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Contrasting plywood on walls, cabinets and ceilings in new holiday home

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Three different plywoods with varied graining bring contrast and visual warmth to the kitchen in this contemporary holiday home by Box Living

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Holiday homes are all about laid-back living and informal entertaining. Interiors, and kitchens especially, need to reflect this casual, relaxed lifestyle.

This holiday home, which will one day be a permanent home for the owners, was designed and built by Box Living to provide such a welcome retreat.

Designer Samantha Elliot says radiata pine plywood was chosen for wall linings throughout the house, including in the open-plan kitchen and family living area.

"The radiata pine has a large grain, which is very bach-like. It creates a warm, inviting interior," she says.

"There are no plasterboard linings anywhere in the house. Even the ceilings are plywood. But here we specified poplar, which is lighter in colour, with a smaller, tighter grain. However, because poplar is a much softer wood, we couldn't use it for the kitchen cabinetry."

Elliot says a contrasting timber was essential for the cabinets and open shelving, to add visual interest. And while birch would have been a close match for the poplar ceiling, it would not have been exact. So a completely different marine plywood, gaboon, was chosen instead.

"Gaboon has a slightly smaller, more swirling grain than the pine, and is pink toned, rather than gold. It makes a good contrast to the walls. And because it is a marine ply, we could carry it through to the cabinetry in the bathrooms to provide visual continuity."

Handles routed into the ply enhance the casual, beachy look of the cabinets. The shadows make them appear as black accents, which adds further interest.

The ply is teamed with engineered stone benchtops in a neutral grey shade reminiscent of concrete, and a distinctive metallic mosaic tile splashback chosen by the owners.

The position of the island, at right angles to the sliding glass doors, ensures there is an easy flow to the outdoors and the barbecue on the deck.

"There is also a fantastic view of the sea from the kitchen island, which is the social centre of the house," says Elliot.


First published date: 28 July 2015

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Credit List

Architect and builder Box Living (Auckland)
Interior designer Samantha Elliot, Box Living
Cabinetmaker Reilly's Joinery
Cabinetry Okouplex (gaboon) plywood
Shelving Roxx
Benchtops Roxx Stone
Splashback Middle Earth Briquette Metallic Skin hand-glazed mosaic tiles
Sink Robinhood
Mixer Methven Koha
Flooring Stained particle board from Strand Floor
Wall panelling Radiata pine plywood
Oven and cooktop Fisher & Paykel
Extractor Parmco
Refrigerator Panasonic Econavi