There's more to the design of this island than first meets the eye

Space limitations and a response to the strong architectural setting both shaped the design of this kitchen – including its boldly dramatic island

An island has become the go-to design feature in today’s kitchens – its an ideal work surface, can double as a place for casual eating, and is the perfect divider between functional and relaxation zones of a home.

But there can be more behind the design of an island than first meets the eye.

When designer Morgan Cronin was asked to plan the kitchen for this home, the space he was allocated sat next to a living area with strongly architectural features – exposed board-formed concrete walls and fireplace, and an oak ceiling.

“It’s not a big house and I was limited as to how far I could push the kitchen into the living area,” says Cronin.

As result, he had to crimp some space by reducing the island depth to 1m instead of his usual 1.2m.

From here, he set out to give the island a simple but solid look, creating a stone box, which is underlit for extra impact.

“The stone slabs were 3.2m long, so I designed the island box to be 3m,” he says. 

“That’s also the exact length of the cooktop bench positioned on the kitchen’s back wall, giving the design a sense of symmetry.”

To create a dining area at the other end of the island, Cronin took a different approach to the usual extension of the top.

“I didn’t want to add another slab with a joint, plus I like any seating areas to be chunkier."

His solution was a table-like structure with a thick top raised slightly above the height of the island. This gives the seating area its own identity while adding another sense of solidity to the overall design.

Credit list

Jack McKinney Architects
Tailor and Curate
Cabinetry hardware
Blum black hinges and Legrabox black drawers; Hafele chrome wire vegetable drawer; Hafele Ninka black bins
French oak
Acero Burlington
Miele Black Oven, Miele Black Combi Steam Oven; Miele Black warming drawer
Miele DA2690 Extractor power pack
Miele fully Integrated dishwasher
Wine fridge
Miele Wine Conditioner
Appliance supplier
Kouzina Appliances
Kitchen designer
Morgan Cronin, Cronin Kitchens
Carcasses – black Melamine; Doors/panels – planked and wire-brushed oak veneer, stained and coated with clear Mirotone polyurethane
Benchtops and splashback
iStone Storm Nero by European Ceramics, fabricated by PSP Stonecraft
Warm White LED light strips from Brightlight fitted into pantry, extractor box and below the stone island box
Dornbracht Elio, matt black finish from Metrix; Pantry tap – Zenith Hydro tap and font kit, matt black finish from Metrix.
Wolf 90cm gas hob
Miele Integrated Fridge/Freezer; Miele Integrated Fridge/Freezer Ice Maker
Water dispenser
InSinkErator EVO200 with Black air switch
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Winner

Story by: Paul Taylor

Photography by: Kallan MacLeod

28 Jun, 2020

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