Lilyfield Black Bean

Stunning, rare black bean timber is meticulously detailed and finished to revitalise a cramped inner city property.
Project Name
Lilyfield Black Bean
Case Study Type
Photographer Details


Twenty-six lengths of naturally grown black bean timber shipped from the client’s previous home in Vanuatu and stored for approximately twenty-five years are the hero of the project. Restored, finished and utilised for feature timber screens, infill’s and benchtops / desk. The extremely rare timber provides warm, deep brown focal points throughout the interior. The Black Bean timber was applied down to the finest details. Edge strips were manufactured to the plywood book shelves by the joiner and hand crafted handles were created by the client, who was hands on throughout the project, for the office drawers.

A black bean veneer was sourced for additional joinery to compliment the solid black bean features. The existing kauri timber floorboards were beautifully restored with New Guinea rosewood moldings to frame the Brazilian cedar panel doors. A feature handrail to the staircase, also in New Guinea rosewood, was installed with recessed lighting. On a very cramped inner city block, the stunning black bean timber, meticulously detailed and finished, is a stand out feature.





A five panel timber screen was manufactured with the lengths of black bean between the living and dining space creating a warm, transparent / translucent feature to divide the spaces while maintaining connection between living spaces. Black bean lengths were utilised to create a kitchen shelf with a water fall edge between the living and dining as well as an insert to the structural steel beam above to create an elegant feature out of an otherwise bulky structural element.

The extremely rare timber provides warm, deep brown focal points throughout the interior. The black bean timber was applied down to the finest details throughout the project to compliment the major timber panel elements. Details such as mitered edges and V-grooves to joins provide an aesthetically pleasing finish to an already beautiful timber. The detailing of the major black bean elements provides the appearance of solid members that appear to float lightly in the space. With a cool, dark external palette for the project the black bean timber takes charge of the warm internal palette.

The black bean veneer has been used to create a TV unit bench top in the living room as well as feature panels in the kitchen joinery to compliment the solid black bean features throughout the project. The black bean veneer was also utilised for the bed head in the first floor bedroom.

The black bean timber species was used for the veneer to compliment the solid black bean timber that has been used throughout the project. The owner has stored the solid black bean timber since shipping the timber when they moved back home from living in Vanuatu. The black bean timber is now extremely rare and has a beautiful deep brown shimmer with dark veins and very few knots.

The quarter cut veneer was selected as it is the closest match commercially available to the solid Black bean timber. The quarter cut veneer also creates striking elements whether orientated vertical or horizontal.

The Black Bean timber veneer compliments the solid Black Bean timber. With mitered edges and running the veneer along the length of the boards, the TV unit appears to have a solid bench top and water fall ends. The Black Bean veneer provides a striking feature framing the white polyurethane joinery doors. A cheeky pop up TV is concealed in a trap door to the top of the unit neatly detailed4 in the veneer panel. The Black Bean veneer in the kitchen creates a solid framing feature to the white polyurethane of which it appears to float above. The black handles and air conditioning vent disappear in the dark grain of the veneer. All doors and bulkheads are completely wrapped in the Black Bean veneer to create a solid appearance with neat shadow lines to avoid uneven set corners. The detailing also creates the appearance of the solid timber element floating above the thoroughfare.

Black Bean Veneer: A black bean quarter cut veneer was sourced for additional joinery to compliment the solid black bean features.

Floor Covering: Other- restoration of original solid kauri timber floor boards to original section of the house

Internal Panelling: Veneer 50%, solid timber 50%, black bean quarter cut veneer, restored solid black bean timber.

Architrave, Skirtings: New Guinea rosewood

Doors: Brazilian cedar

Joinery & Cabinetry: Black bean solid timber and black bean veneer features with polyurethane finish MDF and plywood

Panel Systems: Plywood

Rails & Balustrades: New Guinea rosewood

Stairs: Stringers & handrail, New Guinea rosewood

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