Softly, softly

Light-coloured European ash cabinetry and a streamlined design ensure this new kitchen in a renovated villa doesn't intrude on the adjacent living space
A close up view of the kitchen sink. cabinetry, countertop, floor, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, sink, white, orange
A close up view of the kitchen sink.

Opening up a kitchen to the family living area is a common home renovation project. But in a smaller house the more functional elements of a kitchen often need to be somewhat disguised so the overall character of the home is maintained.

This kitchen in an old villa forms part of such an open-plan living space, but it wasn't always this way. Designer Anna Welsh says originally there was a distinct separation between the kitchen and living room thanks to a large partitioning wall.

"The owners wanted to open up the space and improve the flow between these areas. They also wanted to maximise the light and the view through doors at both ends of the house."

Welsh says it was also important to ensure the kitchen worked visually with the living area.


A view of the kitchen area, wooden flooring architecture, cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, daylighting, floor, flooring, home, house, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, table, gray, brown, white
A view of the kitchen area, wooden flooring and cabinetry, stainless steel benchtops, stools, lights, appliances.

"The cabinetry was designed on sleek, contemporary furniture lines, to avoid a utilitarian look. Using European ash veneer was a way to soften the visual impact of the cabinets. Similarly, the use of thin stainless steel benchtops with a solid ash edging ensures the island doesn't look too heavy. The steel appears almost recessed into the wood, which helps to soften the look."

The front of the island features a set of cantilevered cabinets with pocket doors that conceal audio equipment.

"Providing plenty of storage was essential," says Welsh. "It reduces clutter in the kitchen, which in turn helps to conceal the more utilitarian elements. Fortunately, modern systems allow for a lot more underbench storage than was previously possible this island provides plenty of space for utensils, baking trays, pots, pans and rubbish bins."

An integrated refrigerator forms one of three vertical cabinets in the kitchen. The other two cabinets feature three-leaf bifolding doors and accommodate a pantry and additional storage.

A view of the kitchen area, wooden flooring architecture, cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, daylighting, floor, flooring, home, house, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, table, gray, brown, white
A view of the kitchen area, wooden flooring and cabinetry, stainless steel benchtops, stools, lights, appliances.

"The cabinetry dimensions are similar," says Welsh. "It's a very precise design. Everything lines up, for a consistent, uniform look. Even the cut-out for the cooker in the island was manufactured for a precise fit."

In keeping with the desire to conceal the more practical aspects of the kitchen, there is no overhead rangehood above the cooker. Instead, Welsh opted for a pop-up extractor unit on the island. This also ensures the views across the room are not obstructed.

A second work area beneath a window provides a place to prepare juices and coffee. This benchtop is equipped with its own sink, and is close to the dishwasher.

Feb 23, 2007

Credit list

Kitchen manufacturer
Bremich Cabinetmakers
Flooring
Existing kauri wood, repolished
Handles
Katalog
Sink
Mercer stainless steel integrated
Oven
Ilve
Refrigerator
Integrated Fisher & Paykel
Dining table
Arper Duna from ECC Lighting & Living
Bar stools
Bombo
Lighting
Linea Premium recessed downlights from ECC Lighting & Living
Cabinetry
European ash veneer
Benchtops and splashback
Brushed stainless steel
Taps
Kludi from Milano Agencies
Ventilation
Parmco
Dishwasher
Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer
Chairs
Arper Palm from ECC Lighting & Living
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