Modern apartment renovation with new kitchen featuring dark-stained American oak cabinets

Contemporary update of 1980s apartment features textural dark American oak cabinets, mosaic tile splashback, white marble and steel plate benchtops

White marble contrasts the dark timber on the countertop, interior design, kitchen, white, black
White marble contrasts the dark timber on the island in this contemporary apartment kitchen the rest of the benchtops and shelves throughout the living space are in steel plate. Visual continuity is also provided by similar timber cabinetry in the living area. The design is by architect Fraser Cameron.

It's rare to see an apartment's floor area extended, but that's precisely how more space was created for this renovation.

Architect Fraser Cameron says the terraced apartment, on the shores of Lake Taupo, was at the end of a row and the title included an area of land. This meant the owners were able to push out one side of the building towards the lake.

"As well as increasing the overall floor area, we raised the ceiling height in the addition, while still providing a seamless integration with the existing living space."

This kitchen and dining area are positioned within architecture, floor, home, house, interior design, room, window, black, gray
This kitchen and dining area are positioned within a new extension to a 1980s apartment on the shores of Lake Taupo. Architect Fraser Cameron introduced a bay window to maximise the light and the view.

Cameron says the owners wanted an open, light-filled interior that would be a radical change from the original 1980s design, which was a heavily detailed, complex structure with a lot of rimu.

To this end, the architect created a new bay window in the extension and added a large skylight above the kitchen. And the original stairs were replaced with open treads and a glass balustrade.

"The client also wanted the entire project to be of the highest standard of specification, with no compromise."

Dark-stained American oak cabinets with a custom profile floor, flooring, interior design, lobby, wood, black, brown
Dark-stained American oak cabinets with a custom profile form a backdrop to the living area in this 1980s apartment remodelled by architect Fraser Cameron. A fully integrated refrigerator and sleek ovens enhance the seamless look. The wall of utility cabinets at the rear feature folded copper with the same profile. The dark elements are contrasted by a mosaic tile splashback, which references the watery hues of the lake outside the window.

The kitchen and utility cupboards were designed to provide a continuous, flowing backdrop to the living spaces. Dark-stained American oak cabinets with a custom profile feature in the kitchen and living area, while the utility cupboard doors at the rear are in folded copper, with the same profile.

"The dark timber echoes the trunks of the acacia trees outside the window and creates a dramatic contrast to the white walls and ceilings, which are illuminated by concealed lighting," Cameron says.

To enhance the completely seamless look of the kitchen, appliances are integrated wherever possible handles are formed within the timber profile. And a near-invisible induction cooktop is flush with a sleek, stainless steel benchtop.

Credit list

Fraser Cameron, Belinda Ellis, Fraser Cameron Architects (Taupo)
Main contractor
Haimes Building
Stained North American white oak with bespoke profiles; folded copper sheet with aged finish on rear utility cabinets
Alarti mosaic from Artedomus
White oak overlay from Uniclic; herringbone carpet square from Carpet Court
Paini Cox from Metrix
Fisher & Paykel induction
Refrigerator and dishwasher
Fisher & Paykel
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Highly Commended
Interior designer
Mike Steiner, Steiners Rotorua
Kitchen manufacturer
Cromptons Joinery
Alarti honed marble top by Artedomus; hand-buffed stainless steel top by Cromptons Joinery; heat-finished 6mm plate steel by CJ Ltd
LED concealed and task lighting; Tulipano pendant; from Rhonda Nickel, Coombes and Gabbie
Burns and Ferrall Designer range
Oven and microwave oven
Schweigen with remote motor
Waste disposal
21 Apr, 2015

For more than 30 years, Trends has promoted great home design ideas through its print, digital and online media.The Trends International Design Awards – TIDAs – take that involvement to the next level with the search for the best kitchens, bathrooms and homes across a number of the countries where Trends has a presence.

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