Black and white kitchen packs plenty of visual punch
What's the starting point for a kitchen design?
It can be all about functionality or a favourite benchtop material, but for this project in St Heliers, Auckland, it was all about a black-and-white chequered floor.
Auckland designer Celia Visser says the owners were adamant they wanted such a floor – partly because they have a dog in the house and such a floor would be easy to keep clean.
But they also wanted something "really dramatic", the designer says. And the design needed to work with the traditional 1920s house, which has undergone many renovations over the years.
"The former kitchen didn't have an island and was quite out of date," Visser said. "It was also very crammed when everyone wanted to do something at the same time. Everyone in the house likes to cook and the new kitchen needed to flow a lot better so people could work on different benches at the same time."
With this in mind, the designer created a long island opposite the cooking centre, and introduced a separate work bench alongside the windows, with a second sink. She also provided a flow to the new laundry immediately behind the kitchen, so that it could be used as a mini scullery when the owners are entertaining – the room features similar cabinets and benchtops.
To reinforce the visual drama created by the floor, Visser specified white cabinetry and Super White granite benchtops, which feature a lot of dramatic grey veining.
The white elements are contrasted by a black Falcon 90cm double-oven cooker and a matching black rangehood. "The owners love the great big cooker, and they do a lot of entertaining, so the large size is appreciated," the designer said.
Small appliances are also colour co-ordinated and kept out on the benchtops. They include a black toaster and a coffee machine in a dedicated coffee prep area, where drinks can be prepared without interruption to people working at the island. And there are striking black stools and matching black and white artworks.
Few kitchens have overhead cupboards today. Much preferred are deep, easy-glide drawers and vertical pantries with slide-out shelving that provide better storage.
"There is so much wastage in a conventional pantry," Visser said. "You can fit so much more into the same space by using a vertical pantry. And the glass sides of the sliding shelves allow you to see everything at a glance."
This kitchen features two Blum vertical pantries that provide all the storage the household requires.
To maintain a clean, streamlined look, white shutters were chosen for the long window.
KEY DESIGN POINTS FROM THIS PROJECT
* A monochromatic look can be very dramatic, especially when it is carried through to all the accessories.
* Consider doubling up a laundry as a mini scullery when entertaining on a grand scale. Matching cabinetry will reinforce the visual connection.
* Coloured appliances are very much in vogue. The matching black cooker and rangehood create a strong focal point.
* Two sinks means two workstations, although you can have even more people working in a kitchen with two long benchtops.
* Keep the coffee centre out of the way of the main food prep area, so the cook is not interrupted.