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This minimalist, precision-engineered kitchen is designed to be seen as a work of art from the adjoining living spaces


The kitchen may be the most hard-working room in a large lifestyle lodge, but practical requirements do not exclude outstanding aesthetics, as this pared-back design proves.

Form, tone, materials and attention to the tiniest detail are the hallmarks of this kitchen, part of the Elephant Hill Winery Lodge, designed by architect John Blair.

The owner had requested the kitchen follow the look of Minotti kitchen furniture.

"We wanted the space to form part of the living areas," says the owner. "The aim was to achieve an artistic ambience – with fittings that look more like understated furniture as opposed to workstations."

The design was drawn up by an architectural firm in Germany, manufactured there and shipped to New Zealand.


Recessed cabinetry pulls and purpose-specific storage – that leaves the counters clutter free – contribute to the abstract feel of the kitchen design.

Materials help link the room to adjacent areas. The countertops in limestone echo the limestone floors, while the walnut wood was chosen to match a large table in the dining room.

"Colour was another very important consideration, too," says the owner. "The cabinet surfaces are custom matched to the stonework found right through the interiors. "

In terms of function, the kitchen divides neatly in two, with a service area nearest the dining room, and another area for cooking.

As befits a kitchen on the grounds of a large winery, the range of appliances includes a dedicated wine cabinet with individual cooling sections.

John Blair's interior layouts are designed to optimise views throughout – and this area is no exception. In the kitchen, as elsewhere in the space, the design draws the gaze towards the giant picture window and the vineyard and sea beyond.

First published date: 28 July 2010

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Credit List

Architect John Blair, FNZIA, Blair + Co (Arrowtown, New Zealand)
Interior designer Wolf Schaefer, architect, and owner
Builder Linnell Building
Kitchen design ASW Architects, Germany
Kitchen manufacturer Schumann
Landscape designer Ralf Kruger, Morgan & Pollard
Tiling Custom by Firth
Flooring Bleu de Tirrannie limestone, from Designsource
Paints Resene
Wallcoverings Gibraltar board from Winstone Wallboards
Lighting iGuzzini
Air conditioning Chubb
Doors and windows Vantage
Benchtops Limestone
Sink Custom
Taps Dornbracht
Hood Custom
Oven, cooktop, microwave and refrigerator Gaggenau