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A subtle colour palette and contemporary use of materials give this minimalist kitchen a futuristic appeal

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Choice of materials can be a strong or a subtle ally when configuring a new kitchen within an open-plan space. All the surfaces – from cabinetry through to wall finishes – can be specified to tone or contrast with adjacent living areas.

A picture of crisp two-tone surfaces, this kitchen was designed by architect Zvi Belling as part of an extensive apartment makeover. Although the renovation was substantial, there were several existing elements that had to be considered in the new design, says Belling.

"These included central supporting columns, a remnant of the original enclosed kitchen's walls, and the black carpet and granite floor tiles that run right through the space," he says. "The owners wanted a highly modern, functional space that would work well as an indoor and outdoor kitchen. In terms of aesthetics, we took our cue from the existing black stone floors."

To this end, Belling created a black-and-white theme, with material choice, rather than colour, providing depth of interest. Two-pak, semi-gloss cabinetry, plaster walls, a back-painted splashback and engineered stone benchtops – all in white – have an equivalent sheen to the floor tiles and create the desired contrasting effect. Finishing the toekicks in black reflective laminate gives the island and perimeter cabinetry a floating feel which adds to the kitchen's space-age look.

"The timber slats, stained black, add to a design that uses horizontal lines to optimum effect," says the architect. "However, being made from wood, the feature slatwork introduces a warmer, deeper aesthetic which contrasts with the reflective two-pak finish and painted glass splashback."

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The slatwork and granite tilework is repeated on an adjacent outdoor island, and materials, as well as colour, also link indoors and out.

"The cabinetry gives the impression that it runs right through the glass wall to the outdoor kitchen, says Belling. "Naturally, this isn't the case, but the visual continuation of the two-pak finish – abutting one side of the glazing, and then recommencing on the other, creates this optical illusion."

With most kitchen appliances integrated – a glass washer, waste disposal unit, dishwasher and microwave are all tucked behind cabinetry doors – and the pared-back, abstract design, the textural variation between surfaces stands out even more.

First published date: 23 February 2009

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Credit List

Designer ITN Architects, RAIA (Collingwood, Vic)
Kitchen designer Zvi Belling, ITN Architects
Kitchen manufacturer Sacha Design
Cabinetry White, 30% gloss two-pak
Benchtops Stone Italia
Splashback Massa
Lighting Gentech
Kitchen sink Franke
Taps Accent Tapware
Oven and cooktop Smeg
Ventilation Qasair
Refrigeration Fisher & Paykel
Dishwasher Hobart
Waste disposal InSinkErator
Flooring Existing granite