Bringing the outside in
The Connel family has turned their home and garden into one fluid space, with their kitchen as the centrepiece.
Sunday mornings in the Connel family home are no time for rest. Eleven-year-old Ella and nine-year-old Fraser, along with a bunch of their friends, can be found splashing around in the pool or running amok in the backyard.
Their Mum and Dad, Penny and Scott, keep an eye on activities from their spacious new kitchen. “Being able to look outside and feel part of everything that’s happening is just great,” Penny says.
Bi-folding windows and doors surrounding the renovated kid friendly kitchen link the family’s outdoor living to the home’s interior.
The smell of fluffy pancakes and freshly cut fruit flow from inside out to where kids are having fun just being kids. The smell of food attracts hungry mouths – often attached to dripping bodies from the pool – but it doesn’t matter. The design of the kitchen means they can eat comfortably outside and still be part of the conversation.
“We call the kids over for breakfast and they’ll perch up on the bench and stools while we pass out plates from the kitchen,” Penny says.
It’s just one of many impromptu gatherings the Connels play host to and it’s something this family thrives on. “We love to entertain,” Scott says. “We wanted something that could open up and allow us to entertain outside while still being inside.”
The kitchen used to be tucked away in the middle of the house. “It was functional, but not fun,” Penny says.
So Scott and Penny agreed to make a change and move the kitchen to the back of the home, flowing out to their main entertaining area. The kitchen is now the hub of the home and a place to enjoy the best of both worlds.
When the family is not outside enjoying the sunshine, they congregate at the huge island bench. It’s the indoor meeting place for family and friends. “We’re here together for every meal as a family now,” Scott says.
And as they sit around the impressive stone bench over breakfast, there’s an easy flow from the pantry to the food preparation areas and the ovens, sink and bins.
Penny says the stainless steel appliances are easy to clean, but her favourite feature is the Blum Tip-On (push to open) electric drawers and cupboard doors that open with a single touch and close again effortlessly.
“It really flows now, and just being able to walk in and walk out is perfect for our lifestyle.”
It suits this family’s sense of style, much like the classic colour scheme of black and white. “We went to a lot of display homes to seek inspiration and get a feel for what we liked,” Scott says.
The result is a fun space for young and old – whether it’s kids for a swim or friends for a coffee or BBQ. Everyone’s welcome in the Connel kitchen. “It really flows now, and just being able to walk in and walk out is perfect for our lifestyle,” Penny says.