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Up-to-the-minute functionality features in this bold kitchen design by Colleen Holder

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Two-tone oak, European-look kitchen with stainless steel benchtops includes a Smeg oven, cooktop and rangehood

Up-to-the-minute functionality features in this bold kitchen design by Colleen Holder


Not all kitchens are created equal. Inspired layouts, refined surfaces and savvy appliances all play their part in a great design outcome.

On this project by designer Colleen Holder the clients' brief was for a European inspired kitchen – with the added challenge that it was to be New Zealand made with a Kiwi price tag.

The space also had to be comfortable for a busy family life during the day and incorporate an area for the children to do their homework.

"Appliances were to be integrated or hidden in the utility room adjoining the kitchen," says Holder. "Both rooms had to have symmetry and harmonise well with the blackened oak floor."

To achieve this, Holder introduced a balanced combination of dark- and light-stained oak cabinetry matched with Silestone benchtops – all contrasting subtly with the dramatic floor.


In terms of appliances, the contemporary Smeg oven, hob and rangehood were integrated in the main kitchen, with a second fridge, extra dishwasher and microwave in the utility room.

"The clients chose Smeg for the key front-of-house appliances as they had the sleek look to blend with the style of the kitchen. They also had great functionality and were well priced.

"We also had to include plenty of practical storage solutions and lots of bench space."

To this end, space saving storage solutions included corner drawers, and compartmentalised drawer interiors all set below the sleek benchtops.

"The kitchen's light and dark tones were enhanced with copper pendants and LED lighting – creating a beautiful statement in the space."

For details on the featured Smeg appliances, go to the

First published date: 12 December 2016

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