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Frosted glass sliding doors and a freestanding splashback allow this open-plan kitchen to conceal clutter

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Although it's the norm to have open-plan kitchens these days, some homeowners prefer to keep kitchen mess hidden from sight, without actually hiding the kitchen.

Architect Lindy Leuschke says the kitchen of this 1980s house was cut off from the rest of the house, as was the fashion in those days.

"We made a deliberate attempt to open it up and join it to the dining area. However the owners wanted to conceal the preparation area from the dining room. They also wanted to have some division from the kitchen and sitting room, and have the option to conceal their extensive pantry.

Leuschke opted for a series of partitions, starting with a single structural boundary, consisting of a framed doorway between the kitchen and living room. A glazed sliding door can be pulled across from the entrance.

Glazed sliding doors also shut off the pantry, while a small glass splashback in front of the sink hides dirty dishes from the dining room.

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Leuschke says she chose frosted glass for the partitions, as a contrasting material that was still opaque enough to conceal what is behind.

The sink splashback also separates the functional area of the kitchen counter from the entertaining space beyond. Illumination below the counter by the bar stools, further emphasises the ambience of a bar and enhances the contrast of shades created by the original dark parquet floor and lighter furniture.

The designer continued the chessboard colour palette with white laminate cupboards and dark-stained oak.

The lighting and materials are reproduced elsewhere. For instance, a frosted glass oven splashback is illuminated from behind, brightening the traditionally dark oven corner.

The T5 fluorescent bulbs are low temperature and do not contribute to the heat of the kitchen. Halogen bulbs above the workspace provide ambient lighting. They are set back by 20mm to minimise glare.

A semi-freestanding wall at one end of the island helps define the boundary of the kitchen. This wall has recessed display panels with accent lighting.

All the appliances, including the refrigerator, oven and microwave, are recessed into the wall cavity, adding to the clean aesthetic.

First published date: 24 August 2007

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Credit List

Architect Lindy Leuschke, Leuschke Group Architects (Auckland)
Kitchen manufacturer The Kitchen Company
Cabinetry Formica
Benchtops Stained Tasmanian Ash veneer from Bestwood
Lighting Lightplan from Lighting Plus
Splashback Clear etchlite from Metropolitan Glass
Taps KWC stainless steel from Franklins
Oven Sholtes
Ventilation Smeg
Refrigeration Liebherr
Dishwasher Miele