8fbd035081bd09934004bfc61d79c31c5d5d9ee4
Dark-stained oak veneer is teamed with a smoky blue on the cabinets in this new kitchen in a 1940s house. Designer Leanne Harley eliminated corner cupboards to improve access to stored items.

Mark Scowen

Dark-stained oak veneer is teamed with a smoky blue on the cabinets in this new kitchen in a 1940s house. Designer Leanne Harley eliminated corner cupboards to improve access to stored items.

Choosing to downsize to another house rather than opt for a retirement village was a priority for the new owners of this 1940s red brick house in Auckland.

But first they had to do something about the position of the kitchen, which was in a back room well away from the family living space. In the era when the house was built, the person preparing the meals was relegated to a room of their own, but that wasn’t going to cut it for the new owners, says Auckland designer Leanne Harley.

“They like to entertain, and wanted to open it all up and make it very interactive, with an island,” she says. “The kitchen is now in a completely different position – a wall was removed to create a large open-plan area.

Hexagonal <a href=splashback tiles are a perfect colour match – the colours in the kitchen were inspired by seashells.” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

Mark Scowen

Hexagonal splashback tiles are a perfect colour match – the colours in the kitchen were inspired by seashells.

“The wife also said she didn’t want any ‘fuddy-duddy white’ – she didn’t want the kitchen to be boring.”

Harley says she loves working with colour, and the Dulux Five Fingers Peninsula chosen for the cabinetry provides a “lovely depth of colour that’s calming, moody and thought-provoking”.

The colour choices were influenced by seashells collected by the wife, but the designer says, the husband wasn’t sure of the blue at first: “He said he wanted a more muted palette – off-white was mentioned – but that was not part of the original brief, and it would not have worked here.”

Harley says the owners didn’t want a “boring kitchen”, and were prepared to do something that would “pack a punch”.

Mark Scowen

Harley says the owners didn’t want a “boring kitchen”, and were prepared to do something that would “pack a punch”.

Porcelain benchtops commonly feature in new kitchens, being hardwearing surfaces resistant to UV, heat, scratches and stains. This one is Florim Stone Yamuna from Archant.

Mark Scowen

Porcelain benchtops commonly feature in new kitchens, being hardwearing surfaces resistant to UV, heat, scratches and stains. This one is Florim Stone Yamuna from Archant.

Harley teamed the smoky blue with a dark-stained Prime Planked oak veneer on the island, and porcelain benchtops in Florim Stone Yamuna from Archant.

“We chose Yamuna for its visual beauty and gorgeous warm tones, and the fact it is durable and silky smooth to touch. Its thin appearance and colour was the perfect solution for our design, offsetting the warm timber tones of the island cabinetry.”

The splashback tiles are Hexagon XL in Denim Copper, from Global Tiles. “Their blue and copper accents add another element to the space,” Harley says.

The owners also had specific storage requirements. “I had to find a home for lots of things, and used inner drawers. We measured a lot of the wife’s things and made sure they would fit and be accessible. For example, she has a heavy cake mixer and didn’t want to be lugging it out of a bottom cupboard, so we have put it higher up on drawer runners, so it is easy to get out.”

Leanne Harley (pictured) specified new Swell handles in brushed anthracite from Archant. Drawers in drawers (Blum Legrabox) provide easy access to items.

Supplied/Mark Scowen

Leanne Harley (pictured) specified new Swell handles in brushed anthracite from Archant. Drawers in drawers (Blum Legrabox) provide easy access to items.

Harley says she wanted to enhance access to all items, so she eliminated corners in the kitchen. The smooth, clean lines make it easier to work in.

A Miele oven and dishwasher are teamed with a Bosch cooktop, Schweigen rangehood and Fisher & Paykel refrigerator.

Cost between $50,000 and $60,000

The designer says the owners were able to do a lot of work on the project themselves, including the painting. The cost of the kitchen is in the $50,000 to $60,000 range, not including the appliances, flooring, lighting and subcontractors.

  • Designer: Leanne Harley, NKBA Platinum designer, Leanne Harley Design
  • Kitchen manufacturer: Kitchen Dynamics

NKBA

Take a look at the best New Zealand kitchens and bathrooms for 2022 – these are the inspiring award winners.

Related Posts