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Serene and spacious – traditional family kitchen

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Serene and spacious

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In days gone by, kitchens were not intended to accommodate the entire family at once. Today, even the most traditional kitchen will offer one important, modern plus – plenty of room to move.

This light-filled kitchen by designer Davinia Sutton replaces a cramped, dark work space that accommodated only one person at a time. In its place, the owners wanted a family-friendly kitchen that would have sightlines to the outdoors, and be in keeping with the home's early 1900s architecture, says Sutton.

"To create a space with character, outlooks and a communal area for everyone to gravitate to, we designed the kitchen in an L shape," she says. "The cooktop sits within an element reminiscent of a chimney breast, a focal point of the design. This steps out from the surrounding cabinets and has soft curves, picking up on the Art Nouveau detailing seen elsewhere in the home. These curves feature are on all the upper cabinetry as well."

The mantelpiece not only draws the eye, it also conceals the rangehood. Most of the other appliances, apart from the wall ovens, are also integrated, to optimise the old-world feel.

Another request from the owners was that the kitchen have a furniture-like appeal. To this end, there are column legs on the island ,and the front and sides are in tongue-and-groove, as are the walls above the splashbacks. Hand-painted Shaker-style doors contribute to the overall effect, along with traditional chrome pulls for the cabinetry handles.


The bespoke open crockery storage rack is another feature. It has a solid oak interior, and most linings and drawers are also constructed in solid wood – the owners wanted a kitchen that would last 20 years, says the designer.

"They did not want a farmhouse style, but asked for a traditional design with practical modern touches. These include the gleaming engineered stone benchtops, the clean-lined glass pendants over the island, and the wall ovens, which are set to one side.

"This kitchen can comfortably accommodate several people at once, with the island used for prepping, eating and homework, and the side counter designated for cleanup and cooking."

The cool, monochromatic colour scheme is balanced by the warmth of the American white oak floors, which match the cabinet interiors.

First published date: 14 February 2014

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Credit List

Kitchen designer Davinia Sutton (Christchurch)
Cabinetry American white oak, perimeter cabinets painted in Resene Thorndon Cream, with island in Resene Double Ash
Hardware Blum
Handles Häfele
Benchtop Perimeter in Caesarstone Raven; island in Caesarstone Organic White
Splashback Caesarstone Raven
Sink basket Sanco
Ovens, hob, warming drawer and refrigeration Miele, available from Kitchen Things
Microwave Sharp
Dishwasher Asko, available from Kitchen Things
Rangehood Qasair
Floors American white oak