I believe the kitchen is the hub of the home and it is usually the room where families spend most of their time, so renovating a kitchen is a big job and one that you need to get right.
A lot of planning went into our new kitchen, and believe me, I lost quite a lot of sleep during the process! But I do think that all the planning first of all and making informed decisions about appliances, paint, fixtures and even things like the inside of cabinets really helped the project to run smoothly.
We added an extension of approximately 100m2 to create the kitchen, scullery and dining room and a living area with a study nook. But we planned this carefully as we didn’t want to look like we had just stuck a new box on the back of the house. Cladding and finishings were chosen to match what was already there so it looked as if the extension had always been there and we worked with the builders to create a special detail on the interior roof to match the rest of the house.
The Kitchen before photos:
One of the first decisions about the kitchen was how to position it within the space. We eventually decided on a side on position to give us more space to hang out as a family as well as easier access to the scullery and room for a wine cellar!
I knew I wanted a kitchen that would be contemporary and timeless, but that functioned well as well as looking good, so I chose a white kitchen with handleless cabinetry and integrated appliances. Our appliances are mostly WOLF, which are amazing.
We didn’t skimp on the fittings and fixtures here as I think a kitchen needs to function well for you to enjoy it so we chose soft closing drawers and cupboards and thought carefully about where things were placed, like the knife drawer and spice rack just to the side of the hobs.
Having an extra pantry in the main kitchen is a good idea for basics and things you use everyday like tea and coffee. I have pull out drawers which I love with rubber matting in all drawers.
The key feature of the space is the island bench which I love. I knew from the beginning that I wanted an island, and as I love marble it was the obvious choice for the benchtop, as well as the splash back and the bench of the shelving unit along the living area wall. A lot of marble.
We choose dark wooden bar stools to set at the island to fit with the dark oak floors throughout the lower level of the house. We did debate about staining the lovely wooden floor but wanted to make the floors in keeping with the era of the house.
There is a lot of downlighting throughout the kitchen, but I wanted to create one focal point so I used a beautiful chandelier from Australia over the island.
The scullery continues the themes of the kitchen on a smaller scale. I’d really recommend a scullery if you have room. It is great to have a place to organise all my jars, store appliances and do meal prep. We also have a second dishwasher out here which reduces the mess in the kitchen. An outside door leads straight out to the rubbish bins and the BBQ which has been piped into a gas outlet from the house to save using bottles.
We matched the scullery, laundry and kitchen with big ceramic stone butlers bowls and big pull out lever mixers. I wanted these areas to be uniform to help my clean and simple look.
The Dining and Living Space:
The dining and living space are combined so that the kitchen in itself becomes the centrepiece of the floor plan.
The dining room is where the old kitchen use to be and fits perfectly just off the kitchen. I’ve always wanted a round table and managed to find one to fit with the chairs I had already chosen. Round tables have a number of key advantages when it comes to using them for an occasion because they allow everyone to face each other and makes everyone equal – no fighting over who is at the head of the table.
I found a tradition glass hanging pendant at an antique shop in Remuera and my Piera McArthur art adds a pop of colour. Would you believe I first spotted this in the Koru Club at Auckland Airport on my way to Bali! My all time favourite colour would have to be blue and you don’t see many Piera McArthur’s pieces with so much blue – thats why I love it.
The living area is a multi-purpose space designed for watching television, doing homework, or just drinking coffee and staring out at the sea.
Floor to ceiling bespoke shelving gives plenty of storage space and a study nook means I can keep an eye on the kids doing their homework or using the computer while I prepare dinner.
The Wine Cellar
Installing a wine cellar was my husband’s idea and it is one of his best ever decisions! There was an old toilet attached to the back of the house and as it was under the stairs and had a load bearing wall we couldn’t get rid of it or change it too much.
But it is the perfect size for a wine cellar! We had storage added by cabinet maker to match the kitchen and scullery and we have put a double fridge in so we can store beer and soft drinks there rather than filling up the main fridge.
The finishing touches
I would say that my style for this area would be a dash of traditional, a dash of contemporary with a splash of Scandinavian style all rolled into one.
The overriding Scandinavian minimalist approach is clean and fresh but I’ve added details with textures and accessories.
Adding texture increases the visual and tactile appeal of your rooms, for example in the kitchen we’ve added a country detail around the cabinetry
Laying textures in a room is what gives it the homely feel you are looking for and adds interest to the space.
I used a over-dyed patchwork rug as the focal point in the living area – by the way rugs are a great way to pull a whole room together.
I have added leather, velvet and animal skin to the furniture to create another layer and two woollen throws also add interest.
My furniture is from all different shops and places around the world. My Mother gave me the Bamilekek stools when she came back from South Africa.
You’ll see you can mix and match textures and accessories as much as you like but make sure you do start out with a plan so in the end it all comes together rather than clashing.