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A simple, minimalist color scheme ensures this kitchen, living and dining space form one large and cohesive open area

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While a kitchen is clearly an essential part of any home, it needn't always take center stage. This is especially true when other elements such as views also deserve attention.

The kitchen and living space of this new apartment, overlooking a popular city beach, lent itself to a very simple and minimal design treatment. Architect Jon Johannsen was asked to create a contemporary, open-plan interior that ensured the views could be enjoyed from all living spaces.

The kitchen is sited at the rear of the large living space, but is designed so it looks towards the view across the dining table and living area. Louvre blinds in the windows above the kitchen counter can be angled to catch the view and cut out neighboring houses.

White and natural materials, such as wood and marble, plus stainless steel dominate the living spaces, creating the streamlined interior the owners wanted.

"To help the kitchen blend into the living area, the cabinets are designed to resemble pieces of furniture, and are finished in similar colors and materials to the rest of the space," says Johannsen.

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To add interest to the far end of the living space and counterbalance the view, slabs of white marble, veined with black, were used to wrap round three sides of the island, including the countertop.

"As well as adding a bold aesthetic to the room, the marble suggests images of foamy waves breaking on the sand," says the architect.

The large square island is also multi-functional. It can be used as a buffet for entertaining, a breakfast bar, or as a meeting point where the owners can prepare a meal while guests sit on the other side and enjoy a drink.

To ensure the marble island is the focus of the kitchen, the work surfaces around the perimeter walls are stainless steel. For the same reasons, high level cabinets are finished in a translucent resin, while the backsplash is made from white, back-painted glass, and undercounter cabinetry is finished in stainless steel.

First published date: 04 May 2005

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Credit List

Architect Architects Johannsen + Associates
Interior designer John Montemurro
Windows Aluminum with Dulux Charcoal Duratec powdercoat
Cabinets Lower doors; stainless steel; upper doors; translucent resin; worktop and pantry; polyurethane paint with Dulux gloss Antique White
Countertops Stainless steel; Calacatta marble slab with honed finish
Flooring Spotted gum; limestone slab
Lighting Targetti recessed halogen lamps with cool beam downlights
Backsplash Glass
Sink Stainless steel
Oven, cooktop, ventilation, dishwasher Gaggenau
Refrigerator Amana Stainless Steel