Kitchen of the week: the renovation had to be “anything but ordinary”

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Cabinets with tawa wood staves give this contemporary kitchen a very textured organic look.  The kitchen, designed by Kira Gray of Fyfe Kitchens, is part of a major home renovation.

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Cabinets with tawa wood staves give this contemporary kitchen a very textured organic look. The kitchen, designed by Kira Gray of Fyfe Kitchens, is part of a major home renovation.

It must be a kitchen designer’s dream job when a customer asks for a kitchen that is not “ordinary”.

It is possible to explore different materials and use them in innovative ways, but of course this is also a challenge.

A standout kitchen is exactly what the owners of this home asked of Kira Gray of Fyfe Kitchens when they started working on a major renovation. But they also hoped the kitchen design could reflect a European influence.

Gray says the owners, having traveled extensively, were particularly interested in the vertical staves (narrow, beveled wooden planks) that appear on many buildings in Europe. They also preferred to use organic materials.

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In terms of orientation, the kitchen had to be connected to the outdoor entertaining space at the back of the house, while facing the sea view at the front.

Kira Gray (left) specified dark cabinetry for the back wall with the splash window.  The worktop here is organic natural slate.

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Kira Gray (left) specified dark cabinetry for the back wall with the splash window. The worktop here is organic natural slate.

“The kitchen also had to be durable, stylish and functional so that two enthusiastic cooks could share the space at the same time.”

To maximize the living space, the L-shaped kitchen has been placed in the corner, with a long island easily accessible from both sides.

All tall cabinets have been placed against a wall. This hides a pantry with a stainless steel bench offering an additional workstation and storage for small appliances and foodstuffs.

There is a stainless steel "top of the bar" at the end of the island with a drinks fridge below.  The credenza is a long window overlooking a beautifully landscaped garden.

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There is a stainless steel “bar top” at the end of the island with a drinks fridge below. The credenza is a long window overlooking a beautifully landscaped garden.

But the real eye-catcher in the kitchen is the wood. Random tawa vertical stave doors cover the entire bank of cabinets and also feature on the island. “It adds texture, depth, and warmth, and draws on European influence,” says Gray.

The wood is paired with black painted cabinetry and an organic natural slate worktop around the perimeter.

The island, however, has the hero’s countertop – a beautiful slab of polished Stat Prem marble with distinctive veining.

The top of the island is polished Stat Prem marble with gray veins.

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The top of the island is polished Stat Prem marble with gray veins.

“The island brings all the elements together with a partial cantilever making a sculptural statement,” says Gray. “Marble slices across the island, contrasting with textured wooden doors and tying with crisp white walls.”

At one end of the island there is a stainless steel “benchtop bar”, with a drinks fridge directly below, the stainless steel top has a waterfall side which is part of an open shelf inside of the island, with an interior painted black to match the shelves on the far wall.

The ovens are positioned on the back wall, along with a second sink. And the credenza is a long, narrow window that overlooks a beautifully landscaped garden.

The Kitchen of the Week is supported by Resene. Find more inspiration in Resene’s kitchen decor gallery.

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The 2021 NKBA Design Excellence Awards feature New Zealand’s best kitchens and bathrooms.

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