You have a beautiful kitchen in your family home, but want something quite different for your much-loved, highly social holiday home. The resulting character kitchen is fresh, interesting, highly practical and ready to greet friends and family from across the country

Designed by Michelle Gillbanks, Kitchens by Design

From the designer:

Homeowners’ brief

The homeowners asked me to design the kitchen in their holiday home that was about to break ground in a beautiful waterway location in the Coromandel. 

Their brief was that they wanted something different to the black-and-white, contemporary, minimal design of the kitchen in their architecturally designed Te Awamutu home. 

My challenge was to create a kitchen with the opposite look and feel to their existing kitchen, whilst still providing a functional, user-friendly space for their friends and family to enjoy throughout the year. 

Designer’s response

I set about creating a warm and welcoming space, with organic and earthy hues, materials and textures – even incorporating a space high up on the back wall for a spread of high-quality faux plants (that can be washed in the dishwasher, when needed). 

Yet the design still needed to have a modern edge, so it would fit seamlessly with the contemporary aesthetic of their new holiday home.

The space very quickly became the hub of this six-bedroom holiday home, sitting centre stage, adjacent to exterior decking and the busy waterway activities and views.

A wall of cabinetry leads to the kitchen's
A wall of cabinetry leads to the kitchen's large scullery.

It needed to be capable of entertaining upwards of 20 people at any given time, and having the storage capability for holiday food, platters, wine and beer for up to 10 guests was essential. 

This storage requirement was translated into a generous, working scullery that houses a large fridge and freezer to fit prepared platters and leftovers, and includes tall storage for excess food and drinks. 

Day-to-day food and beverages were to be kept in the main kitchen, with a bar area for coffee making and drink preparation. 

Being easy to clean and having low maintenance surfaces was also important, as the house could be vacant for long periods of time. 

So, we sourced high quality stone benchtops and splashbacks that could withstand the parties that would bring family in from all around the North Island.

Working closely with the architect and builder was paramount as the building evolved and grew into a warm, inviting space that was soft and elegant with aspects of each individual family member dotted throughout the home.

Credit list

Cabinetry hardware
Hafele La Scala
Dekton Orix 6mm
Buddy kitchen mixer, from Plumbline
Fridge/freezer in scullery
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Highly Commended
Prime Art Planked Veneer, custom stained
Dekton, Opera Natural, 20mm, and stainless steel
LED strips by cabinet maker
Kitchen sink
Burns & Ferrell
Ovens, warming drawer, induction hob, Down Draft, kitchen dishwasher, scullery dishwasher, integrated fridge, integrated freezer
Bar fridge

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