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It's the new black

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A completely open brief has resulted in a space that reflects the homeowners' tastes for the contemporary and individual


For a designer, the most difficult task can often be one that lacks boundaries. When given full license to be creative, there is a risk of the resulting design becom-ing too outlandish to be effective.

In the creation of this bright, glamorous kitchen, designer Mal Corboy has trodden this line with success. The only confines on the project were the shape of the room, the heritage restrictions placed on the house, and the top-of-the-line Sub-Zero refrigerator, which Corboy says was a direct request of the homeowners.

"The oversized fridge had to fit both aesthetically and physically. The long, narrow room dictated an asymmetrical kitchen. Aside from this, I wanted to use some unusual materials to create something really different," he says.

To avoid the refrigerator looking out of place, Corboy created two extra-wide oven towers on either side. White, back-painted glass is used for the cabinetry, while Corian is the chosen material for the island front, benchtop and sink.

"Together with the frameless glass cabinets and drawer fronts, a stark smooth aesthetic is created. To then add a sculptural feel, I used a Mark Wilkinson-designed tap," he says.


The island cantilevers out at one end, to further the feeling of seamlessness and flow. At the other end, a strip of LED lights visually breaks up the island front. These lights can be programmed to change colours and to flash on and off to a rhythm.

Globe lighting runs the length of the island benchtop. Above the stovetop are two glass-beaded lamps which were sourced especially for this project, says the designer.

"Due to heritage restrictions, we could not cut into the ceiling to create a range hood, so these lights double as recirculating fans. The beaded covers can be detached and thrown into the dishwasher for easy cleaning."

To add some colour and individuality to the design, Corboy worked on the idea of a fleur-de-lis wallpaper pattern printed onto glass. After some experimentation, he found an Australian company that could create this through screen printing.

"The patterned glass was used for the automatic doors that lead to a scullery behind the island, and for a section of the island front. The bright pink offsets the white island and sink," he says.

The existing floorboards were slightly warped, so these were replaced with new boards, which were colour-matched to fit the rest of the house, then varnished to a high gloss, adding both warmth and shine to the kitchen.

First published date: 07 March 2008

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Credit List

Refrigeration Sub-Zero 648PRO
Wine fridge and coffee machine Miele
Dishwasher Miele and Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer, supplied by Kouzina Appliances
Oven and cooktop Gaggenau, supplied by Kouzina Appliances
Benchtops Glazier White Corian, by Lamiform Ltd
Cabinetry Brilliant white glass, by Deco Glaze NZ Ltd
Flooring Kauri
Drawers Hettich
Lighting Artemide by ECC Lighting, and LED Blade, supplied by Ceiling Aesthetics
Kitchen sink Corian, by Laminex Group
Taps Oasis, by Mark Wilkinson
Kitchen designer Mal Corboy, CKDNZ, NKBA, Mal Corboy Design (Auckland)
Architect Kay & Keys Architects, NZIA
Interior designer Adrienne Seagar, Seagar Design
Splashback Future Glass; custom pattern, by Mal Corboy Design
Kitchen manufacturer Creative Kitchens
Construction Amstar
Plumbing Hanlon Plumbing
Ventilation Star by Mal Corboy Design