Articles / Kitchen

Centre stage

Want to know more?

Contact us

A new design for an established floor plan resulted in an eclectic choice of materials for this kitchen


Kitchen trends have begun to move away from the clean, white minimalist look of recent times.

The sleek, contemporary lines remain, but designers are pushing the boundaries with their use of materials and how these relate to the house.

Timber, stone, glass and metal are among the materials being used in interesting ways as homeowners opt to create a hub of the home that has warmth, colour and personality.

When Sue Jackson, of Jackson & Jackson Architectural Design, was called in to design this kitchen, construction of the new home was well under way.

The kitchen area had already been allocated but the homeowners wanted something more family friendly and inviting than the proposed U-shaped design.


"With six grown children, and evenings regularly spent entertaining, they wanted a functional kitchen with lots of bench space and minimal clutter," says Jackson. "The space is also open to views of Canterbury's Port Hills and Southern Alps."

The kitchen is quite compact in comparison to the rest of the house, but is the centre of a relaxed, casual area of an otherwise formal home. There are adjoining dining and living areas.

"It's quite a busy kitchen, with the design inviting interaction between guests and their hosts," says Jackson.

I decided to utilise the existing Halswell stone pillar, picture windows and skylight as design features, the architect says.

An island is positioned directly beneath a skylight, which acts as a lightwell.

"The curve of the island relates to the flow of the room and creates a feeling of abundance," says Jackson.

The island is clear of sinks, being more of a preparation area, servery and place to gather. Concealed power outlets have been wired through the floor inside one of the island's legs. A single aluminium leg supports the island's overhang. This is a reference to aluminium louvres used on the home's exterior.

"I wanted to bring external elements of the home inside. The use of both stainless steel and aluminium linked the kitchen with the exterior design," says Jackson.

The grey cabinetry has an Interion Pewter Silver Haze Melamine finish. The colour reflects light, helping to illuminate the kitchen.

The aluminium-framed frosted glass doors above the wine rack and glass island canopy above the rangehood, contrast with the grey cabinetry. Together, they lighten the outlook from the kitchen sink, and stove work areas.

Sleek, black granite benchtops will withstand family demands and entertaining, while contrasting with the rough edges of Halswell stone.

Splashbacks are a Pomelle timber veneer, in a matching tonal shade to the suspended Jarrah floor.

Bifold doors, between the stone pillar and the fridge, conceal a 1.4m-deep walk- in pantry with additional bench space.

Pans and appliances are concealed behind cupboards and drawers, providing a clean uncluttered kitchen.

First published date: 18 February 2005

More news from Trends

Credit List

Designer Sue Jackson ADNZ, Jackson & Jackson Architectural Design, (Christchurch)
Joiner Modern Age Joinery, New Zealand Joinery Manufacturers Federation
Lighting Aesthetics Lighting
Timber veneer Prime Panels
Sink Franke
Taps Evo
Microwave Panasonic
Stove Smeg
Ventilation St George
Refrigerator Whirlpool