A modern kitchen with an island bench in an open-plan holiday home.

In this hilltop getaway by Utz Sanby Architect, the kitchen and living areas are cooled by passive ventilation.
Story by: Charles Moxham
The blue-grey zinc panels on this kitchen island countertop, house, interior design, kitchen, real estate, wood, gray, brown
The blue-grey zinc panels on this kitchen island merge tonally with the off-white perimeter cabinetry painted the same colour as the walls to blend in. CaesarStone for the benchtop and splashback was also specified in complementary tones.

A kitchen designed for a vacation home will often combine a social feel with an understated aesthetic that won't detract from the views.

This kitchen forms part of a vacation retreat designed by Utz Sanby Architects. Co-director Kristin Utz says the owners wanted a workspace that would be warm and welcoming with ample storage. But most of all, it had to connect with and celebrate the beautiful environment.

Stairs lead up to this open-plan kitchen and floor, house, interior design, real estate, window, wood, gray
Stairs lead up to this open-plan kitchen and living space. The elongated kitchen island runs parallel with the dining table. The seating area by the large wooden sliding doors takes full advantage of the view.

"The island, fronted in blue-gray zinc with rich wood framing, is central to this connection. The metal brings an artisanal emphasis and will develop a patina over time, complementing the colors of the vegetation and sea. The zinc also tones with the exterior siding that wraps over into the living space to form a feature wall."

Presenting a warm contrast to the metal, the spotted gum edges on the island also chime with the interior the floorboards, ceiling beams, and window and door frames are in the same wood.

Open-plan kitchen and living area in a hilltop floor, flooring, hardwood, interior design, real estate, table, wood, wood flooring, gray
Open-plan kitchen and living area in a hilltop holiday home. Clerestory windows and glass louvres right around the room give the roof a floating appeal.

"Rather than a continuation of the millwork, the island has been designed as a stand-alone piece of furniture to meld with the living areas."

The long kitchen provides ample storage and counter space, while its orientation makes the most of the views in both directions.

Aug 06, 2012

Credit list

Utz Sanby Architects (Neutral Bay, NSW)
Kitchen design
Utz Sanby Architects, Katrina Hill
Oven, cooktop
Ilve from
Fisher & Paykel
CaesarStone in Ginger
Industrial Expression
CaesarStone and zinc
Verosol Ambience in Charcoal
Kitchen sink
Kitchen table, Cucina by Cod Joinery for Café Culture; chairs, Smile by Andreu World from KE2U
Interior designer
Katrina Hill,
Cabinet company
Sydney Joinery
Zinc-wrapped MDF
Storage systems
Built-in joinery in solid recycled spotted gum hardwood
Spotted gum
Yellow Goat Design
Abey Verona sink mixer pullout by Candana
Window and door hardware
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