It is one thing to design your own kitchen, and quite another to reuse vintage tea crates dating back decades in the process – though the surrounding kitchen wall design, wood flooring and tile backsplash of this radical remodel have some catching up to do. Still, it is tough to compete with the cabinet fronts featured in these photos – a curious mix of conventional modernist simplicity and cleverly eclectic materiality.
The overall simplicity of form is very modern, but the rustic crates are anything but – a stylistic balance that seems to suit designer and builder Rupert Blanchard. Compatible colors and variegated textures in the wood countertop above balance beautifully with these heavily stamped upcycled wooden surfaces. This kind of design approach could be even better employed in other modern kitchen layouts, includes kitchens with central islands.
The hardware – consisting mainly of beautiful antique metal hinges and highly decorative handles – is also intended to match the age of the cabinet surfaces. A true salvage-hunter’s delight, crates of this kind are not cheap but also not terribly expensive. There are entire warehouses full of these as shown in the picture above. No one ever anticipated them becoming valuable some day to folks who have a taste for retro and vintage interior remodeling materials. Their use in this novel way creates a strange balance between a heavily industrial look and a delicate antique aesthetic.
“These detail shots are of the kitchen units that i’ve veneered with the lids of vintage tea packing chests, mostly dating from the 1930s-60s with old pressed metal handles fitted,” says Blanchard. “The cabinets are still unfinished and will need some more work to balance the graphics before they are sealed in with a thick gloss finish.”