Kitchen renovation combines understated white island with dark wood cabinetry kitchen

In this entertainer's kitchen, everything sits behind a wall of built-in, floor-to-ceiling wood cabinets that's designed to look like a large piece of furniture

A cantilevered countertop end with four stools tucked cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, gray, black
A cantilevered countertop end with four stools tucked underneath ensures this island is a social gathering point.

Creating a discreet kitchen in an open-plan living space is about more than sympathetic cabinetry finishes. Everything from tight space planning to handle choices can play a part.

The brief to architect Darren Jessop for this kitchen was to replace the existing kitchen in the same position with a streamlined version better suited to entertaining. This was part of Jessop's renovation of the whole villa, which grew the house from two storeys to three.

"The existing, rather tired kitchen had white Melteca cabinetry set into an all white-painted volume so it was bland as well as outdated."

Other client requests were to use contrasting materials and provide maximum storage.

For the chefs eyes only the rear of architecture, countertop, house, interior design, kitchen, white, gray, black
For the chefs eyes only the rear of this island in an entertainers kitchen includes a wealth of storage along with the dishwasher. The near-flush induction hob is served by a pop-up extractor set into the benchtop. The two-tone wood and white kitchen is accented with stainless steel appliances.

"The key to the design of this fresh kitchen within the context of the renovated villa is that all the things you don't want to see, you don't see," says Jessop. "Everything sits behind the wall of built-in, floor-to-ceiling wood cabinets that's designed to look like a large piece of furniture as well as crisply contrast the white room.

"For example, the pulls for the drawers and cupboards have been custom milled into the wood, adding to the furniture-like appeal and also bringing a Scandinavian feel to the space."

"Most operational stuff is on the island," says Jessop. "Normally, I wouldn't put a hob on the island, but the clients had wanted it there. And given that it's an entertainer's kitchen, this placement allowing for cooking while facing the living spaces fitted in well with the design.

"To deal with day-to-day cooking odours, we installed a pop-up downdraft extractor into the island, which works really well."

White to the left, wood to the right house, interior design, living room, real estate, white, gray
White to the left, wood to the right this kitchen, part of a major whole-villa renovation by Jessop Architects, plays off adjacent wall surfaces to elegant effect. The perimeter wall of custom-stained oak also connects with the restored and stained oak floorboards seen throughout the home.

The extra-deep island at 1400mm houses a large sink, the unobtrusive induction hob, and a wealth of storage drawers and cupboards.

"It's also double-sided there's a pull-out drinks fridge on the lounge side, so you don't need to go right into the kitchen for a top up," says Jessop. "We also intended the island to be somewhere people gravitate towards. To help achieve this, there's ample seating for four at one end, making it a very social space to hang out with the children or with friends."

A sleek LED strip light over the island adds an elegant finishing touch to the kitchen. This is also a practical feature as it has two modes providing full-on task lighting when required, or a softer mood light that automatically comes on as you enter the room.

Credit list

Darren Jessop,
Existing floorboards, sanded and stained
Lighting design
Chris Watt
Schwan hot/cold tap; main tap, KWC ONO
Induction, Fisher & Paykel, from Kitchen Things
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Highly Commended
Oak, custom stain colour, matt finish
From InLite
Kitchen sink
Burns and Ferrall
Oven, refrigerator
Fisher & Paykel, from Kitchen Things
Smeg Lift pop-up, from Kitchen Things
Wine fridge
Fisher & Paykel CoolDrawer, from Kitchen Things

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Jamie Cobel

27 Jul, 2016

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