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Among the trees – kitchen by Morgan Cronin

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Fossilized granite in kitchen by Morgan Cronin

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Linking the indoors with the outdoors is a common scenario for a home renovation. This project took the idea a step further – a bold fossilized granite forms a strong visual link with a stand of ancient native trees on site.

Kitchen designer Morgan Cronin of Cronin Kitchens says the house has been built around the trees, some of which grow through the decking directly in front of the kitchen.

"The owners were clear that the Verde Bamboo granite would play a key role," he says. "They also requested a kitchen with clean lines, cabinets in a mix of dark brown wood veneer and gloss lacquer, and a second kitchen in a scullery."

Cronin says the original kitchen, built in the '90s, was disjointed and small – it was out of proportion with the size of the overall living area. It also featured outdated curved elements that didn't fit the crisp, linear look desired by the owners.

To give the kitchen a greater presence within the space, Cronin specified a long, galley-style layout with an extra-large island that doubles as a casual dining area. This meant the existing breakfast table could be removed to create more space.


The Verde Bamboo granite forms the extensive splashback and creates a chunky table top on one half of the island.

"The bold colours and fossilized grain of the granite, combined with dark-stained ash cabinet doors connect the interior with the thick tree trunks and subtropical gardens surrounding the house," says Cronin. "But at the same time, we have kept the look clean and contemporary, by adding chunky stainless steel benchtops and a large custom hood, which allowed us to move the hob position without changing the ducting. Flush doors, integrated appliances and recessed handle rails reinforce the crisp look."

For easy access, the scullery entry was widened to 120cm and cavity doors added. Walls were also moved, creating space for a broom cupboard.

First published date: 23 October 2012

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Credit List

Kitchen designer Morgan Cronin, Cronin Kitchens (Auckland)
Kitchen manufacturer Cronin Kitchens
Cabinetry Australian ash; high-gloss lacquer
Hardware Blum hinges; Blum Intivo drawers
Benchtops Verde Bamboo granite from SCE Stone; stainless steel from SJ Crosbie Stainless Steel; CaesarStone Snow from Linea Stone in scullery
Sinks SJ Crosbie Stainless Steel; Burns & Ferrall
Taps Gessi Just Colour mixer from Metrix
Oven, cooktop, refrigeration, dishwasher Miele
Ventilation Bosch Powerpack
Paints Resene
Flooring Australian ash, finished by CTC Flooring