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A modern family kitchen with an island, in white and timber veneer, by Ryan Designer Homes

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Light and dark, warm and cool – the design and materials in this clean-lined contemporary kitchen create the visual drama

A modern family kitchen with an island, in white and timber veneer, by Ryan Designer Homes Discover this article's resources 0


When you have a picturesque outlook, it makes sense to maximise it. For this canal-side house, it's the attractive water view and leafy surroundings that draw the eye.

The living areas in the house, which were designed by architectural designer Trevor Reitsma, wrap around a central court. Reitsma says stipulating a galley-style layout on the west wall of the house ensures the kitchen offers a vantage point with views in all directions. It also allows a seamless integration of the living spaces, as required by the owners and builders, Pat and Petrina Ryan of Ryan Designer Homes.

"I never isolate a kitchen," says Petrina Ryan, who designed the kitchen and interior. "This kitchen pulls in natural materials as reflected throughout the home, and follows the consistent design theme of simple, clean lines and flush surfaces."

Ryan says the design was also influenced by the elements, earth, wind, fire and water.

"The mirrored wall and front of the island reflect the light and enhance the airy feel of the interior. They also reflect the water and greenery, so they can be enjoyed from all parts of the living room. A long, low window in place of a splashback allows a view of a planted courtyard landscape between the boundary and the house. The window is replicated by an identical low window at the bottom of the mirrored wall."


Nature also influenced the choice of dark timber veneer cabinetry, which is contrasted by crisp white lacquered cabinets and white engineered stone benchtops. A dark timber veneer upstand appears to protrude through the benchtop on the semi-cantilevered island, enhancing its sculptural look.

"I always like to have a floating element in a kitchen," says Ryan. "Keeping cabinets off the floor enhances the feeling of space and introduced an architectural element. Practicality is also assured by ample storage."

First published date: 29 March 2013

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Credit List

Architectural designer Trevor Reitsma, Reitsma & Associates (Caloundra, Qld)
Kitchen and interior designer Petrina Ryan, Ryan Designer Homes (Maroochydore, Qld)
Kitchen manufacturer Cabinetry Solutions
Cabinetry Semi-gloss two-pack lacquer; New Age Navlam timber veneer
Storage systems Blum Motion soft-closing drawers; Hettich cutlery inserts
Benchtops Reconstituted stone
Splashback Window
Taps Alliance
Tiles Colours Direct
Paints Dulux
Lighting Beacon Lighting
Window and door hardware Bradnams
Oven, cooktop, refrigerator and dishwasher Fisher & Paykel, supplied by Ryan Designer Homes
Ventilation Smeg, supplied by Ryan Designer Homes
Awards Winner of 2011 BDAQ (Building Designers Association Queensland) Regional Award for Homes from 250m2-350m2; Queensland Master Builders Association 2011 Best Display Home between $451,000 and $600,000