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Sleek new kitchen has both a clean-lined design and an organic feel

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Modern and minimalist, this wood and black kitchen folds elegantly into its wider natural-look setting

Sleek new kitchen has both a clean-lined design and an organic feel Discover this article's resources 0


Nature is famous for its lack of straight lines, so how exactly do you create a clean-lined kitchen that reflects an organic feel? Texture and tone are two good places to start.

This sleek kitchen, by the Matisse design team headed by Alan Bertenshaw and Maria Pomeroy, was created for a Christchurch home nestled in the Port Hills.

“The owners asked us for an organic aesthetic that would be in keeping with the sweeping bush outlooks, rather than something too symmetrical and fussy,” says Bertenshaw. “In addition, the couple wanted the kitchen to be harmonious with the exterior of the home, which was built from stone and wood, with hints of copper.

“Lastly, they requested that the kitchen have a measured, elegant Japanese feel.”

To achieve all these things in one space, the choice of the right balancing cabinetry and feature elements was crucial.


Pomeroy says they chose Arclinea’s Gamma series to create a seamless feel. This cabinetry style boasts simple, clean lines with recessed handles incorporated into the structure of the benchtop.

The minimalist cabinet style is in two finishes, the predominant surface being a natural touch finish veneer timber in Elm, which is both refined and tactile. This warm surface harmonises with the maple floors and rough sawn cedar ceiling as well as the exterior of the home itself.

“We contrasted the generous use of wood with soft matt black surfaces on the island, the benchtop, the toekicks and at one end of the upper wall cabinetry where it helps avoid a strictly symmetrical look,” says Bertenshaw. “The dark finish is from Arclinea’s Armour range and, as well as looking great, has the added benefit of absorbing light. This adds a softness to the colour palette during the day, and also at night – when lighting comes into play.”

However, while the matt black absorbs light, the kitchen designers’ choice of a combined stainless steel rear benchtop and splashback adds soft reflections.

As well as sharing material harmony with its surroundings, the cabinetry’s linear nature ideally complements the lines of the plank floor and batten ceiling.

“Long cabinet drawers were chosen to maximise storage and to accentuate the kitchen’s horizontal lines,” Pomeroy says. “The floating shelves help achieve this too as well as adding another black accent and providing convenient display spaces.”

The kitchen achieves the tranquil, Zen-like feel the owners hoped for through its use of natural surfaces and also by playing down its broad functionality. The fridge and pantry are integrated, the rangehood is hidden in the upper cabinets and the hob and sinks are set flush in the benchtops.

First published date: 10 May 2018

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Credit List

Designers Matisse design team, headed by Alan Bertenshaw and Maria Pomeroy
Cabinetry NTF (Natural Touch Finish) Elm and Armour Nero by Arclinea from Matisse
Cabinetry hardware Blum
Benchtops Arclinea Armour Nero and stainless steel, both from Matisse
Flooring Cedar
Lighting Accent Lighting
Splashback Stainless steel
Sinks Foster
Oven Wolf, from Kouzina
Gas cooktop Foster by Arclinea from Matisse
Refrigeration Liebherr, from Kouzina
Dishwasher Miele, from Kouzina
Awards Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchens – winner