Geometry lesson

Despite the use of hard surfaces and strong shapes, this kitchen retains a visual softness
This is a kitchen with strong shapes & architecture, ceiling, countertop, floor, house, interior design, interior designer, kitchen, living room, real estate, room, table, gray
This is a kitchen with strong shapes & tile usage

We tend to associate certain materials with specific rooms in the house. For example, leather is often used in a living room or study, silk in bedrooms and tiles in the bathroom.

But the mirror-clad island in this kitchen, designed by owner/architect Simon Rodrigues, demonstrates how mixing things up a little can lead to striking and unexpected results.

Located on the home's main living level, the kitchen occupies one corner of an open-plan sitting and dining area. A sliding door to one side opens onto a balcony with views of the ocean.


Rhomboid-shaped, mirror-clad island in this kitchen architecture, countertop, interior design, kitchen, product design, gray
Rhomboid-shaped, mirror-clad island in this kitchen

"The kitchen is tucked into the corner of a rhomboid-shaped space, determined by the site's slightly asymmetrical shape," says Rodrigues.

Rather than dominate the room, the aim was for the kitchen area to have a streamlined, visually uncluttered look that would create an illusion of openness and space.

Its dominant feature is the mirror-clad island, which takes its form from the room's floorplan. Floating slightly above the floor, its visual lightness, coupled with the reflective mirror finish, helps to further enlarge the room.

A granite benchtop under a glass storage unit architecture, countertop, house, interior design, kitchen, gray
A granite benchtop under a glass storage unit in this kitchen

"While it might be considered a modern material, mirror has been around for centuries," says Rodrigues. "The Bianco Sardo granite countertop is also a fairly traditional material. But both surfaces are very practical."

Terrazzo floor tiles are laid in what Rodrigues calls a "collision of two different patterns". This shift, which takes place below the raised island, helps to visually break up the surface. Tiles with a gloss finish that pick up the sheen of the whiteware are used on the kitchen side of the island, while the living-room side features a matte version of the same tile.

Despite the use of hard materials, Rodrigues says the subdued palette creates a soft-focus look.

Aug 23, 2004

Credit list

Countertops
Bianco Sardo granite
Wall tiles
Marazzi Milano glazed ceramic tiles
Cooktop
Smeg five-burner gas hob
Island
Finished in mirror float glass
Furniture
Maui dining chairs; Bianco Sardo granite-topped table; aluminum chairs
Terrazzo floor tiles
Bianco Avorio
Refrigerator
Fisher & Paykel
Hood and oven
Smeg
Suspended storage unit
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