Open to surprising elements, the funkier the better, ran the owner brief – the resulting kitchen delivers with bold stone and clever functionality

Designed by Toni Roberts, Kitchen Architecture

From the designer:

Owner requirements

  • Create an artistic design that is extraordinary and ‘out there’ – following on from their love for colourful sculptures, inspirational artworks and luxurious designers like Versace and Louis Vuitton. 
  • A design open to surprising elements, the funkier the better, and rich patterning; expressed with tasteful luxury in mind. 
  • Keep the kitchen’s footprint within their renovated 1950s St Heliers Bay home – so preparation and guests at the bar can face Auckland’s dynamic harbour and cityscape. 
  • Improve flow and connection, introduce higher benchtops for tall occupants, and more efficient storage.
  • Incorporate a dedicated wine bottle chiller, a large fridge and freezer; and instant boiling, chilled and sparkling water on tap. 

Design fulfilled

  • The design evolved around a spectacular slice of jade green Viridian quartzite – a bold statement and art piece in its own right.
  • Sculptured into a bold island block, the Viridian is then encapsulated with yet another equally artistic dark stone frame, forming the breakfast bar.
  • The granite’s textural patterning echoes moody brushstrokes in Heather Straka Māori chief portraits alongside.
  • To not upstage the view, the same dark stone graces the sink bench and walls for an elegant textural backdrop.
  • A metal-infused charcoal lacquer is specified for the kitchen’s joinery while soft oyster floor tiles soften the confident palette.
  • Touch-to-open electric drawers maintain the clean lines desired.
  • Opening the wine bar pocket-door, a splash of Resene Jalapeno nail-polish red is rendered in a glamorous gloss finish, (reminiscent of a Louis Vuittonstiletto sole) – creating the desired funky yet tasteful ‘surprise’ within.
  • A composition of glass shelving, quartzite top, spirits drawers, bar snacks and black felt-lined drawers are detailed for proud display.
  • Black snake-skinned embellished handles with polished brass-tip detailing, gives a nod to the owners’ safari animal theme and gold-leafed furniture collections.
  • A simple L-shaped shelf is refined to its bare essence, inspired by Versace’s signature border icon; an opportunity for displaying sculpture collections.

Functional layout

  • To refine the food preparation zone the hob is relocated to the island. This allows generous bench space around the hardworking main sink and connects the home chef’s performance with guests mingling at the bar.
  • The double sinks, integrated fridge, pantry storage, and three ovens (including a sous vide), are arranged within this hob-centred zone for the home chef’s efficient flow and access.
  • Other state-of-the-art appliances were recommended for their visually luxurious appeal and high performance.
  • A Gaggenau ventilation unit integrates seamlessly and flush with the hob and boasts a rising glass splash guard, affording an uninterrupted view for dining guests behind.
  • A coffee, teas and refreshments zone is centred around a silky brass tap dispensing chilled, sparkling and boiling water on the island.  Located away from the cooking zone, it allows easy access to their swimming pool and fridge without interrupting the home chef at work.
  • Practical storage systems with specific functionalities are packed into customised drawers, with toekick spaces utilised for additional serve ware. Despite a similar footprint, the homeowner is impressed with at least a third more accessible space.


  • Overcoming the limited wall-space and central entry portal, the tall and wide integrated fridge is repositioned closest to the kitchen.  Beyond, the freezer, wine chiller and hidden wine bar then rhythmically enrich the wall with cooled storage accessible to diners topping up glasses.
  • Limitation of the dark granite’s length is resolved with a central bar join to achieve seamless flow of both mitred waterfall ends and structural strength.
  • Ducting of Glass Riser vent through concrete floor. Investigated solution with trades (after first design vision) to determine its viability.
  • Technical resolution of venting requirements – downdraft positioned subtly in the island for the cooktop and Zenith hot water tank – maintains integrity of flush stone design and appliances’ optimum performance.

Credit list

Cabinetry hardware
Grass & Hawa by Hafele; Servodrive by Blum
Natural quartzite – Black Raj polished
Axor Citterio by Hansgrohe, in Brushed Black
Water dispenser
Prometheus VII linear pendant; Laser Blades, both by ECC
Metallic Lacquer
Natural granite – Viridian, honed by CDK Stone; natural quartzite – Black Raj polished
Kitchen sink
Blanco Silgranit 480/320-u & 320-u, by Hafele, both in Anthracite
Epoque 2 Grey tiles
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Winner

Designed by: Toni Roberts, Kitchen Architecture

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Kayle Lawson

03 Feb, 2025

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