This much loved kitchen responds to its apple horticulture-inspired home – timber cabinetry, soaring ceilings and great connections result

Designed by Strachan Group Architects

From the architects:

The context

Located in the rural context of Oratia, Auckland, this home sits on mainly pastureland that has a gentle slope towards the northern boundary. 

The notion of the home, dubbed the Apple Shed, derived from the Oratia area’s horticultural history and the visual cues of apple crates, developed into a collection of simple timber and galvanised roofing farm shed forms that respond to the context and look out at the bush views to the north. 

These interlocking external shed forms are organised into an efficient plan, which achieves the owners’ wish for 'no wasted space'.

The high gable ceilings allow kitchen, living and bedroom spaces to open vertically, while the hall spaces, laundry etc with lower flat ceilings, play with the notion of 'compression and release'.

The kitchen

The kitchen is located at the heart of the house and enjoys visual connections to the pool area and pastureland to the north from the island bench.

The brief required the inclusion of a home brewing station within its layout so 3 bays of workspace provide maximum functionality and dedicated zones for food preparation / cooking / brewing.


The voluminous ceiling spaces and the open, exposed trusses of the main kitchen and living area allows for a generous sense of spaciousness. 

The main wall of kitchen cabinetry creates a functional space divider to the lounge area and the cabinetry of the brew station morphs to a shelving unit as it extends into the dining space.

Birch plywood linings and cabinetry bring warmth to the interior of the home, complementing the home's naturally weathering macrocarpa exterior.

Honed concrete floors unify the kitchen and living areas and are darkened with oxide to absorb the sun’s warmth through the north facing windows.

Stainless steel benchtops and sinks provide bullet-proof surfaces for family life. 

Appliances, hardware and tapware are also in stainless steel, maintaining a limited and refined palette.

Hand-glazed, forest green tiled splashbacks are a reminder of the lush bushland just outside the door.

The exposed timber trusses over the kitchen space are a nod to the vernacular and rustic nature of living in the rural landscape.

Linear Secto Owala laminated birch plywood pendant lights hang over the kitchen benchtop and throughout the living and dining areas, blending seamlessly with the material palette of these spaces.

Credit list

Stainless steel
Kitchen sink
Oven, cooktop, ventilation, diswasher
Wine fridge
Beer fridge: KegLand Series X Model
Simon James pendants
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Highly Commended
Plytech Birch Spectrum Eco, by Carlielle Kitchens
Green bathroom wall tiles, from Middle Earth Tiles
M&Z Sanremo kitchen faucet with L spout, from Franklins
Fisher & Paykel
Water dispenser
InSinkErator Uso MTUSO-CH
Jacobsen Pre-finished Wood Flooring in Sublime Oak; polished concrete Flooring, black oxide with marble polish

Designed by: Strachan Group Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Jackie Meiring

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