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Cantilever Interiors redefines the kitchen with Tableau, a tailored kitchen

system designed in collaboration with renowned Melbourne based studio


Tableau is Cantilever's latest kitchen system and first-ever design collaboration, born of a rigorous two-year process with DesignOffice. The result, a highly thoughtful and functional, furniture-based kitchen.

Made locally, by Cantilever with high-quality materials and sustainable methods, Tableau is more akin to a high-end piece of future, defined by hand-crafted details.


The amalgamation of brands can be seen most in the quality and detail, measured against DesignOffice's signature palette. Cantilever choosing to work with the Melbourne based studio for their colour, palette and material resolution - discovered first when working together on a multi-residential project in 2014. Both teams agreeing that at the time, they knew they wanted to pursue work together in the future. 

We had a chat to Kylie Forbes, business manager of Cantilever Interiors, about the new range.

[TLSE ] You’re committed to building for longevity using quality products. How do you ensure this quality is sustained?

[Kylie ] The value of being a ‘design and make’ company is our knowledge bank. We know our products intimately. Kitchens bring together a myriad of materials, each with their own specific function. We can prototype, test, and refine these elements in part, and bring them together to make a cohesive whole.

The reality is the lifespan across all elements differs. Some materials last 5 years, some last 50. Integral to seeking longevity through design, is accepting this and creating a remedy for the ‘weak spots.’ LED strip lighting for example, may have a seven year lifespan compared to 20 years for the cabinetry. Aware of this, we can approach the integrated design in such a way that the lighting can be replaced at the end of its lifespan without damaging the cabinetry.

Tableau is a tailored system that redefines the kitchen. What are your best design tips for styling a kitchen?

Cantilever appreciates that everyone is different. We enjoy seeing our products sit in a myriad of homes and serving clients in different stages of their life. Our products have a deliberate simplicity of palette, enabling them to sit harmoniously in different spaces, and allowing room for self-expression.

Each Kitchen System has ‘spaces for display,’ styling zones. Tableau’s Shelf is one such element, it offers slim-line storage with easy access and opportunity to share a piece of yourself.

Like all great design, when it comes to styling, we like the hum of sincerity balanced with integrity. Kitchens are primarily functional spaces and the styling elements should mirror this.

Holistically, this easily includes plants, an heirloom teapot destined for your daughter, and your favorite book! Blending old and new, crafted pieces and design classics, texture, tone and quality.

Your range is made locally using sustainable methods. How is this important to your brand and ethos?

The furniture-making heritage of the company has influenced our relationship with the materials we choose to work with. We have always had a personal interest in sustainability which has in turn driven our investigations into materials and seeking alternatives.

When we design our products, we approach materials through three lenses: longevity [design and durability], toxicity, and source. These benchmarks are set against a desire to create the best available product that will last 20 years.

Both Cantilever directors [Travis and Charlie] have their own connection to the land that transpires through the company. Appreciating the natural environment you grow up in fosters appreciation of the beauty of the materials, and their preciousness as a resource. As the company has developed, this thinking has been woven into what what we do.

For us, brand values serve fundamentally as navigational tools. We say the same thing to our clients – what are your motivators? Is it budget, timeframe, design, environmental impact? You can typically prioritize your motivators. They can then be used to inform decision making.

For Cantilever being materially conscious is a hallmark of our product design process. But sustainability is bigger than materiality alone. Function and feel play a huge role in the success of a design. Seeking a timeless aesthetic is our goal but at the end of the day, the proof is in time itself. Our first product, the K1 was released in 2010. Its simplicity is its strength, and we’re proud that [so far!] it’s design integrity has held fast.

The Tableau was born out of a two year collaboration with DesignOffice. How did you navigate the design process during this time?

Product design is an essential element of our business, and one that takes time. DesignOffice drove the conceptual and aesthetic direction of Tableau, and we applied our experience in material knowledge, production techniques, and ultimately, what it takes to make a good Kitchen System! Our design process with Mark and Damien was idiosyncratic of each studios creative processes. Cantilever design through making, DesignOffice design through drawing, so they would draw, and we would make, and they would draw, and we would make. We went through this process across each defining detail of the range, until we were happy with where we landed. It was an enjoyable process but not without its rigor!

What’s next for Cantilever? Where do you see the brand in 5, 10 years?

In the short term, we are looking forward to sharing the versatility and application of Tableau, a product with great depth of palette and mood. Looking forward, we are focused on continuing to develop resolved products, for residential and commercial application. What they will be and when they will be complete, stay tuned! Alongside our products, we plan to grow our service offer and reach.

View the complete offering from Cantilever, here.


Photography by Haydn Cattach

Interviewed by Rhiannon Lewin, TLSE



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