Quirky, eclectic kitchen featuring design icons

Gathered together

This new kitchen designed by Natalie DuBois features countertop, interior design, kitchen, room, gray
This new kitchen designed by Natalie DuBois features a variety of elements in different styles from different eras.

When a kitchen is open to the living areas, the cabinetry and island are often made to look like furniture, to help blend the spaces together. But the design can go a step further, introducing elements chosen because the homeowners love each piece and want to enjoy them every day.

For this kitchen in a traditional home, the owners asked designer Natalie Du Bois for a welcoming, quirky, industrial aesthetic with natural accents. The look was to be simple, with plenty of display space, says Du Bois.

"This kitchen has more work areas than the original, due in part to the addition of a new butler's pantry, which is almost the same size as the kitchen itself. This second kitchen' offers lots of storage, a butler's sink and dishwasher."

Most of the messier aspects of kitchen life, such as breakfast clutter, are relegated to this ancillary room, freeing up the main area for cooking and entertaining.

Eclectic kitchen with display space countertop, interior design, kitchen, room, gray
Eclectic kitchen with display space

"Another major advantage of such a large butler's pantry is that both the owners and their two children can all use the kitchen at the same time without getting under each other's feet.

"Although most pieces here were chosen because the clients liked them individually, each element does connect with another," says Du Bois. "For example, the concrete island bench, freestanding stainless steel refrigerator and perimeter benchtops, along with the black tapware and black prep sink all contribute to an industrial feel, while the butler's sink in the pantry and subway tiles on the splashback are more traditional in flavour.

"The subtle palette of grey, black, white and metal further draws the kitchen together."

The designer's choice of wood for the island and perimeter cabinets evokes a furniture-like aesthetic when viewed from the living area, and also brings the desired warmth to the kitchen.

Stained wood cabinetry offers warmth and a furniture-like countertop, interior design, kitchen, product design, room, table, gray
Stained wood cabinetry offers warmth and a furniture-like sensibility, appropriate to this kitchen, which is open to the living spaces of the home. Shelving on the front of the island furthers this impression and provides a place for the owners to display objects and store cookbooks. The design is by Natalie DuBois.

"In addition, we painted the timber floors white, which contrasts the darker elements, such as the cabinetry and appliances this gives the entire kitchen a more dramatic presence."

The stepped splashback and a shelf above provide ample space for displaying objects, as does shelving on the front of the island.

"Another aspect of this kitchen is that it will resist becoming out of date," says Du Bois. "This is because so many of the elements, modern or otherwise, are design classics, including the butler's sink and black taps."

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Natalie Du Bois,
Subway tiles in White Satin from Heritage Tiles
Stainless steel, combination of brushed and textured, by SJ Crosbie Stainless Steel; concrete benchtop by Terrazzo + Stoneworks
Black Pan mixers with spray attachments from Robertson
Falcon 110 plus
Bar stools
Pedro high stool by
Wall coverings
Aalto Prototype
Stained oak veneer
Hardware, storage systems
Kitchen sink
Prep sink on island, Aoraki by Heritage Hardware
Falcon Excel
Häfele Euro Cargo; Hideaway
White-painted timber
Ampel pendants designed by Tim Webber, from Corporate Culture

Story by: Charles Moxham

30 May, 2014

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