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Colour co-ordinate

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Designed to be a fun environment, this kitchen's colours and textures reflect the owners' personalities


An appealing aspect of renovation is being able to express your character traits and convey personal interests in design, hobbies and relaxation. Colour, style and detailing help to relay this information.

The owners of this home asked Doug Durbin, from nuHaus Kitchen & Bath Design to achieve a high level of personality in their kitchen. They wanted a completely different style – a vibrant space that was representative of who they are, says Durkin.

"These clients were really interested in having fun with the design. They are fans of Porsche and Audi cars, and chose the vivid blue and yellow colours to match their favourite models. One client, a collector of artworks that represent marine life, also wanted to express that particular hobby in some of the detailing used."

Working with the clients, Durbin explored ways to have fun with the colours and detailing. The extensive cabinets lining the kitchen were finished in a high-gloss polyester paint that perfectly matches the car colours.

The kitchen sits in the same footprint as the original ‘60s timber model but is in a more defined space, says Durbin.


"This involved building a new doorway to create a sense of where the kitchen begins. Next to this doorway, a display cabinet for artwork was installed. The clients collect matte porcelain and sterling silver serving pieces. We built a display cabinet with a stainless steel frame and inset half inch glass, similar to a shower door, to house these pieces."

Entering the kitchen, the L-shaped island bench gives the room subtle symmetry, says the designer, by mirroring the shape of the fabricated stainless steel ceiling light fitting.

"The L-shape on the ceiling fitting exactly mirrors the splashback below," says Durbin. "Other subtle details include the Absolute Black granite bar top, which cascades in a continuous form down over the polished Blue Pearl granite splashback to meet the bar sink."

Adding to the kitchen's bright atmosphere is the reflective quality of the shattered glass splashback. Installed behind both the stove and sink, the glass has a blue tint to blend in with the cabinetry.

Stainless steel brings another element into the design. The large rangehood, refrigerators, grill and light fittings all provide a balance to the vivid colours.

As well as adding another texture to the room, the detailed stainless steel grilles on the bar stool side of the island meet another purpose.

"The back island panels have a laser cut pattern that resembles fish scales – tying in with the pieces of artwork collected by the client."

First published date: 23 January 2006

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Credit List

Kitchen designer Doug Durbin, nuHaus Kitchen & Bath Design (Highland Park, IL)
Kitchen manufacturer NuHaus custom cabinetry; Downsview Custom Kitchen
Cabinets High gloss polyester, rift-cut white oak veneer and stainless steel
Countertops Blue Pearl polished granite and Absolute Black polished granite from Tithof Tile
Flooring Existing hardwood
Splashback Shattered glass with blue tint from Rareform; Blue Pearl granite splashback from Tithof Tile
Taps Dornbracht
Oven Wolf
Cooktop Wolf
Ventilation Cheng Flux Hood
Microwave Panasonic
Refrigerator Sub-Zero; Marvel undercounter
Dishwasher Miele