New light toned kitchen emerges from design rethink

In this rethink of an existing kitchen, improved space-planning enabled greater functionality and accentuated a key connection in the home

A new light-toned kitchen sits in a light-filled architecture, benchtop, interior design, kitchen, Damien Hannah, German Kitchens, white, timber floor
A new light-toned kitchen sits in a light-filled space, in this design rethink, part of a wider renovation of a 1900s cottage by Damian Hannah of German Kitchens.

A designer gets the most out of a kitchen by including what’s achievable from an owner’s wish list while avoiding what might not work so well in the final out-come. The owners are the winners, as this Damian Hannah kitchen reflects.

“The owners – parents of a growing family – were renovating their 1900s Wellington villa and wanted to replace the outdated kitchen and linked office with a larger, more welcoming kitchen and possibly a scullery,” says Hannah. 

“The kitchen ideally needed to accommodate more than one chef at a time and include an island and casual seating. The couple love their coffee and wanted a coffee nook, too, if possible.”

The kitchen designer looked at the overall space and considered the scullery option.

“To position the scullery where the owners requested – at the rear of the kitchen where the existing office was – wouldn’t have worked as this was the main access to the dining-living area. Sitting the scullery in this through-space would have separated the kitchen and living zone and at the same time blocked light from the run of windows on this side of the home.”

​​​​​​​Two sinks, myriad benchtops and plenty of space cabinetry, benchtop, timber flooring, interior design, kitchen, white
​​​​​​​Two sinks, myriad benchtops and plenty of space means two chefs can use this kitchen, by German Kitchens, at the same time.

Instead, Hannah transformed the outdated office into an ancillary kitchen area – complete with second sink and dishwasher – avoiding the need for an obstructive, walled-off scullery. This  opened the space up, retained connection to the living areas and avoided reducing natural light that would have resulted from a dedicated scullery. It also allowed the designer to include a long benchtop running right along the kitchen.

“I positioned one sink on the island and the other under the home’s south windows, so the owners could take in the views while prepping. A coffee station is at the western end of the bench and is separated from the longer kitchen benchtop with a breakfast/coffee seating nook.”

The latter also offers a casual office space that’s more central for keeping an eye on the kids.

​​​​​​​Originally an office, now part of the kitchen, architecture, benchtop, house, interior design, kitchen, alno,  Damien Hannah, German Kitchens, Timber floor
​​​​​​​Originally an office, now part of the kitchen, this narrow through area to the living spaces includes shallow cabinetry. A second sink in this area is positioned in front of the window to optimise natural light on the work surface and also so the chef can prep and take in the views at the same time. The project is by designer Damian Hannah.

Hannah designed shallow cabinetry for the new rear kitchen space – maximising storage in this area. He also introduced a handy electrical track that allows small, on-bench appliances to be permanently plugged in ready for use.

Soft matt lacquer Alno cabinetry with wood veneer panelling behind the underlit shelving brings depth and interest to the design

“The final touch was the Dekton benchtops. We also ran this hard-wearing surface down the back of the seating and across the nook footwell for material continuity the length of the kitchen.”

Credit list

Damian Hannah, German Kitchens
Matai, existing
Kitchen sinks
Water dispenser
Alno design by German Kitchens, matt lacquer
Feature pendant
Circus from ECC
Cooktop, dishwasher
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Highly Commended

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Paul McCredie

14 Feb, 2021

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Damian Hannah is a highly qualified, award-winning kitchen designer who owns and manages German Kitchens Limited in Wellington

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