Rich warm timber and cool white veined black marble combine in this two-tone kitchen

Natural light plays on the marble and oak surfaces in this modern, airy entertainer’s kitchen where clutter is banished from sight

​​​​​​​Recessed track spots above this benchtop provide a architecture, kitchen, cabinetry, countertop, cupboard, timber flooring, home, house, interior design, kitchen, wood flooring, wood stain, brown, black, lighting, feature lighting, fisher & Paykel, Eliska Lewis Architects
​​​​​​​Recessed track spots above this benchtop provide a combination of both task or mood lighting and also highlight the rich black, honed marble countertop. Concealed strip lighting highlights the same stone’s use on the rear splashback, while high windows above the cabinetry let in morning sun. The timber floors provide an ideal backdrop to the finely finished wood and black workspace. Wood pendants complete the picture

Context is an important consideration in any design, and this contemporary, natural kitchen proved no exception. The house is arranged around an internal courtyard behind the kitchen, while a covered outdoor room runs alongside and the living/dining area is directly in front. So, being central to proceedings, the kitchen had to offer a bold, clutter-free aesthetic.

The open-plan entertainer’s kitchen was designed by whole-house architect Eliska Lewis.

“The homeowners left us with a fairly open brief for the kitchen. What they did ask for was a modern black-and-wood material palette with an emphasis on natural stone,” she says. 

“As one owner was a geologist with a keen eye on the characteristics of stone, he chose the feature island countertop and matching splashback."

“It was also important we went with these elements to connect with the surrounding mountain vistas that the property enjoys.”

​​​​​​​The rich warmth of timber and the sheer architecture, kitchen, cabinetry, countertop, floor, flooring, furniture, hardwood, home, house, interior design, kitchen, tile, wood, wood flooring, Eliska Lewis Architects, marble
​​​​​​​The rich warmth of timber and the sheer coolness of white veined black marble are celebrated in this new two-tone kitchen by Eliska Lewis Architects.

The island’s sculptural waterfall benchtop and corresponding splashback are in honed black marble, with the cabinetry – finished in an oak veneer – providing a warm, contrasting backdrop. While the splashback plays up the contrast between black stone and warm wood, the front of the island is in the same veneer as the cabinetry, continuing the material contrast. Concealed lighting washes down the marble splashback, accentuating its jet honed surface

Completing the kitchen’s two-tone look, the recessed strip cabinet pulls are also black, as are the melamine linings on some cabinet interiors.

On show to surrounding spaces, the kitchen had to be easy to keep neat and tidy, and having efficient cabinetry and storage were key to this.

“We designed full-height rear cabinetry to the left, dropping the height towards the right, to provide room for the discrete high clerestory windows that bathe the kitchen in natural light.”

The functionality of the generous cabinetry is optimised by easy-access, advanced cabinetry hardware. For example, the cabinet door hinges over-extend to provide full and easy access to cabinet interiors. Similarly, the upper cabinet doors lift out and upwards, meaning hassle-free access to these harder-to-reach spaces.

“Working within the constraints of a fairly limited budget, we kept the overall form simple to allow more to be spent on seamless detailing and finishing – resulting in a warm and user-friendly space all round,” says Lewis.

Credit list

Eliska Lewis Architects
Cabinetry hardware
Blum Clip Top Blumotion 107 degrees soft close hinges; Blum Aventos HS Lift system
Island – Dark Marble slab with honed finish; perimeter – 316 stainless steel, satin brushed
Heritage Robiq double and InSinkErator MSeries 65, from Mojo Modern Joinery
Inlite track/spot lighting, from Halcyon Lighting; ­LED interior cabinet lighting, from Ambience Systems;­ long pendants at island countertop – iO,from Clever Design Store
Fisher & Paykel 760 wide double oven unit
Miele rangehood
Bestwood ­Natural Wood Veneer – American Oak; ­ Interior – Bestwood Melamine, Carbon Velvet
Cabinet handles
Halliday & Baillie, matt black, anodised
Dark Marble slab with honed finish
European Oak, from Wanaka Wood Floors
Zucchetti Pan Gooseneck with Pull-out spray, from Robertson
Fisher & Paykel­ 900 Induction Hob
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Winner

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Simon Devitt

11 May, 2019

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