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Varying the floor levels in this home ensures views of nearby bush and sea can be enjoyed from both the kitchen and living areas


When the views are the hero, a simple design and materials that blend into the background are likely to provide the most effective solution.

Interior designer Irene James selected a simple palette of materials for the kitchen in this home on a tree- and native bush-clad site above Wellington Harbour.

American oak on both the cabinetry and wall panels, stainless steel appliances and Carrara marble benchtops combine to create a kitchen that is modern but, at the same time, hints at the owners' love of the industrial provincial style.

To make the most of the outlook, the kitchen is located between informal and formal living and dining areas. With a raised floor level, the kitchen looks out over the informal living space, and the view can be enjoyed from both areas.

To ensure that the kitchen doesn't appear to tower above the seating area, James designed the space so cabinetry between the two areas does not present a solid face to this room. A stainless steel unit containing the cooktop and storage drawers straddles the space. It is anchored on one side by a timber wall housing ovens and shelf units, creating partial separation from the formal living spaces. On the other side of the cooking unit, a low timber box doubles as a convenient spot for depositing shopping bags and as casual seating. A large pantry, behind sliding frosted glass doors by the refrigerator, provides generous storage.


First published date: 08 February 2011

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Credit List

Interior design Irene James, James Trent Design (Wellington)
Kitchen design Irene James
Kitchen manufacturer Isle of Roxborough
Oven De Dietrich from Prestige
Cooktop, ventilation Binova from Italy and Kitchens
Refrigeration Liebherr
Dishwasher Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer
Cabinetry American oak veneer
Benchtops Bramco Carrara marble
Flooring, walls Herman Pacific American oak
Fan Boffi from Italy and Kitchens
Taps SpazioCasa
Waste disposal InSinkErator