When the kitchen is part of an informal family room, a galley design ensures plenty of space for cooking and for living

A kitchen designed for cooking & living ceiling, countertop, interior design, kitchen, gray
A kitchen designed for cooking & living

The kitchen is arguably the engine room of the home, so why banish the cook by shutting them away, out of sight from family and guests, enclosed within uninspiring walls?

Creating a compact working area that is open to view yet doesn't gobble up valuable living space, was kitchen designer Robyn Labb's primary goal with the room featured on these pages.

"For this renovation in a classic home, we pulled the kitchen back so that it would free up more area in the adjacent family living area. We chose a galley design because this is the best way of maximising the floor space," Labb says.

View from behind the breakfast bar cabinetry, countertop, interior design, kitchen, product design, gray
View from behind the breakfast bar

The focus of the room is the peninsula bench. It has an aluminium frame that contains drawers and a dishwasher on the kitchen side and a grid of six white lacquered panels on the other. The island's metallic border is punctuated by aluminium handles matching the drawers.

On the wall opposite, the same white lacquered panels have been used for the cabinetry, also framed with aluminium.

"The clean lines created by the metallic border on both the benchtop and the cabinets gives the kitchen a fresh, uncluttered look," says Labb.

View of the sink & benchtop countertop, flowerpot, glass, herb, product design, sink, table, tap, white, gray
View of the sink & benchtop

The wooden floors have been bleached to look like driftwood and the walls have been painted a bluish green to evoke the seascape that can be viewed from the balcony opposite the kitchen.

A kitchen window was installed with white shutters to increase the natural light. As the room faces north, the bright sunshine that floods it enabled a dark colour scheme to be used, Labb says.

Appliances have been judiciously placed in the kitchen. The wall at the window end has the microwave and oven tower, while directly opposite the hob sits on the kitchen's marble bench. Beneath the hob are drawers containing pots, as well as cooking oils and spices for easy access during cooking.

Credit list

Interior designer
Celine Vernezy, Ambiance Interiors
Kitchen manufacturer
Honed cararra marble by Absola
Franke Bex from Burns and Ferrall
Miele oven and combi micro oven
Fisher & Paykel DishDrawers
Kitchen designer
Robyn Labb NKBA, Kitchens By Design (Auckland)
Satin lacquer to match Aalto ‘powdered wig’ with Häfele aluminium trim
T&G coloured and finished by Peter Adkins
Grohe Uno from Hydrotech

Story by: Trendsideas

23 Feb, 2004