashback. Craig also made the reclaimed timber cupboards in the laundry and Dan Kitchens built and installed the other joinery in the room.


The industrial influence: Concrete is matched with pitted copper and brushed stainless steel

The industrial influence: Concrete is matched with pitted copper and brushed stainless steel.

The bar back on the island has been crafted together using reclaimed timber.

The bar back on the island has been crafted together using reclaimed timber.

Out of the box design

The couple said they were proud of the kitchen and enjoyed showing it off to their friends and family.

“I think our kitchen represents us,” Sophie said.

“Everybody who walks in gets a little surprised by the materials but we are now used to it.

“I didn’t think it was too outside the box but I have been told quite a few times that it is different to a standard kitchen.

“I love our kitchen and it is the main focus of our house. We spend a lot of time in there so it had to be really well made.

“The other night I had 14 people sitting around the kitchen for dinner, so it needed to be very practical with great storage.”

Sirius downdraft rangehood installed into the concrete island

Sirius downdraft rangehood and low profile Scholtés gas cooktop installed into the concrete island. 

Two integrated Scholtés Fridge Drawers

Two integrated Scholtés Fridge Drawers.

Courteous tradespeople make all the difference

Sophie said she wished she had found the right kitchen company from the start.

“Dan Kitchens was so good from start to finish including the design process, meetings and product samples,” she said. “There was no problem at all.”

Sophie said she would and has recommended Dan Kitchens to her friends and family.

“We dealt with so many tradesman when building the house,” she said. “I would put Dan Kitchens at the top of the list.

“I would recommend the design process and hardware Dan Kitchens uses through to the end result.

“I loved the fact the workers vacuumed every day after they finished – so many tradesmen don’t clean up their own mess. The small things make a difference. Even the plumbers, electricians – everyone who came to work on the kitchen, pantry and laundry all worked together and the whole project ran very smoothly.”

“The team of guys that came into my house were brilliant. The company was so easy to work with and professional.”

Laundry with black satin doors and reclaimed timber

Not your standard laundry: Black satin doors, pressed metal splashback, concrete tops and reclaimed timber tall doors.

For more information on Dan Kitchens Design Service, contact their Design Studio on 02 9624 2344. Alternatively visit the Dan Kitchens showroom and speak to a Designer in person.