Story by Mary Webb
Photography by Jamie Cobeldick
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A love of Carrara marble provided the inspiration for this kitchen design, which centres on an impressive stone-clad island
Every kitchen design has to start somewhere, whether it is with the choice of materials, the shape of the room, a fabulous view or the need to accommodate a young or growing family.
The owner of this home loves Carrara marble and wanted to use it to create a centrepiece in her new kitchen. The space has expansive views over the Whangarei Heads and sea beyond, so kitchen designer Robyn Labb suggested taking out an aluminium garden window, which provided the only visual connection with the terrace and outlook. By replacing this window with bifold doors, the entire back of the house now opens up to the sunny east-facing terrace.
"We have kept the new kitchen on the same footprint as the old one, but by opening up the back wall of the house, the whole room looks and feels much more spacious," says Labb.
Carrara marble flows over the top and down three sides of the kitchen island, so it looks as if it has been honed from a single block of stone and placed in the centre of the space. The same marble features on the splashback behind the oven and cooktop, tying the design together.
"The owner wanted her kitchen to be fairly modern in style. We have achieved this by using simple, clean lines and handleless doors and drawers. But because the rest of the home is more traditional and in recognition of the classic nature of Carrara marble, we decided to introduce a similarly traditional style for the cabinetry," says Labb.
Ducting for the rangehood is concealed in a bulkhead, and square-edged stainless steel trim on its lower edge matches the stainless steel benchtop below. The bulkhead helps keep the lines of the kitchen clean and uncluttered, and high cupboards in this space would have been difficult to access.
So as not to interrupt the long span of the island and to keep the sense that it has been hewn from a single large block of marble, a small breakfast nook with three stools takes up just one small corner of it.
The owner wanted her new kitchen to include a separate scullery, so Labb's solution was to design the main kitchen in a galley style and to add a U-shaped scullery in the space behind the oven and cooktop.
For practicality, the benchtop in this compact space is stainless steel. The scullery includes a full wall of cupboards and drawers, a second oven, dishwasher and sink, plus a refrigerator and freezer. Small appliances are kept out on the bench where they are easily accessible. Most groceries are stored here, although duplicates of regularly used items such as oils, spices, rice and pasta are also kept in the main kitchen.
"This scullery is really well equipped as both a work and cleanup zone, so the main kitchen can always look good," says the designer.
First published date: 06 September 2011
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|Kitchen designer||Robyn Labb Kitchens (Auckland)|
|Oven||Fisher & Paykel, available from Kitchen Things|
|Cooktop||Fisher & Paykel glass induction, available from Kitchen Things|
|Ventilation||Fisher & Paykel Powerpak, available from Kitchen Things|
|Refrigeration||Fisher & Paykel French door style, available from Kitchen Things|
|Dishwasher||Two Fisher & Paykel DishDrawers, available from Kitchen Things|
|Rubbish bins||Kitchen King|
|Taps||Perrin & Rowe from In Residence|
|Kitchen manufacturer||Hewe Kitchens|
|Splashback||Carrara marble from Granite Workshop|
|Benchtops||Honed Carrara marble from Granite Workshop|
|Flooring||French oak by BBS Timbers|
|Kitchen sink||Crosbie Stainless|