High impact

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There's nothing light or flimsy about this remodelled kitchen, which was designed to impart a sense of solidity and permanence
A view of this kitchen featuring clalcutta marble cabinetry, countertop, interior design, kitchen, gray, brown
A view of this kitchen featuring clalcutta marble benchtop and splashback, veneer laminate Emporite gloss finish cabinetry, tiled flooring, stainless steel kitchen appliances/tapware

Any house that has been around for more than 60 years is going to have its fair share of awkward corners and unnecessary detailing. This house was no exception, which is why the owners undertook an extensive renovation to strip away the clutter and streamline the interior.

Architect Andrew Piva of BE Architecture says the house had been altered in the 1980s, and already had an open-plan kitchen and family living area. However, the layout was convoluted and disjointed. There was little integration with the outdoor living area, and no continuous sight lines through the house.

"While still working with the bones of the house, we set out to improve all these elements," Piva says. "It was also essential to provide a highly functional, professional kitchen that would reflect the owners' love of cooking and entertaining."

The solution was to retain an L-shaped layout, but to streamline the cabinetry and work surfaces to provide a more contemporary, yet warm look.

"We started with a clean shell and a simple, neutral base palette, and added layers of joinery," Piva says. "Creating a sense of solidity and permanence was crucial the long peninsula, for example, was designed to look like a solid mass."


A view of this kitchen featuring clalcutta marble countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, real estate, gray
A view of this kitchen featuring clalcutta marble benchtop and splashback, veneer laminate Emporite gloss finish cabinetry, tiled flooring, stainless steel kitchen appliances/tapware

The use of Calacutta marble with a 70mm-deep benchtop edge reinforces the sense of a large slab supported by solid marble returns. The marble also helps to visually anchor the timber veneer cabinetry on the other side of the island.

"The client, Tanya Mackay, who was highly involved in the entire design process, sourced the stone for the project," says Piva. "The distinctive veining in the marble introduces a little visual warmth that works well with the wheat colour of the cabinetry."

To help accentuate the kitchen's strong, horizontal lines, the peninsula cabinets feature a shadow line beneath the benchtop. The grain of the timber veneer on these cabinets runs horizontally a feature that further elongates the units visually.

"Using the grain horizontally also allowed us to minimise the number of joins, helping to create a seamless look," says Piva. "Similarly, the 90cm cooktop is flush with the benchtop, so it doesn't detract from the smooth finish."

Cabinetry along the rear wall features a high gloss Emporite. While the refrigerator and freezer are integrated within this cabinetry, an oven has been mounted within stainless steel panels.

A view of this kitchen featuring clalcutta marble countertop, interior design, kitchen, room, gray, black
A view of this kitchen featuring clalcutta marble benchtop and splashback, veneer laminate Emporite gloss finish cabinetry, tiled flooring, stainless steel kitchen appliances/tapware

"We wanted this oven one of two in the kitchen to look like an object that was meant to be there, rather than a small square floating in the midst of a bank of cabinets."

Piva took a similar approach with the rangehood, custom designing a large stainless steel framework around a Qasair hood. As well as being a strong architectural feature of the room, the hood provides low task lighting.

To reinforce the streamlined look, there is a separate walk-in pantry.

New limestone flooring now flows from the kitchen to the outdoor dining area, and extends down the hallways.

Aug 24, 2007

Credit list

Interior designer
Tanya Mackay
Door and window hardware
Pitella Imports
Benchtops and splashback
Calacutta marble from Rock Emporio
Blinds
Vertilux Chanell in Stone from The Blind Factory
Kitchen sink
Abey Daintree
Oven and cooktop
Smeg
Refrigerator
Fisher & Paykel, integrated
Kitchen manufacturer
Creative Design Cabinets
Cabinetry
Emporite gloss finish; Fineline Firenze Rigato veneer laminate
Tile flooring and wall tiles
Spanish limestone from City Tiler
Lighting
Inlite
Tapware
Rogerseller
Ventilation
Qasair
Dishwasher
Asko
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