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The ambience of a bygone era is captured in the contemporary design of this rural kitchen

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Clean lines remain, but the growing trend towards tradition has seen the return of visually softer materials, such as wood, stone and other natural surfaces. The eclectic mix of industrial and organic materials chosen for this kitchen reflects the personality of its rural location.

Architect Kerry Avery of Avery Team Architecture says the choice of natural woods, steel, granite and stone, imparts a realness appropriate to the rugged surrounding terrain.

"The home enjoys the morning sun and spectacular views. I wanted to bring external elements indoors and integrate the design with the view. The home's exterior utilizes natural materials – a mix that evokes memories of the gold rush days this area is famous for," says Avery. "The clients had a strong desire to capture traditional architectural qualities."

The result is a classic gabled house, with elements of a lodge, an alpine chalet, and a traditional bungalow.

The kitchen is the centerpiece of the home's open plan living environment. Integration of the kitchen and living room has been achieved by wrapping the cabinetry around a shared corner. This strengthens the functionality of the kitchen without encroaching on the openness of the overall living area, says the architect.

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The island is the key organizing element. It acts as a natural gathering point when entertaining, and encourages guests to linger while their hosts prepare meals.

Structural steel, usually found in industrial settings, frames an extremely heavy, solid jarrah wood-topped island. The intensity of steel has been softened with a durable three-coat paint finish, usually found on cars.

"The island, the cabinet doors, and the stone and schist all have a metallic lacquer, finish, which adds sparkle," says Avery.

The island is illuminated by six multi-directional spot lights, attached to a mesh grid suspended above countertop. Sourced from a quarry, the grid is reminiscent of a chef's utensil rack, and complements the kitchen's industrial accents.

Stainless steel legs on the island relate to the stainless steel appliances, and contribute to the room's sense of space.

The use of wood and color adds visual interest. For example, the red-tiled backsplash ties in with the ruddy hues of the jarrah wood cabinets, creating impact and cohesion. Grays and blacks found in the cabinetry echo the tones of the schist feature pillar.

The kitchen anchors an exposed macrocarpa beam and pine sarked ceiling, that Avery describes as too good to stain.

First published date: 13 April 2006

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Credit List

Architect Kerry Avery , AIA, Avery Team Architecture
Main contractor Stewart Joinery
Oven Ilve
Rangehood Bosch
Refrigerator Westinghouse
Microwave Whirlpool
Dishwasher Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer
Waste unit In-Sink-Erator
Backsplash and feature tiles Middle Earth Jasper Red ceramic tiles
Bench and bookshelf bench Star Galaxy granite
Drawers and doors Mirotone Mirobild
Toe kick Laminex Espresso
Door handles Häfele brushed stainless steel