Minimalist, easy-to-clean kitchen has dedicated zones and strong material palette

A semi-industrial palette of wood, concrete and steel gives this kitchen a strong presence and also connects it to the wider surroundings

Achieving a sense of material cohesion with its wider surroundings is a plus for any kitchen, and this edgy workspace by respected designer Toni Roberts provides an excellent case in point.

"The brief for the kitchen was to extend the home’s use of industrial and natural materials – namely the concrete floor and concrete block wall, along with the use of cedar and blackened, rolled steel features," says Roberts.

“The homeowners wanted a contemporary kitchen, designed with rawness and honesty. Other requests were to keep the rear concrete block wall partly exposed while allowing for easy maintenance and cleaning; a dedicated baking area; an easy flow to outdoors and a welcoming space for family connection. We also had to work with predetermined electrical positions.”

If the wood ceiling, concrete floor and rear architecture, building, cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, design, door, floor, flooring, furniture, glass, hardwood, home, house, interior design, kitchen, lighting, property, real estate, room, table, wood, wood stain, brown
If the wood ceiling, concrete floor and rear wall are the framing, then the kitchen is the well-balanced painting in the middle – all part of a design by kitchen architect Toni Roberts.

Addressing the strong material connections, Roberts created a hand-crafted, black steel frame with exposed welds as a foundation base for the kitchen island. The frame echoes the industrial vibe of stair rails found elsewhere in the home.

“The exposed welds express the honesty of the fabrication but it was a challenge integrating the bulging welded joins of the steel frame with square junctions of the teak veneer panels.”

To resolve this, Roberts introduced deep charcoal negatives behind the posts, together with secret-welding to some junctions to ensure the suspended teak cabinets fitted snugly.

The generous island also features a rugged, leathered granite bench, chosen for its tactile feel and nod-to-nature characteristics.

“By keeping the wall cabinetry shy of the ceiling, we drew the eye to the pleasing contrast between the various materials. We further highlighted this raw concrete finish with uplights.”

For similar reason, the custom stainless steel-clad rangehood is kept separate from the wood cabinetry to expose the concrete block’s raw beauty. The rangehood was also positioned to hide immovable power feed holes and ducting.

To protect the concrete rear wall day to day, a retractable steel sheet splashback was also conceived. A mark of a great design, this looks simple enough in nature, while in reality being underpinned by a complex configuration. The splashback gently lowers to meet a stainless steel ledge, making for an easy-to-clean cooking zone.

​​​​​​​Open to the surrounding spaces, this kitchen is apartment, architecture, building, ceiling, countertop, daylighting, estate, floor, flooring, furniture, glass, hardwood, home, house, interior design, kitchen, property, real estate, residential area, room, window, wood
​​​​​​​Open to the surrounding spaces, this kitchen is designed for effortless indoor-outdoor flow. The leathered granite island benchtop almost looks like a diving board for the pool from this angle.

Meeting another of the owners’ requests, the dedicated baking pantry includes cabinet doors that slide to the sides and pocket back, keeping the rear of the kitchen flowing and accessible.

In fact, ease of use runs right through the kitchen. This includes strategically positioned zones for prepping, cooking, breakfast, drinks, baking, clean-up, and school lunches. Plus, the drawers feature dedicated storage systems, while the dining side of island conveniently houses drinks and homework resources.

The wider kitchen and dining area includes relaxed spaces for family and friends, as well as plenty of set-down spaces for entertaining.

Lastly, the centrally set island connects with the sea views and the private pool courtyard.

Credit list

Toni Roberts B Arch CKDNZ, Kitchen Architecture
Cabinetry hardware
Grass NovaPro full extension soft-closing silver runners by Häfele
Polished concrete
Kitchen sink
Archant Aoraki 86020Nero Ecogranit sink
Oven, dishwasher
Trend International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Runner-up
Prime veneer natural recut teak, clear UV polyurethane, by Prime Panels
Island – Infinity granite, leathered texture, by CDK Stone; rear benchtop and ledge – stainless steel
Concrete block and custom retractable steel sheet
Hansgrohe Axor Citterio mixer
Samsung, black steel

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Michelle Weir

08 Dec, 2019

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