White canvas all-white kitchen is a backdrop

White kitchen by architect Lisa Saville

white island with cantilevered shelves at front countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, sink, gray
white island with cantilevered shelves at front

There's little doubt that open-plan living areas are a preferred option today, with so much socialising centred on the kitchen. But when a kitchen plays such a central role, its design becomes even more critical.

In designing this new house, architect Lisa Saville of Architecture Saville Isaacs says the kitchen needed to be a strong visual element.


wooden dining table with white chairs chair, dining room, furniture, interior design, light fixture, lighting, product design, table, gray
wooden dining table with white chairs

"The house cantilevers over a clifftop, and has great sea views to the east, and picturesque meadow views to the north. There are also clerestory windows on the west side, so the top floor appears to float above the lower level. Consequently, it was essential that the kitchen provide a strong visual anchor at one end of the room."

A white splashback, white cabinets and an all-white island with open shelving and a cantilevered benchtop ensure that the kitchen fulfils this role and creates a quiet backdrop to the dining area. Semi-freestanding cabinets in a limewashed wood veneer create a sculptural volume that wraps around the white cabinets and splashback. A custom stainless steel rangehood, touch openings and Pittella pull handles maintain the sleek, fresh look of the cabinetry.

white lampshades overhead, white everything countertop, dining room, interior design, kitchen, table, gray, brown
white lampshades overhead, white everything

"Cooking is a social event, and the kitchen is always the hub for entertaining," the architect says. "But because the kitchen is such an integral part of the living area, we wanted to separate some of the more functional aspects. The ovens are tucked around the corner on the right, virtually out of sight of the rest of the room, as is the refrigerator. And there is a scullery where all the messy things can be kept hidden. Other utility rooms the laundry and a powder room are also enclosed within the space behind the rear wall of the kitchen.

Practicality is still assured, however. The glass splashback comprises sliding doors that open to reveal small appliances, tea and coffee-making facilities and shelving. And the full-height cabinets provide plenty of storage.

Aug 06, 2012
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