In the frame

With its expansive windows and open layout, this new kitchen maximises an attractive garden outlook

A view of the kitchen and dining areas, ceiling, chandelier, countertop, home, interior design, kitchen, light fixture, lighting, gray, white
A view of the kitchen and dining areas, wooden flooring, cabinetry and dining suite, chandelier, stools, stone benchtops, stainless steel sink, taps and appliances.

A hundred years ago, the kitchen played a pivotal role in family life just as it does today. But it is there the similarity ends. Modern lifestyles dictate larger, more open living spaces with a strong link to the outdoors and the latest appliance technology.

This new kitchen, in a large, fully renovated villa, reflects these trends. Designer Niki Harrison says the increased size of the kitchen is also more in proportion to the size of the house.

"The existing kitchen, which was built in the 1980s, was considerably smaller and dated," she says. "The house needed a larger kitchen with a younger, more interesting look. But as this is an original villa, it was important to incorporate a mix of old and new."

To this end, the ceiling height and wood flooring were retained, but the honey-toned kauri floors were stained in a dark shade.

A close up view of the cooktop and countertop, interior design, kitchen, white, gray
A close up view of the cooktop and oven.

"The owners wanted to get rid of the yellow look that is traditionally associated with kauri floorboards," says Harrison.

More space was gained by the removal of a separate laundry at one end of the kitchen. This created enough room for a large island that doubles as a casual dining table.

"Positioning the cooker at one end of the island was an unusual decision, but it works well for casual entertaining," says Harrison. "The cooker incorporates a teppanyaki cooktop, so the owners can cook for friends seated around the island."

The cooker features a stainless steel surround, which makes a neat bookend to the island, and also provides open storage for oil bottles and spices. Further storage is incorporated within the sides of the unit.

A close up view of the cooktop and countertop, interior design, kitchen, white, gray
A close up view of the cooktop and oven.

Concrete benchtops, including an extra thick top for the island, enhance the kitchen's contemporary look. Their limestone colour was chosen as it is lighter than the traditional elephant-grey concrete.

Lower cabinets have an off-white lacquered finish, while the bank of wall cabinetry features dark-stained, quarter-cut American white oak. This cabinetry incorporates a pantry with doors that slide back into the sides of the unit, ensuring the traffic flow isn't interrupted.

The wall cabinets also accommodate the new laundry. This is on the left of the refrigerator and is a deep space, with sound-rated doors and drop-down seals that ensure the area is insulated.

Harrison says enlarging the kitchen provided an opportunity to extend the windows, ensuring the owners could appreciate the garden outlook. French doors opening to a veranda further enhance the link between inside and out.

Credit list

Kitchen manufacturer
Parklane Kitchens & Interiors
Custom concrete
BLH Electrical
Fisher & Paykel
Lacquered and dark-stained oak veneer
Dark-stained kauri
Table settings

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Jamie Cobeldick In the frame expansive windows open

23 Feb, 2007