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Black and tan – glossy entertainers kitchen

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Black and tan

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With benchtops and cabinets creating the lion's share of the impact in a kitchen, it's worth taking your time and making material choices carefully. For example, just as a sparkling black cocktail dress instantly conjures up evening glamour, so will glossy black cabinetry.

As the owners of this kitchen have four children and an energetic social life, they asked designer Jasmine McClelland to create a seamless blend of family functionality and entertainment chic.

The kitchen successfully meets both these needs through careful space planning, the choice of finishes, and attention to day-to-day functionality.

"In a sense, this kitchen hides in plain sight," says McClelland. "To downplay the functional aspects in visual terms, we created three main divisions and elements. The central, self-contained bar area, set into the wall, is ideally situated for parties. It is close to the island, which can act as a serving counter, and is only a couple of steps from the dining table.

"The large island looks much like a piece of furniture or a sculpture in its own right, and the perimeter workspace that runs along in front of the window resembles a deep window sill. This benchtop retreats into a passageway that leads to the laundry and the back door. Most of the storage and appliances are integrated into this area, out of sight of the open living spaces."


The kitchen's dual roles are reflected in the materials as well. Warm caramel-coloured True-Grain Veneer on the cabinet fronts contrasts with the sleek sheen of the Quantum Quartz in Gobi Black on the island and bar area. The niche below the cantilevered benchtop is in the same veneer as the perimeter cabinets, and the dark stone is complemented by black blinds and pendant light fittings. This black and tan palette continues throughout the home, including the entry foyer behind a glass wall and in the cabinetry upstairs.

The three sections of the kitchen connect with each other visually in other ways, too.

"To create aesthetic balance, the custom rangehood extends the length of the benchtop beneath. Together with the suspended, cantilevered island bench, this creates a luminous and dynamic room," says McClelland.

And despite its size, the hood also plays something of a disappearing act in its own right. Its long, slender form is easy to overlook, and the reflective stainless steel picks up on its immediate surroundings.

To address the functional requirements, practical elements are set on or near the perimeter, and all cabinets feature Blum Servo-Drive hardware. The project won the Kitchen and Bathroom Designers Institute Large Kitchen of the Year Award for 2013.

First published date: 14 February 2014

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Credit List

Interior designer and kitchen designer Jasmine McClelland HIA, KBDI, BDAV, AEDA, Jasmine McClelland Design (Burnley, Vic)
Kitchen manufacturer Sunset Kitchens
Cabinetry True Grain Veneer in Caramel, 2-pack satin in Dulux Black
Benchtop Quantum Quartz in Gobi Black
Splashback Glass Starphire in Dulux Black
Lighting Halo Spot III, Triple bank Gino Silver
Hardware Blum Servo-Drive touch catches, Blum Orga-Line TandemBox motorised roller door; Häfele floor-mounted accessory pull
Sink Franke Kubus
Custom rangehood Qasair
Refrigeration Fisher & Paykel; Vintec; Brema
Cooktop and ovens Gaggenau
Dishwasher Fisher & Paykel, available from Kitchen Things
Awards KBDI Large Kitchen of the Year, Victoria 2013