Well connected

This contemporary kitchen responds to its surroundings in terms of both aesthetics and functionality
Story by: Charles Moxham
View of a modern kitchen which features a cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, dining room, floor, flooring, furniture, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, laminate flooring, room, table, wood, wood flooring, brown
View of a modern kitchen which features a kitchen island with hardwood countertops and a chandelier above it, rimu flooring, kitchen appliances, wall tiling, cabinetry, granite countertops, sinks and faucetry.

Inserting a modern working kitchen into a home dating from the 1880s is not just a matter of hiding appliances behind rustic panel doors. It can be more effective to introduce a practical, modern kitchen that has points of empathy with its surroundings.

This entertainer's kitchen, designed by Lloyd Richardson, connects well to its adjoining spaces. Adjacent to an extension to the residence, it uses its position as a linking space to good effect.

The kitchen was built from scratch, and given its location, its interaction with the surrounding areas was carefully thought out, says Richardson.

"Set next to the dining area, the island provides both connection and a degree of separation from guests," he says. "Another example is the position of the television. This can swivel to be viewed from the kitchen. Alternatively, someone sitting on the sofa opposite can watch the screen and the dinner preparation at the same time."

View of kitchen designed by Lloyd Richardson (NKBA), cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, floor, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, loft, room, wood flooring, brown
View of kitchen designed by Lloyd Richardson (NKBA), Existing rimu floors, Granite, totara abd laminate benchtops, Sant Agostino wall tiles and splashback, Lighting from Hishon Lighthouse, MDF and stainless steel cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and many accessories.

The kitchen is also a through space and can be viewed from the hallway, so wall materials were chosen carefully. Existing tongue-and-groove wallcoverings were introduced in the dining space and wrapped round the wall to the pantry entrance.

"Remodeling projects in houses of this era often see an exterior veranda glassed in, which turns an exterior surface into an interior one and this is what we played on here," says Richardson. "Counter-to-ceiling tilework was another strategic material choice in place of the minimalist glass backsplash popular in modern kitchens."

The grid lines of the tiled surface balance the texture of the tongue-and-groove wall finishes. Tile is also a more classic-look material, in keeping with the home's origins.

"Color is another connector between the kitchen and the rest of the home," says Richardson.

View of the hardwood countertops, shelving and sink bottle, distilled beverage, drink, flooring, furniture, glass, glass bottle, interior design, liqueur, table, wine, wood, brown, gray
View of the hardwood countertops, shelving and sink and faucetry.

"Red ran through much of the house already, so the deep red cabinetry tones were in keeping with this. The existing wood floor was retained, blemishes and all, and the rich lacquer hues also complement these natural tones."

With the kitchen on view from several areas, every aspect was considered. A wood counter just inside the pantry complements the stone counters in the kitchen proper. While this extends the use of rich, natural materials, the wood counter gives way to a utilitarian laminate further into the pantry, out of sight of the adjoining spaces.

The fact that there is no door on the pantry is a clue to the kitchen's other emphasis functionality. One owner is an avid baker, and a door here would have simply been in the way. A heavy-duty oven, Blumotion interiors on the extensive cabinetry, and dedicated plastic storage bins in the pantry are all designed for maximum function and utility.

"This is almost like two kitchens," Richardson says. "The main kitchen has an integrated refrigerator and dishwasher, and fold-back cabinetry elements that have an aesthetic wow factor. In the pantry, however, it is all function, a place to let the flour fly without being seen by family or guests."

Mar 03, 2009

Credit list

aesthetics and functionality Interior designer
Backsplash and wall tiles
Square-edge Giallio ornamental granite from Grace Stone Granite; Kings Fourth Generation black totara hardwood; Parbury Wilsonart Port Laminate
Kitchen sink
Burns & Ferrall; Franke
Kitchen manufacturer
MDF Dynamite Red two-pot lacquer with gloss finish; NZF Architectural Stainless Steel in Charcoal satin
Fisher & Paykel
Existing rimu
PH Artichoke Pendant designed by Poul Henningsen, manufactured by Louis Poulsen, from Bromhead Design;
Water dispensers
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