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The island's multiple functions are reflected in an interesting mix of finishes


As the island has become an integral part of kitchen design, its functional load has increased. In some designs, it contains the cooking appliances, in others the dishwasher and sink. But whatever its role, designers must now grapple with visual presentation of such a dominant element in the centre of the room.

This is partly why, in this kitchen, the homeowners sought the advice of 17 designers before turning to Darren Genner and Simona Castagna.

"They wanted the island to be part of a kitchen that blended seamlessly into the modern and open-plan architectural style of their house," says Genner.

"Yet, as lovers of Italian food and fine wine, it was important that their array of pots, pans and wine bottles were stored away, while being readily accessible."

So Genner and Castagna teamed multipurpose design with a multi-layered look.


The island combines a number of functions such as wine storage, a dishwasher and sink. This is reflected in a facade comprising of eight finishes used in the interior of the kitchen and wider living spaces.

These finishes include satin polyurethane colours, timber veneer, stainless steel, glass and aluminium.

"The simplicity of the colour palette suits the bold rectangular, square and linear spaces that make up the different parts of the island," says Genner.

The homeowners required a space where their three children could do their homework. Rather than extending the benchtop, Genner installed a custom-made dining table that is fixed to the island, creating a spill-on effect.

In addition to providing a core function, aesthetically the dining table disguises the platform upon which the island and main kitchen are located.

This raised area was created so that those working in the kitchen could enjoy the water views opposite the table.

Above the benchtop, the overhead unit features a built-in rangehood. The mini fluorescent strip lighting is used for both task and ambient lighting.

A wall of vertical cabinets conceals the pantry, refrigerator and freezer and small appliances that would normally sit on the benchtops.

On the side facing the main living area, a coffee machine and warming tray enables people to make coffee without interrupting the cook.

First published date: 03 March 2006

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Credit List

Kitchen designers Darren Genner, Simona Castagna, Minosa (Sydney, NSW)
Kitchen manufacturer Panache Kitchens, HIA
Benchtops Corian from Advance Solid Surfaces
Wallcoverings Dulux
Sink Corian Mixa
Oven and hob Ilve
Ventilation Qasair
Refrigerator Liebherr
Dishwasher Asko
Hot water system Billy Hot Water