Articles / Kitchen

Patterns of change

Want to know more?

Contact us

Crowned by a batten ceiling, this kitchen combines traditional materials with contemporary innovation


When the kitchen is part of a larger, open-plan living area, its design shouldn't overwhelm its surroundings. Clever use of materials is a way of bridging the gap between an effective work space in the kitchen and a relaxing ambience in the living and dining areas.

In this historic bungalow, kitchen designer Nicola Cumming took her cue from the striking pattern of cedar battens in the formal dining area. She encouraged the owners to replicate this look on the ceiling in the kitchen, even though it is an addition to the original home.

"It's important to sympathise with the home's character and to make the look of the kitchen an integral part of the overall design."

Dividing the kitchen and dining area is a large custom-made cabinet positioned at the end of the island.

The cabinet's wooden legs help create the illusion of a freestanding piece of furniture. This effect is further enhanced by the lead lighting on the glass door, made in the same pattern as the windows in the dining room.


On the other side of the cabinet, there are two high cupboards and an open compartment housing small appliances, such as the toaster.

The sides of the island splay outward from one end of the cabinet to form a trapezium shape. This allows a generous gap for a walkway between the kitchen and dining area. As the opposite end of the island is wider, there is plenty of room for people to comfortably sit at the bench.

Visually connecting the dark wooden furniture with the stainless steel appliances are blue-panelled cabinets with drop handles. The cabinet doors have been custom-made in a traditional style, to keep with the period in which the home was built.

Behind their panelled facade, Cumming says the cabinets have plenty of pull-out drawers, compartments and thoughtful storage accessories.

"The homeowners wanted to eliminate as much surface clutter as they could, so most of the cooking implements are stored out of sight."

Opposite the island, horizontal tiles complement the rectilinear shape of the rangehood. White-coloured tiles and the neutral wall tones enhance the overall look of the kitchen.

First published date: 18 February 2005

Credit List

Kitchen designer Nicola Cumming MDINZ (Auckland)
Architect Dave Strachan
Interior designer Kathy Anderson Interiors
Kitchen manufacturer Kitchen Link
Window/doors Cedar Western Joinery
Cabinets Lacquer satin Brittany blue
Benchtops Laminate
Flooring Kauri
Wallcoverings Loafa from Resene
Lighting Allumination Lighting
Splashback Tiles
Sink Franke
Taps Grohe
Oven Bosch
Hob De Longhi Gas
Ventilation Bosch canopy
Refrigerator Fisher & Paykel
Dishwasher Bosch
Waste unit Fisher & Paykel
Hot water system Continuous Flow
Bar stools Titan Industries