Sleek new kitchen has both a clean-lined design and an organic feel

Modern and minimalist, this wood and black kitchen folds elegantly into its wider natural-look setting

Story by: Charles Moxham Photography by: Mark Scowen Photography
Sleek new kitchen has both a clean lined countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, brown
Sleek new kitchen has both a clean lined design and an organic feel

Nature is famous for its lack of straight lines, so how exactly do you create a clean-lined kitchen that reflects an organic feel? Texture and tone are two good places to start.

This sleek kitchen, by the Matisse design team headed by Alan Bertenshaw and Maria Pomeroy, was created for a Christchurch home nestled in the Port Hills.

“The owners asked us for an organic aesthetic that would be in keeping with the sweeping bush outlooks, rather than something too symmetrical and fussy,” says Bertenshaw. 

“In addition, the couple wanted the kitchen to be harmonious with the exterior of the home, which was built from stone and wood, with hints of copper.

“Lastly, they requested that the kitchen have a measured, elegant Japanese feel.”

To achieve all these things in one space, the choice of the right balancing cabinetry and feature elements was crucial.


Part of the calm, restful appeal of this architecture, cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, floor, flooring, hardwood, house, interior design, kitchen, real estate, wood, wood flooring, brown
Part of the calm, restful appeal of this kitchen is that the designers visually downplayed its functionality. 

Pomeroy says they chose Arclinea’s Gamma series to create a seamless feel. This cabinetry style boasts simple, clean lines with recessed handles incorporated into the structure of the benchtop.

The minimalist cabinet style is in two finishes, the predominant surface being a natural touch finish veneer timber in Elm, which is both refined and tactile. This warm surface harmonises with the maple floors and rough sawn cedar ceiling as well as the exterior of the home itself.

“We contrasted the generous use of wood with soft matt black surfaces on the island, the benchtop, the toekicks and at one end of the upper wall cabinetry where it helps avoid a strictly symmetrical look,” says Bertenshaw. 

“The dark finish is from Arclinea’s Armour range and, as well as looking great, has the added benefit of absorbing light. This adds a softness to the colour palette during the day, and also at night – when lighting comes into play.”

However, while the matt black absorbs light, the kitchen designers’ choice of a combined stainless steel rear benchtop and splashback adds soft reflections.

Flush sinks and a hob welded flush into architecture, cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, real estate, brown
Flush sinks and a hob welded flush into the rear stainless steel benchtop contribute to the pared back look of this kitchen by the Matisse design team.

As well as sharing material harmony with its surroundings, the cabinetry’s  linear nature ideally complements the lines of the plank floor and batten ceiling.

“Long cabinet drawers were chosen to maximise storage and to accentuate the kitchen’s horizontal lines,” Pomeroy says. 

“The floating shelves help achieve this too as well as adding another black accent and providing convenient display spaces.”

The kitchen achieves the tranquil, Zen-like feel the owners hoped for through its use of natural surfaces and also by playing down its broad functionality. The fridge and pantry are integrated, the rangehood is hidden in the upper cabinets and the hob and sinks are set flush in the benchtops.

Jun 15, 2018

Credit list

Matisse design team, headed by Alan Bertenshaw and Maria Pomeroy
Cabinetry hardware
Stainless steel
Wolf, from Kouzina
Liebherr, from Kouzina
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA)Kitchens – winner
NTF (Natural Touch Finish) Elm and Armour Nero by Arclinea from Matisse
Arclinea Armour Nero and stainless steel, both from Matisse
Accent Lighting
Gas cooktop
Foster by Arclinea from Matisse
Miele, from Kouzina





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