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Designed to fulfil the needs of a young family, this large kitchen has areas for entertaining, cooking and everyday food preparation

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Most family kitchens have three main functions: cooking, entertaining, and feeding the children. In a large kitchen, it is possible to create three separate zones for these tasks.

This was the aim of Andrew Parr from SJB Interiors when designing this kitchen, positioned in the central area of a large-scale house.

"The kitchen is a simple three-part design. An island benchtop along the front is used primarily for serving, the central island is used for cooking and the rear wall consists of a mess area that can be closed off from the rest of the kitchen," he says.

The homeowners requested this mess space as an area where their children could make toast and pour themselves a juice after school. Sliding doors close the space off when required, meaning the area need not be kept clean constantly.

The central cooking area contains the cooktop and plenty of bench space for food preparation. Integrated double dishwashers opposite allow for easy cleanup from the service island, which features a bar top made of American oak.

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"The same timber is used for the floor, providing some softness against the island cabinetry, which is dark-stained oak. It also relates to the colour of the reconstituted stone benchtops and the soft metallic khaki of the back-painted glass cabinetry along the wall," says the architect.

These glossy cabinets run perpendicular to the islands and contain the main appliances, including a pair of double ovens and a microwave, as well as two refrigerators. One of these is integrated, while the other is exposed to allow for an ice dispenser – a necessity for entertaining.

"In contrast, the main cabinets are dark and have a recessed finger grip that extends around the periphery of the cabinets, even passing across the front of cupboards. This linear aesthetic is reminiscent of Asian furniture," Parr says.

Keith Sheedy from Focal Kitchens, the company involved in building the kitchen, says bringing this element of the design to fruition proved a challenge. Precise mitring had to be maintained between the slide-out drawer fronts and the continuous finger grips, and the side panels of each of the islands.

"Aside from this, it is the integrated details that make it a user-friendly kitchen. Built-in holders are provided for cutlery, and chrome baskets for cleaning products. A removable condiment tray is stored near the cooktop. The layout makes it easy to use, whether cooking, entertaining or just grabbing a snack," he says.

First published date: 04 September 2008

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Credit List

Refrigeration Jenn-Air, Fisher & Paykel
Builder Keith Sheedy, Focal Kitchens
Oven Gaggenau
Cooktop and dishwasher Miele
Ventilation Custom made by Qasair
Splashback Reconstituted stone
Cabinetry, bar top and flooring American oak
Benchtops Silver Sparkle reconstituted stone
Kitchen sink Franke
Waste disposal ISE
Water dispenser Zip
Architect Andrew Parr, SJB Interiors (Melbourne)