Shoestring Chic

In a new subdivision on the coastal outskirts of Auckland, this kitchen elevates the previous plan from “first home spec build” to designer chic — all on a shoestring budget.

These fi rst-time homeowners — a young professional couple in their 20s — wanted the kitchen to reflect the light, bright and beachy location of their new home. Crisp, clean lines form visual vectors throughout the kitchen, with quirky details appearing beyond fi rst glance.

The design process was a collaboration between the designer, Melanie, the cabinetmakers of Cube Dentro and the CAD detailer Dan Just of Just Detailing Ltd. Cabinetry is strategically positioned to inject lightness into the kitchen, while the careful use of negative space provides an airy feel and allows the feature woodgrain rangehood to really shine. The beautiful timber textures of the island and rangehood evoke a beachy warmth and simple functionality in the space, off setting the cool whites of the surrounding cabinetry and walls.

Not only does the island continue the gorgeous pairing of white and woodgrain, but the Ruyi engineered stone benchtop in Polished Ice Snow turns down at the edges in perfect proportion to visually align with the top drawers on the island and opposing wall. A 3mm shadow line referenced throughout the kitchen adds a subtle detail to the discerning eye, while the off set of the island box section creates a visual quirk against the balance of the back wall.

A large pantry caters for ample storage not only in the kitchen but the adjoining spaces as well, and sits seamlessly within its purpose-built cavity, blending into the surroundings with the use of over-height doors.

The kitchen’s design employs clever tricks, including the side-by-side positioning of the pyrolytic oven and microwave encased in matching blackgloss trim and panelling to create the visual illusion of companion appliances.

The meticulous attention to detail throughout this kitchen design demonstrates the capacity to achieve timeless chic no matter the budget. Designer Melanie John for Cube Dentro Photographer Kallan MacLeod