Pure and simple

Pared-back design and hidden storage solutions make this kitchen an unassuming backdrop to a lively living area
This is one end of the bench of cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, floor, flooring, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, lighting, room, tile, wall, wood, gray
This is one end of the bench of this simple kitchen

To make a strong design statement a kitchen doesn't have to be large, or feature lots of detailing and a variety of finishes. Sometimes, less really is more, as the kitchen on these pages illustrates.

Designed by architect Peter Monckton for his own home, the kitchen is a lesson in orderliness, with a design that is pared back to essentials.

The new kitchen is part of the major renovation of a 1920s duplex, which created one large living area from three small rooms. As the house is close to the ocean, Monckton says he wanted to create a relaxed, casual feel and borrow the traditional beach house concept of placing a kitchen along one wall.

Outlook of the kitchen oven & it's splashback furniture, interior design, table, black, white
Outlook of the kitchen oven & it's splashback

"We wanted the kitchen to play a secondary role to the living areas, hence its simple, pared-back design," he says. "The kitchen needed to be a neutral backdrop, with art works and colorful furnishings providing the focus of attention."

A single 18ft-long Corian countertop and a bank of cabinetry are positioned against one wall. With metallic-painted cabinets above the countertop concealing all the small appliances, the only detailing in the kitchen is the small knob handles of the doors and a single mixer. Monckton says even the Corian countertop, which has an integrated sink, features a fine, mitered edge, rather than a lip.

The cabinet doors immediately above the countertop lift to expose appliances and power outlets, while the next row of cabinets provides storage for crockery and glasses. White-painted drawers below the countertop are used for pot storage.

Overall view of the kitchen architecture, cabinetry, countertop, interior design, kitchen, product design, room, gray
Overall view of the kitchen

A floor-to-ceiling black, color-backed glass panel and backsplash at the left end of the kitchen help ensure the larger appliances are discreetly positioned.

Monckton says the cabinets, the countertop and a narrow skylight create a series of planes within the volume of the space. Sections that appear to have been sliced away add to the overall composition. The effect is further enhanced by a mirrored kickboard that is recessed four inches, making the lower cabinetry appear to float within the space.

Aug 23, 2004

Credit list

Countertops and integrated sink
Color-backed glass
Oven and cooktop
European ash floating floor
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