Alabaster box

A natural material palette, warm lighting and a reading nook make this kitchen a place in which to gather and enjoy the view
Photography by: Paul McCredie
A new layout ensures views take priority.Mood lighting architecture, countertop, estate, home, house, interior design, real estate, window, brown
A new layout ensures views take priority.Mood lighting and matt-finished stainless steel minimise reflections, while alabaster and lemon grass tones help soften the space. To keep the cabinetry simple, long, thin handles were specified throughout The clean lines are echoed in the display boxes of the feature unit at the right. Spot lighting focuses attention on plants, emphasising the connection with the outdoors.

The goal of life is living in agreement with nature, according to the philosopher Zeno. Many centuries later, most of us would agree, and appreciate design that is in harmony with the surroundings.

This kitchen, located next to a terrace that looks out onto native bush, was renovated by architectural designer Nicola Habbitts to resonate with the landscape. Inspired by the view, she took a soft approach in her colour palette to create a space that is more like a retreat than the busy hub so many kitchens are nowadays.

"I specified natural materials, such as timber and granite, for their colours and textures," she says.


A new layout ensures views take priority.Mood lighting cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, room, gray, brown
A new layout ensures views take priority.Mood lighting and matt-finished stainless steel minimise reflections, while alabaster and lemon grass tones help soften the space. To keep the cabinetry simple, long, thin handles were specified throughout The clean lines are echoed in the display boxes of the feature unit at the right. Spot lighting focuses attention on plants, emphasising the connection with the outdoors.

"They reflect the greenery outside, making for a subtle design impact."

A solution to the irregular shape of the kitchen was to set a reading seat in the corner where a bank of windows cuts across the space. The owners now have a comfortable indoor place to settle with a book, as if amongst the trees.

And while some kitchens are designed to blend into a living area or conceal kitchen clutter, there is no doubt as to the utilitarian nature of this space. Habbitts created display areas where recipe books, cooking utensils and storage jars become ornaments on show.

A new layout ensures views take priority.Mood lighting plumbing fixture, product design, tap, white
A new layout ensures views take priority.Mood lighting and matt-finished stainless steel minimise reflections, while alabaster and lemon grass tones help soften the space. To keep the cabinetry simple, long, thin handles were specified throughout The clean lines are echoed in the display boxes of the feature unit at the right. Spot lighting focuses attention on plants, emphasising the connection with the outdoors.

"Displaying them like sculptures brings colour and character to the room," she says. "At the same time, indoor plants make another link with the outdoors."

Feb 02, 2010

Credit list

Designer
Nicola Habbitts, Design Habbitts (Wellington)
Electrician
GT Electrical
Walls and ceiling
Resene Double Alabaster
Bench
Granite from Bramco
Main contractor
Daniel Melville
Cabinetry
Resene Lemon Grass by TRS Joiners
Oven, refrigerator and ventilation
Fisher & Paykel
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