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Balancing act

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How do you design a home kitchen for a professional chef? You start by figuring out how to integrate the many required appliances

Recessed lighting makes the island look like it's floating


Designer: Margaret Young Designs Limited

About the project (text supplied): When a chef plans a new home, the kitchen becomes the major priority. He asked for an extra functionality and a compliant commercial kitchen and was very specific in the placement of all appliances.

He also requested a glass splashback with mood lighting.

The challenge was fitting the large number of appliances in the designated locations. The black section of the island bench was deliberately raised to accommodate the overly tall, integrated, Liebherr fridge drawer.

The large fridge and freezer were strategically placed in the commercial area, close to the door. This helped outer kitchen appear clean, uncluttered and streamlined.


The height of the splashback was designed to match the height of the Gaggenau ovens to create a link between these isolated twin appliances, placed are apart for future cooking demonstrations involving several people.

The chef also exiled the matching Gaggenau warming drawers to the commercial area for convenient serving.

The multi-purpose private home/farmstay/function venue is surrounded by panoramic, rural vistas. The black, white and glass exterior of the 2 level building appears to float above the pastures

The centrally located front kitchen, designed to visually relate to the architectural exterior, is also surrounded by spaces with warm textures and colours.

The sense of floating was created by a high and deeply recessed toespace to the base of the island and cooktop unit.

A play of black and white stone in mitred combination on the island benchtop gives a sense of Yin and Yan and helps to define areas for serving and preparation.

At night, the reflections of coloured light on the polished stone gives the kitchen chameleon qualities. The front kitchen can be the focus of attention or recede into the background by altering the lighting to suit the occasion.

First published date: 23 February 2018