This warm kitchen combines sleek functionality with an aesthetic intended to appeal to empty nesters – a design constraint boasts an adroit solution

Designed by Shannon Pepper, Landmark Homes North Shore/Rodney

From the designer:


The owners, a professional couple in the building industry, undertook a development with the intent to subdivide the large property on Auckland’s North shore. 

They were building a high-end spec home which would be sold and during the sale process the home may be used as a pop-up showhome.

The market they are pitching to is professional empty nesters who want a home close to the city but still close to the beach, easy to lock up and leave yet stylish and sophisticated.

The owners' brief

  • Visual impact to entice in buyers and intrigue them into wanting to explore the home
  • High end finishes, appliances & hardware
  • Include built in & integrated appliances
  • Be functional
  • Have continuity with the rest of the home

The physical requirements

  • The owners didn’t really have any personal physical requirements but since this home was built to be on-sold the space had to appeal to a variety of people

Design development,  functionality & aesthetics

One design constraint which had impact on the layout was a steel portal which was holding a load from above. 

The original planned position was to the pantry area (tall cedar clad cupboard at end of island). 

Having to conceal the steel portal meant opting to have a tall cabinet at the end of the island, which meant it was separate from all other tall cabinetry but it created a separation between the kitchen & scullery areas without having to have built in walls. 

Engineering changes throughout the working drawing process meant the portal was moved to over beside the fridge but by this stage the kitchen design was well developed so we opted to keep with the planned tall pantry position and make a feature of it with the cedar cladding.

Our response

  • High end finishes like veneer & porcelain – these products ticked more than one of the owners' brief pre requisites by being functional, hard wearing, and adding to the visual impact
  • Integration of the fridge and dishwasher creates a clean look – the built-in coffee machine allowed for more bench space and this appliance sits at a practical height for heavy use
  • The window seat being an extension to kitchen created continuity of the surrounding spaces
  • Feature LED strip lighting to various areas to highlight particular accents – creating ambience and functioning as task lighting

Design aesthetics

  • A strong contrast between natural grain and the colour of the black timber veneer cabinetry was utilised to offset the masculine and moody feel of the dark cabinetry within the space
  • Slat design features used in carefully positioned areas create visual impact, texture & balance
  • The species of timber – western red cedar – was carefully selected to draw out the warmth in the vein of the Dekton Laurent
  • The use more than one benchtop colour was opted for to make the Dekton Laurent more of the hero in the space – the Eter has same main background colour and texture but without the striking vein of Laurent
  • Aged brass tapware and accessories were selected to complement the colour scheme and add some glamour

The result was very well received by the market and potential buyers all of whom loved the space created – the house was sold to a professional couple who love their new home.

Credit list

Cabinetry hardware
Hettich Avantech You with soft close in Anthracite; Hettich Sensys soft close hinges in Obsidian black; Hafele le mands II blind corner; Bankston Brunswick handles, in Black; Hideaway bins Concelo waste bins; Hettich Orgatrays
Dekton Laurent by Cosentino
Hettich led strip lighting versa inside 60 warm white; Northern Heat gold mesh pendant
Buddy Kitchen Mixer with Pull Out Spray in brushed Brass Organic, by Plumbline
Fisher & Paykel
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Winner
American Oak veneer 1/4 cut stained black with satin finish; Western red cedar with satin finish; Melteca black pearl carcasses
Dekton Laurent & Dekton Eter, by Cosentino
Moda Dolcedo Herringbone, by Forte Flooring
Kitchen sink
Kitchen – Hafele Blanco Subline 500-U Black; scullery – Hafele Blanco Subline 400-U Black
Ovens, cooktop, ventilation, dishwasher (integrated), wine fridge, coffee machine
Waste disposal

Designed by: Landmark Homes North Shore/Rodney

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Chan - Wide photography

12 Nov, 2023

Design with premium Hettich hardware

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