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Modern apartment renovation with new kitchen featuring dark-stained American oak cabinets

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Contemporary update of 1980s apartment features textural dark American oak cabinets, mosaic tile splashback, white marble and steel plate benchtops

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It's rare to see an apartment's floor area extended, but that's precisely how more space was created for this renovation.

Architect Fraser Cameron says the terraced apartment, on the shores of Lake Taupo, was at the end of a row and the title included an area of land. This meant the owners were able to push out one side of the building towards the lake.

"As well as increasing the overall floor area, we raised the ceiling height in the addition, while still providing a seamless integration with the existing living space."

Cameron says the owners wanted an open, light-filled interior that would be a radical change from the original 1980s design, which was a heavily detailed, complex structure with a lot of rimu.

To this end, the architect created a new bay window in the extension and added a large skylight above the kitchen. And the original stairs were replaced with open treads and a glass balustrade.


"The client also wanted the entire project to be of the highest standard of specification, with no compromise."

The kitchen and utility cupboards were designed to provide a continuous, flowing backdrop to the living spaces. Dark-stained American oak cabinets with a custom profile feature in the kitchen and living area, while the utility cupboard doors at the rear are in folded copper, with the same profile.

"The dark timber echoes the trunks of the acacia trees outside the window and creates a dramatic contrast to the white walls and ceilings, which are illuminated by concealed lighting," Cameron says.

To enhance the completely seamless look of the kitchen, appliances are integrated wherever possible – handles are formed within the timber profile. And a near-invisible induction cooktop is flush with a sleek, stainless steel benchtop.

First published date: 21 April 2015

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Credit List

Architect Fraser Cameron, Belinda Ellis, Fraser Cameron Architects (Taupo)
Interior designer Mike Steiner, Steiners Rotorua
Main contractor Haimes Building
Kitchen manufacturer Crompton's Joinery
Cabinetry Stained North American white oak with bespoke profiles; folded copper sheet with aged finish on rear utility cabinets
Benchtops Alarti honed marble top by Artedomus; hand-buffed stainless steel top by Crompton's Joinery; heat-finished 6mm plate steel by CJ Ltd
Splashback Alarti mosaic from Artedomus
Lighting LED concealed and task lighting; Tulipano pendant; from Rhonda Nickel, Coombes and Gabbie
Flooring White oak overlay from Uniclic; herringbone carpet square from Carpet Court
Sinks Burns and Ferrall Designer range
Taps Paini Cox from Metrix
Oven and microwave oven Miele
Cooktop Fisher & Paykel induction
Ventilation Schweigen with remote motor
Refrigerator and dishwasher Fisher & Paykel
Waste disposal InSinkErator