Great views of the town and harbour dominate this kitchen

The kitchen in this waterfront apartment has been renovated to be masculine, smart and distinctively urban in style
Made over kitchen with dark stained floors, new countertop, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, gray
Made over kitchen with dark stained floors, new bench and island rangehood

Upgrading the kitchen of an apartment in the central city can be a tricky affair. The space is likely to be quite compact, and changes to plumbing and mechanical elements are often restricted because they are all in place for the whole building.

Interior designer Jenni Austin took up the brief to update a three-bedroom apartment in Quay West in downtown Auckland that had originally been built in 1996.

The outdated kitchen was separated from the living spaces of the apartment, so the new plan opened it as much as possible by removing a sliding door between the kitchen and dining area. A wall between the kitchen and living area was also rebuilt to incorporate kitchen cabinetry on one side and an alcove for the stereo system and TV on the other side.


kitchen is dark and cramped, dining table at countertop, kitchen, property, real estate, room, gray
kitchen is dark and cramped, dining table at other end

The best views in the apartment are from the end of the kitchen, but changes to the layout were restricted by the difficulties of moving plumbing and appliances. So, to make the most of the outlook, the design incorporates a breakfast bar across the windows at the end of the kitchen. From here the owner can enjoy the sunny, north-easterly aspect while looking straight across to Rangitoto. Sliding doors on one side of this area open onto a small terrace.

"To create a kitchen that suited the owner, I have selected finishes that are strong, masculine and streamlined, and that steer right away from a suburban, family-home look," says Austin.

To do this, Austin integrated the crockery, refrigerator and pantry behind black lacquered doors. Black anodised door handles and an aluminium grille detail, rather than a toe-kick, complete the sleek, clean-lined appearance of this bank of cabinets.

before image of kitchen with white walls and floor, home, kitchen, property, real estate, room, sink, gray
before image of kitchen with white walls and cabinets

A microwave and coffee machine, also with black finishes, are integrated into a second tall tower opposite.

At the other end of the kitchen is the main cooking, preparation and cleanup area, where the views can be enjoyed. Cabinetry here has a Sand Pine finish, and the sleek look is maintained by concealing drawers behind door panels, and incorporating a negative detail on the top instead of using door handles.

A black induction hob blends seamlessly with the sparkling black Diamondstone benchtop, and the stainless extractor hood was chosen for its inconspicuous appearance.

Aug 06, 2012
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