Contemporary black and white kitchen with dark-stained American oak and white lacquer

Modern kitchen in contemporary beach house features white lacquered island with waterfall sides, dark American oak cabinets, marble splashback

Story by: Colleen Hawkes Photography by: Dan Max
A crisp, monochromatic palette defines this new beach architecture, countertop, floor, flooring, furniture, house, interior design, kitchen, table, black, white
A crisp, monochromatic palette defines this new beach house, both inside and out. Architect Evelyn McNamara specified dark-stained American oak and white lacquered cabinets in the kitchen, to continue the look of the exterior – the house has black walls, a black roof and white eaves.

Simplicity is the order of the day when you’re at the beach, and increasingly this is reflected in the design of modern beach houses.

This new holiday home, which was designed by architect Evelyn McNamara, comprises one large central pavilion with two smaller pods, one on either side. Not surprisingly, making the most of the view and providing a good indoor-outdoor flow were key considerations.

With this in mind, the architect designed a simple, galley-style kitchen in the main pavilion. This allows an easy flow out to a large deck that is flush with the floor.

“The house itself resembles a black box, so it appears to merge with the natural bush backdrop,” says McNamara. “This helped to determine the colour on the inside, where we have introduced white to create a bold contrast to the black – it’s a very stripped-back palette that plays on the separation of light and dark.”

In the open-plan living area the monochromatic look is defined by a white lacquered island with waterfall sides, dark-stained American oak cabinetry and a similar dark oak floor.

“We selected a crown-cut grain for the American oak on the wall cabinets, which has a much larger, textural grain than a quarter-sawn cut. This adds visual interest, while keeping the overall look quite minimal,” says the architect.


Architect Evelyn McNamara specified dark-stained American oak and countertop, furniture, interior design, kitchen, table, black, gray
Architect Evelyn McNamara specified dark-stained American oak and white lacquered cabinets for this kitchen in a contemporary beach house.

Recessed pulls on the oak cabinets are in powdercoated black. The island cabinetry is in a similar flush design, but with white recessed pulls. Caesarstone benchtops in White Snow help to lighten the interior, countering the shading effect of the 2.4m eaves requested by the owners.

The design avoids a harsh feel, however, thanks to the natural materials. The veining on the Alarti marble splashback, for example, provides a textural contrast that helps to soften the look. And a red Vola tap specified by the owners introduces a playful touch.

Functionality is also assured. There is plenty of storage, and high-end appliances, many of which are integrated, reinforce the seamless design.

This kitchen, in a modern beach house designed architecture, countertop, home, home appliance, house, interior design, kitchen, real estate, black, white
This kitchen, in a modern beach house designed by architect Evelyn McNamara, flows straight out to a deck that is flush with the floor. The bright red Vola tap provides a playful touch.
Aug 17, 2018

Credit list

Kitchen manufacturer
Mastercraft Kitchens
Caesarstone Snow
Ecogranit Aoraki from Heritage Hardware
Stained American oak
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Highly Commended
Evelyn McNamara, Evelyn McNamara Architecture
Dark-stained American oak
Alarti marble from Artedomus
Arne Jacobsen Vola in red from Metrix
Fisher & Paykel





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