The brief was for a smaller kitchen without losing function or space – in fact detail, design and quality were paramount – here's how that worked

Designed by Candice Van Dyk,  Mooi Design

The brief for this project was to create a bold, statement kitchen that is fit for entertaining and that would operate as the heart of the home.

My American homeowners were used to a large kitchen in their previous home, and wanted to downsize, but made it clear that downsizing did not mean sacrificing functionality.

They also wanted to take the opportunity to focus on detail, design and quality.

The colour palette and style requested by the owners was a raw, organic, earthy and natural design aesthetic.

This softer, more natural brief immediately ruled out materials such as chrome or gloss cabinetry.

Instead it led the design toward a muted, moody colour scheme based on natural materials such as concrete, and a colour palette of deep greys.

These were to be brought to life with touches of brushed brass.

The dark timber cabinetry and natural engineered timber floors complement the moodier hard surfaces and provide balance and warmth to the kitchen space.

From a functional perspective, a large island uninterrupted by fixtures & fittings was the perfect match for the entertaining aspect of the brief.

For this reason, the decision was made to keep the island clear and expansive to cater for the owner’s large adult family and grandchildren.

The scullery & linen cupboard on either side of the kitchen are wrapped in timber veneer to carry through the feeling of warmth, and to accentuate the structure of the kitchen.

The design decision to wrap the scullery and storage spaces in veneer allows for multiple preparation and storage areas and also for mess to be hidden away from entertaining spaces.

Although the design direction for the project was clear, a major challenge was fitting all the appliances, fixtures & fittings my homeowners were used to into a smaller kitchen. 

Adding to the functional complexity, the elevated island did make the kitchen feel lighter and more spacious but limited the use of appliances in the island.

Given these constraints, it was critical to carefully plan the size and positioning of sinks, cooktop and dishwasher without using space on the island benchtop, or sacrificing functionality.

The solution was to carefully arrange the appliances between the back bench and scullery to ensure an efficient working environment, that still felt spacious for two people cooking in the kitchen.

Given the downsizing and entertainment focuses of the brief, it was critical that the workflows functioned independently and as one, thus maximising utility and flexibility in what is a smaller, yet more efficient kitchen.  

With the focus on detail, products and specification were critical to the success of this kitchen and thee owner’s brief.

Dezignatek cabinetry was selected to help reduce fingerprinting and the concrete look benchtop by GBC was specified with a leathered finish to add texture, soften the harder material and add an organic feel.

The Fisher & Paykel Integrated fridge contributed hugely to the overall design.

Integrating the fridge into the cabinetry ensures consistency with the overall colour palette and allows the brass finishes to stand out.

This kitchen is the heart of the home – perfect for entertaining, easy to navigate, aesthetically pleasing and cohesive with the architecture.

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Cabinetry hardware
Archant Edge Straight Brushed Brass
Main – Concrete, grey, leathered, by GBC Concrete; scullery – Subway tiles
Engineered Timber, by Herman Pacific
Buddy, Aged Brass, by Plumbline
5 burner gas cooktop (90cm)
Fisher & Paykel, integrated, with designer French-door built-in cabinet
Water dispenser
InSinkErator near-boiling and cold filtered water tap
Dezignatek Slate and American White Oak, crown cut
Benchtops and splashback
Concrete, grey, leathered, by GBC Concrete
Kitchen sink
Aoraki 450-10 Nero, from Heritage Hardware
Pendant from Accent Lighting; Moot Electrical downlights
Multifunction pyrolytic oven (90cm)
Sirius Powerpack with stainless steel baffle filters
Bosch Series 8, fully integrated dishwasher (60cm)
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Highly Commended

Designed by: Mooi Design

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Dennis Radermacher

14 Nov, 2021

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