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two kitchens, two styles

From Habitat magazine - issue 26, autumn/winter 2017

Modern farmhouse or go retro.

Farmhouse modern

The idea of a contemporary take on a classic farmhouse was in the mind of the homeowners of this new Waikato home. At its heart is an expansive openplan living room which includes this stunning kitchen. The central feature and a must-have for the owners was the marble splashback. It’s now like a depository of the colours that appear in the rest of the space – Resene Tuna for the cabinets, Resene Silver Chalice for the walls and Resene Half Bianca for the trims and lower wall panels.

The scheme was developed with help from the local Resene colour specialist, who guided rather than dictated the choices, say the homeowners.

Farmhouse kitchen
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To define the kitchen within the much larger space, the rear bench and cabinets were contained within a deep frame. Originally conceived as a bulkhead, the owners modified the design so as not to detract visually from the striking timber ceiling trusses, which were made from rimu milled from the farm.

The slightly raised timber benchtop at one end of the island – like a modern butcher’s block – is made of rimu, while the tawa floor is also from the farm.

Farmhouse kitchen bench feature
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A simple track of suspended lighting was chosen to suspend over the kitchen island to allow the trusses to be the feature. Strip lights set within and underneath glass-fronted wall cabinets highlight the marble and add depth to the space.

Say the owners: “Because the house took a couple of years to build, we had plenty of time to gather ideas and for lots of discussion with our designer Lee Turner of Turner Road Architecture.”

Pictures: Angela Keoghan

A little bit retro

This softly retro kitchen with its silken plywood and wheaten-coloured walls is the perfect solution for a homeowner who had a clear vision of what she wanted. Seeking help from kitchen designer Sarah Burrows for her new home, one of the owner's early stipulations was for open display shelving. She also expressed a love of plywood as an interior product.

Retro kitchen

Sarah designed the asymmetric retro-style shelving unit to act, in part, as a room divider, keeping it light and slender by using 17mm thick birch plywood. It is then finished in clear Resene Aquaclear. Wood was also used on the ceiling, but in pine this time.

Birch ply is also used for the cupboards beneath the shelf, which provide extra storage and are slightly higher than normal to provide an upstand to hide any bench clutter. The cabinetry in the main part of the kitchen is painted in Resene Half Villa White. Says Sarah: “I often specify this colour. I find it works well on cabinetry. It doesn’t have any black in it, so isn’t stark, but gives a soft warm look.” Resene Half Villa White is also used on the walls.

Continuing the soft colour palette, Sarah and the homeowner chose Resene Haystack for the tall back wall. “I wanted to visually recess it slightly with a midtoned colour but also keep it warm. The colours and the ply work together for a very restful look.”

Retro kitchen detail

One practical consideration was for a spot to feed a dog. By finishing the end of the island bench with two table-like legs, either the dog's bowls or a bar stool could be tucked underneath.

Sarah’s client wasn’t keen on using engineered stone for the bench so Sarah specified a slender white acrylic bench and added a negative detail between this and the cabinets. Slim black handles echo the black window joinery in the rest of the house while the homeowner found the three quirky concrete pendant lights. The overall result is a fresh, whimsical space that perfectly suits its owner’s needs.

Pictures: Kylie Currie

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