In Situ: At Home With Tableau
Find out how Cantilever’s Tableau kitchen, a system designed in tandem with DesignOffice, caters uniquely to Ross and Pauline’s love of food, family and entertaining -- and the odd home cooked dim sim.
In Situ: At Home With Tableau
In a thoughtfully renovated Victorian house in Albert Park, we meet Ross and Pauline: avid entertainers, and the first couple to come home to a Tableau kitchen.
As you might imagine, developing bespoke kitchen systems is a complex task. Especially if those systems are exceptionally clever, built for longevity and a joy to use. Tableau is one such system, developed by Collingwood-based studio DesignOffice and the design and manufacture team at Cantilever Interiors.
While this newly-launched kitchen system had naturally undergone rigorous testing at every stage, Pauline and Ross’ place provided the first opportunity for Cantilever and DesignOffice to observe Tableau in a real family home.
“For us, it’s proof of concept,” says Travis, director at Cantilever Interiors. “Our systems are always under constant development, and every response will have unique shifts, because the choices each household makes in appliances and materials can drive detail change. So this project was a great milestone for the team.”
Having spent two and a half years in the original home, Pauline and Ross sought to update the tired existing kitchen into a more contemporary, enjoyable space to cook and welcome visiting friends and family. Ross being founding director of Milieu Property, the boutique property development business in Collingwood, precisely executed detail was of foremost importance. Of course, the client enjoyed an enviably close relationship with the project builders - Ross’ own team at Inner North Carpentry - which further ensured design integrity from concept to completion throughout the home. The pair then engaged longtime Milieu collaborators, DesignOffice, and Cantilever came on board to fine tune the kitchen design.
“It’s wonderful to see Tableau come to fruition in its first residential application,” says Mark Simpson, director at DesignOffice. “After many years of testing and developing various scenarios and configurations with Cantilever, it was great to be able to explore these in a live project, working with real clients and getting it to best meet their needs and lifestyle.”
Responding to the given palette of timber flooring and black appliances, Tableau’s ‘Dusk’ colourway was selected as the perfect midpoint, featuring bench units in a warm grey colour. To one side, a sleek black joinery wall functions as the primary storage area, concealing integrated fridge, freezer and pantry shelving systems. Testing Cantilever’s ability to customise systems to fit any appliance, a suite of 12 Gaggenau appliances lent on the teams’ expertise! Along the bench, a cooktop griddle plate, induction hot plate, and Ross’ favourite gadget: a built-in deep fryer, requiring twin integrated Rangehoods.
“The kitchen works really well for us. But the deep fryer is fantastic,” Ross says. “There’s nothing like Friday night in front of the footy with half a dozen South Melbourne dim sims.”
Pauline’s favourite feature? The stainless-steel benchtops. Having lived for years with notoriously porous marble benchtops in their previous place, the easy practicality, tough-as-nails durability and timeless appeal of stainless have been a joy to live with.
“The stainless looks fantastic, and it’s a lovely surface to clean down,” says Pauline. “Hot pans, trays right out of the oven... everything just goes straight on there. It’s fantastic that way.”
In lieu of a splashback, a slot window spans the length of the cooktop wall, providing a view to the plant-studded fence outside. And connecting this bench to the window, a delightful Tableau detail: a slim, stepped-down seam which provides both a place to display treasured items, and an unexpected visual break between unit and wall.
“The elemental nature of Tableau, and the way it was configured with the window above the bench just adds another dimension,” says Mark. “Having that view out into the garden greenery beyond, that works really well.” This feature, and the lightwells overhead, seem almost to blur the periphery of the room, borrowing space from the surrounding yard.
Designed to keep up with the full lives of two social empty nesters, the kitchen is a triumph of easy, ingenious functionality. And in the few months since its installation, it has certainly been put through its paces: Pauline and Ross’ son, daughter-in-law and baby grandchild are temporarily cohabiting while completing a renovation of their own.
Extra storage hidden along the island bench front is currently fastened with child safety locks to keep little hands from accessing breakables, and the Tableau shelving measured to generously accommodate a set of wine glasses, now also neatly stores a baby bottle steriliser. Small, but significant indications that the kitchen is fulfilling its purpose: to encourage family connection, and bring simplicity and joy to its inhabitants.
“I enjoy seeing the open shelving. In such a clean, simple kitchen design, including a shelving unit for people to display their everyday items always adds a bit of personality and life,” says Mark.