Seeing red

It's all about fun a mix of classic and contemporary materials inject life and personality into this kitchen
A view of this kitchen featuring black cabinetry, countertop, interior design, kitchen, room, table, black
A view of this kitchen featuring black cabinetry, stainless steel kitchen appliances, white stone countertop, polished timber flooring

For fans of both traditional and modern design, choosing a style when remodeling a kitchen could pose a conundrum. Of course, if you have two kitchens, then it's possible to have your cake and eat it too.

Which is exactly what the owners of this townhouse have done. Their business commitments require regular travel to another city, so a second home was bought to be used as a base, says kitchen designer Shirley McFarlane.

"The couple's primary residence has an old world feel, but with this house they wanted something with pizazz to complement their art collection. They're in the restaurant trade, so they wanted a kitchen where they could easily entertain."

Using a diverse palette of materials, including lavastone, glass, granite and wood, the designer set about creating an L-shaped workspace with a central island.


A view of this kitchen featuring black cabinetry, countertop, interior design, kitchen, room, table, black
A view of this kitchen featuring black cabinetry, stainless steel kitchen appliances, white stone countertop, polished timber flooring

"The lavastone island countertop is an obvious focal point it provides a punch of bright red that complements the bold colors of the various artworks, and the red Schonbeck Swarovski crystal pendant lights that hang above the workspace," she says.

The lavastone countertop, which is a custom-manufactured French product, sits upon wenge wood cabinetry. The room is relatively compact, so the island was raised on legs to give a sense of greater space. As one owner is quite tall, a higher island counter than normal was specified to improve functionality.

"The clients didn't want a regular table and chairs, so we designed a wine bar for the corner of the room instead. It sits beside a cabinet specially designed to store wine glasses, and features a curved granite top that allows foot traffic to pass easily."

Passionate about wine, the homeowners specifically requested a wine storage cabinet. A large stainless steel refrigerator was another must-have item, so the designer chose to introduce stainless steel cabinetry as well.

A view of this kitchen featuring black cabinetry, cabinetry, closet, floor, flooring, furniture, interior design, room, wardrobe, black, red
A view of this kitchen featuring black cabinetry, stainless steel kitchen appliances, white stone countertop, polished timber flooring

"Large refrigerators can dominate a kitchen. To balance the room, we designed custom-made cabinetry with a stainless steel finish to install beside the wine cabinet," she says.

To form a connection with the living area, the white granite used on the fireplace surround was repeated on the counters. For a textured look, basketweave tiles were used as a backsplash. To add yet more material interest, a 1.5in slab of curved, patterned glass was imported from Canada and installed as a raised dining bar above the work counter. The patterns on the underside of the glass help to obscure fingerprints.

Apr 06, 2007

Credit list

Kitchen manufacturers
Wenge cabinets with Manhattan door by Studio Becker; stainless cabinets, glass cabinet by Premier Custom Built
Countertop surfaces
Mozambique White granite from Art Rock Creation; glass top from Think Glass; special red lavastone from Pyrolave
Wood flooring
Miniwax Jacobean
Wall coverings
Benjamin Moore
Oven, cooktop and warming drawer
Wolf
Refrigeration and wine cooler
Sub-Zero
Dishwasher
Asko
Fireplace cabinets
Premier Custom Built
Sink and faucet
KWC
Wall tiles and backsplash
Tessere Bottocino Sisal basketweave from Renaissance Tile
Lighting
Iris recessed; Schonbek pendants
Ventilation
Best By Broan
Microwave
GE
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