Black minimalist kitchen in compact holiday home

Textured wood and Corian benchtops give this compact kitchen a dramatic look

This kitchen looks modest in size but is architecture, house, interior design, living room, real estate, gray
This kitchen looks modest in size but is actually 4.7m wide. The black cabinetry, splashback and benchtop surfaces bring depth to the open-plan space.

Designing a kitchen for a compact holiday home requires addressing some key factors for example, if it's part of an open-plan living area it may need to visually downplay its practical use. And, given a getaway's often limited floor space, multipurpose functionality is also a plus.

Architect Evelyn McNamara designed this home and the kitchen in it as a movable feast a design that could work in any scenic location. The prototype nestles in a grove of tree ferns.

The house has solid end walls for privacy and long glass-clad side walls to stay close to nature. The central kitchen, bathroom and laundry pod is effectively a rectangle within a rectangle with corridors leading down the sides of the pod to two bedrooms at the back, says McNamara.

"Given the modest size of this living and kitchen volume, I wanted the kitchen to recede visually and add a sense of depth to the space."

Black Corian waterfall edges on the island add architecture, house, interior design, table, gray, black
Black Corian waterfall edges on the island add a glossy feature to this compact kitchen

To this end, most elements are black. The cabinetry fronts are black-stained chipboard, and the island waterfall benchtop and carcass are in black Corian, while the island's knee recess is in black cedar a continuation of its use on the exterior cladding and interior end walls. Black, backpainted glass forms the splashback.

While the uniform use of black downplays the kitchen's functional operation, it does give the design a dramatic sculptural presence.

"I set the island closer to the cabinetry than usual, so the island doesn't float into the lounge area in visual terms," says the architect. "And in relation to this, we also stepped the upper perimeter cabinets back from the rear benchtop to allow more headroom and space for the chef.

"The kitchen never looks cluttered, either, as we included plenty of drawers and cupboards to avoid mess being left on the countertops."

Versatile agenda this free-standing wood table looks like house, interior design, kitchen, real estate, table, gray, black
Versatile agenda this free-standing wood table looks like an extension of the islands worksurface but it can also be relocated and used as a separate dining or serving table.

While the kitchen looks compact, in reality it is a generous 4.2m long ensuring plenty of room for pantry storage.

Another feature of the design is its sheer flexibility. The freestanding table can be moved out into the room for dinner parties or remain where it is as an extended worksurface to the island benchtop. A stored television can be placed on the table for viewing, too, and the black kitchen offers the ideal backdrop for watching this.

"The kitchen has an emphasis on texture, as well. The black, slightly rough chipboard and band-sawn cedar evoke the feel and tone of the surrounding tree fern trunks," McNamara says.

Credit list

Evelyn McNamara, Evelyn McNamara Architecture
Cabinetry hardware
Fabulous Kitchens
White lacquered plywood
Backpainted Etchlite glass from Global Glass
Arne Jacobsen Vola tap from Metrix
Fisher & Paykel 900mm Pyrolytic oven
Fisher & Paykel
Strandboard, black stain and clear sealed
Corian, Black Nocturne, by Topline Benches
Tuba LED tracklight from Inlite
Pre-formed in Corian by Topline Benches
Fisher & Paykel 900mm Gas on Glass
Fisher & Paykel 900mm Powerpack Rangehood
Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Jeremy Troth

05 May, 2016

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