This contemporary, family friendly kitchen is the hub of the designer's home – and it is also a 'hands-on' show kitchen for her design company

Designed by Kate Gardham, Suede + Stone

From the designer:

As a kitchen designer I wanted to offer our homeowners an interactive space where they could come and feel the different materials choices, open drawers, try out the hardware, such as the drawer organiser inserts used in a real everyday situation, and to see the quality we offer for our bespoke designs and manufacturing. 

I felt this would add another element to the 3D designs and samples we present to our owners.

With this in mind we decided to build a showhome, that we could open up to our homeowners but also live in. 

We purchased part way through a new build in 2020 and had the opportunity of re-designing the internal layout so the flow and functionality would work for both purposes. 

The architect had designed a much smaller kitchen that had a WC opening up off the main living space. 

However, we didn’t like the idea of seeing a toilet while eating or relaxing. 

We also love to entertain and having a bar and social seating on the island was a must. 

We achieved this by relocating the doorway to the powder room and also used this new found space for the bar area on the end of the kitchen. 

It also gave length and a presence to the kitchen that we were looking for. 

The generous size of the island means we can sit around 3 sides for flowing conversation and it was positioned near the bar and outdoor BBQ areas to further facilitate social interactions.

The balancing act about what and how much we could showcase to our owners to appeal to our target market verses our personal taste was taken into consideration and a constant challenge. 

Simplicity, luxe and texture is very important to us and the kitchen is layered with leathered benchtops, Japanese finger tiles, brushed brass accents, steel and crown cut American Oak. 

Essentially, we wanted subtle hints of trends, but also something that would last.

The tall cabinetry and dark feature wall were purposely specified in dark tones such as American Oak with black carbon Woca Oil to complement and pop against the leathered super white granite. 

Buster & Punch Closet Pull Bar Handles add interest to the Hafele pocket bar doors and pivot door into the hidden scullery which features a secondary sink, dish drawer, Blum space tower, integrated F+P fridge freezer and a microwave, along with a granite floating shelf to display our kitchenware. 

The subtle curves in the splashback, negative handle detail, custom made Astra Walker brass tap and steel legs soften the hard and dark surfaces.

The space is finished with integrated Fisher & Paykel appliances and the gas hobs and ovens also meld back allowing the textured super white granite to be the hero within the space. 

Aalto #Arthouse 2pot lacquer was used for the lower cabinetry.

Set upon timber floors and warmed by the brass accents, the space is balanced by the custom steel range hood unit, & finished by the feature walls & Volker Haug pendant lighting.

The bold black back wall features a bar which can be easily concealed by Hafele Hawa pocket doors. 

The Japanese tiles inside the bar were chosen to create a unique texture, and are complemented by the 6m-high vertical lines seen in the scalloped walls in the entrance.

Functionality of the space was crucial with it being a live-in showhome – we had to practice what we preach in terms of great organisation. 

Everything has to have a place and we have used Blum + Hafele storage solutions throughout the kitchen, bar & scullery to display our homewares and keep them organised and looking great when our homeowners/clients are opening up drawers.  

Large drawers for platers, trays and marble boards are in the bar area – easy to grab for cheese and cracker afternoons.

Our biggest install challenge was getting the splashback and steel range hood unit installed without any breakages to the granite and then installing the rangehood without standing on the benchtop.  

The steel box installation, weighing 120kg, had to be coordinated with the splashback and a scaffolding false floor was erected over the top of the benchtop to hold the weight and with a lot of heavy lifting and careful orchestration it was manoeuvred into position.

The best part about our kitchen is the breathtaking water + city views that both our homeowner clients and ourselves get to experience.

Credit list

Kitchen sink
Premium Super white leathered granite custom made sink by Jay Teplovskiy, Art Stone
Oven, ventilation, wine fridge
Fisher + Paykel
Refrigerator, dishwasher
Fisher + Paykel, integrated
The Big Kick custom pendant by Volker Haug
Prime Panels American white Oak with Woca black dye and Carbon oil; Aalto #Arthouse 2 pot lacquer cabinetry with Laminex Brushed Brass; 3mm steel, powder coated in Dulux Eltro Black Ace
Benchtop and splashback
Premium Super white leathered granite, from Slab Co
Astra Walker Ikon Kitchen mixer custom made to 400mm, curved spout in Urban Brass, from The kitchen Hub
Ikon Commercial
Moda Altro Verona – Forte engineered timber
Trends International Design awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Highly Commended

Designed by: Kate Gardham, Suede + Stone

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Emma MacDonald, Fotographicnz

24 Apr, 2022

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