Green tile splashback creates a natural feel in this affordable kitchen

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Emerald green tiles, kauri plywood cabinets and black melamine cabinets combine to create an attractive tonal composition in this modest kitchen

Green tile splashback creates a natural feel in this affordable kitchen Discover this article's resources 0


Creating a modern kitchen that stands up to the rigours of family life while at the same time offering a sleek presence for entertaining is a common balancing act required of a designer. For this project, by Sam Elliot of architecture design and build firm Box, choice of materials was key to achieving this – all on a modest budget.

"Sticking to the original budget was a must on this design so a canny use of materials for maximum impact was a must," says Elliot. "We approached this by combining affordable MDF panelling, with stainless steel benchtops and a limited use of Fijian kauri cabinet fronts.

"To minimise costs, we avoided a waterfall end on the island benchtop while the beautiful, warm, textural kauri is only used on the most prominent elements – on the front of the island and upper perimeter cabinetry," she says.

Black melamine cabinetry in a matte finish provides a pleasing contrast to the rich kauri. Negative detail pulls on the cabinet drawers and door handles adds to a minimalist look and also creates the effect of floating benchtops.

"The slim nature of the benchtops also adds a sleek, refined elegance to the kitchen," says the designer. "To continue the streamlined feel, the range hood is integrated into the cabinetry."


All the materials specified by Elliot are both attractive and durable, and the splashback – a feature of the design – is definitely no exception.

"The striking tiled splashback brings pattern and shine to the design and its emerald tones are reflected in the alloy benchtops."

In terms of looking smart for dinner guests, the matt black cabinetry to the side conceals a walk-in pantry with plenty of shelving – helping to keep the kitchen clutter free. A full-height wine rack and substantial double-door fridge also cater to the couple's love of entertaining.

First published date: 09 February 2017

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Credit List

Architect Box; designer, Sam Elliot
Cabinetry Fijian Kauri plywood and black Melteca
Cabinetry hardware Hettich
Benchtops Stainless steel
Flooring Oak overlay from Abstract Floors
Lighting Recessed, from Light Plan
Splashback Emerald tiles, sourced by owner
Kitchen sink Rocket Hardware
Refrigerator Samsung
Rangehood Award
Dishwasher Asko
Cooktop and oven Electrolux
Awards Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – Highly Commended