There's a trick to it

Like a traditional Japanese puzzle box, the solution to this kitchen design required some deft manoeuvres
Designer Shane George. Open-plan space. Small amount of countertop, floor, flooring, furniture, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, laminate flooring, room, table, wood, wood flooring, white
Designer Shane George. Open-plan space. Small amount of wall space. Wood grain. Pull out drawers instead of traditional pantry. Built in coffee machine. Inspiration - traditional Japanese himitsu-bako / personal secret box.

Thinking outside the square is a process that enables one to turn a perceived negative into an achievable positive.

Kitchen designer Shane George had to literally think outside the square for the design of this kitchen, set within an open-plan space that included expansive glazing, which reduced the amount of usable wall space.

"The clients were looking to create a spacious kitchen, and had already chosen the appliances. They also wanted to use wood grain, to suggest a built-in furniture look."

"The space has extensive bifold windows to a courtyard on one side and views to the inner harbour on the other. As a result, minimal wall space was left for tall elements. This, coupled with large appliances, required a design that would maximise storage space," says the designer.


Designer Shane George. Open-plan space. Small amount of cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, living room, window, white
Designer Shane George. Open-plan space. Small amount of wall space. Wood grain. Pull out drawers instead of traditional pantry. Built in coffee machine. Inspiration - traditional Japanese himitsu-bako / personal secret box.

Part of the solution was to fragment the traditional work triangle into a series of smaller triangles, grouping separate tasks together, and placing the associated appliances on the periphery and in the island.

George also replaced the traditional shelf arrangement in the pantry with pull-out drawers.

"The breakfast pantry, to the left of the refrigerator, reads like a typical pantry. However, the door folds back, giving access to the drawers, along with a slide-out shelf for the toaster and coffee-making provisions. A built-in coffee machine sits above the pantry."

Extra storage for items such as platters and wine glasses is accommodated in cupboards that flow from the kitchen into the hallway area.

Designer Shane George. Open-plan space. Small amount of countertop, interior design, kitchen, real estate, white
Designer Shane George. Open-plan space. Small amount of wall space. Wood grain. Pull out drawers instead of traditional pantry. Built in coffee machine. Inspiration - traditional Japanese himitsu-bako / personal secret box. Harbor Views

"In this way, the space continues outside the kitchen proper, extending its function and lending a cohesive feel to the spaces," says George.

"Alternating the grain on the upper cabinetry a look the homeowner was keen to achieve helps break up the expanse of cupboards by adding a visual depth that plays off the other surfaces."

Sep 06, 2011

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Shane George NKBA, Shane George Design (Auckland)
Oven and cooktop
Ilve
Refrigeration
Miele
Splashback
LED backlit glass
Hardware and storage systems
Blum
Lighting
ECC
Kitchen sink
Custom from S J Crosbie Stainless Steel
Waste disposal
Sanco
Kitchen manufacturer
Kitchen Link
Ventilation
Quasair
Dishwasher
Asko
Cabinetry
American walnut veneer
Flooring
Maple from CTC
Benchtops
Corian from Contour Surfaces; Cosmic black granite from Stone Warehouse
Taps
Robertson
We know the specialists