Download article as a pdf.

Habitat 11 - Black magic

A striking black walled kitchen

A striking black walled kitchen

A striking black walled kitchen

› Download article as a pdf   › Return to Habitat 11

Habitat 11 - Black magic

Black walls? In a kitchen? Check out the striking result.

What started as one black feature wall in this striking kitchen, soon became two walls, then three walls, then the whole lot. Homeowners David and Louise Cowie had always envisioned a sleek white kitchen with touches of black and red, but once they saw the effect of the white cabinets (Resene Alabaster) against the black (Resene Nero), they were sold on the combination as a whole-room concept. Says Louise: “It just looks so crisp and sharp. I’ve always had a love affair with black but I never thought I would ever have a black kitchen.”

The couple was worried that the walls, combined with a black granite benchtop, would make the room too dark but it has made no difference to the light levels. Certainly having plentiful windows along the western wall as well as French doors onto a deck helps. The kitchen sits in a space that used to be a mish-mash of rooms including a small laundry, part of the bathroom and a back porch. The old kitchen was much smaller and sported nasty brown mosaic tiles and a brown stove. A far cry from this spacious and dapper room. The splashback above the sink bench is also black, made out of Laminex’s Vizage Vertical Surfaces in Black Ripple, a perfect alternative to tiles. The floor is also black, in Perilli lookalike self-patterned vinyl. “That’s the one thing I wouldn’t do again,” says Louise, however. “A pure black floor shows every crumb and scuff mark.”

The room isn’t all black and white. Red glass accessories sparkle from the windowsills and benchtops. “I had always wanted a minimalist kitchen,” says Louise, a self-confessed hoarder and collector, “but I just keep popping more bits into it. This is actually pretty minimalist for me.”

When it came to the kitchen design, she needed plenty of cupboard space for all of the items collected during the years – including up to six dinner sets and “enough glassware for a party of 100”.

David drew on previous experience with CAD to design the kitchen, carefully navigating the tricky L-shaped space.

Louise opted for banks of under-bench drawers both for practicality and good looks. Overhead cupboards provide even more storage and have no handles for a cleaner look. Other cupboards have recessed handles, again for a neater finish. Yet more storage is provided by a pantry beside the laundry cupboard, hidden behind a full-height roller door.

A 900mm-wide cooker with a gas hob sits beside a small breakfast bar. “I insisted on the big stove,” says Louise. “I have visions of myself as becoming a domestic goddess so I required all this stuff.”

While an unusually shaped space, the kitchen is certainly large. “We can both be working in here, preparing a Christmas dinner, and not get in each other’s way. People can lean up against the breakfast bar and chat. It’s great. I’ve only ever had kitchens with one arm’s length of bench space, so this is luxury.”


Search Habitat Magazine Stories

Want to get your own free copy of future issues of Habitat?

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit Habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

› Return to Habitat 11

View Videos

Resene Paints Ltd

Choose your Resene paint colours

Our vision is to be respected as an ethical and sustainable company and acknowledged as the leading provider of innovative paint and colour technology. View Resene’s profile and Environmental Policy.

Any personal data, such as name, address, phone, email details, supplied to Resene for the purposes of receiving newsletters, orders etc will be retained by Resene Paints Ltd and used only by Resene Paints Ltd and its trusted agencies for the purposes of communication/promotion/providing service to you. We do not sell, trade or otherwise transfer your personal data to outside third parties. If you wish to opt out of communication from Resene please complete our contact us form. View our full Privacy Policy.

We would love to hear from you if you wish to use Resene’s images, information and ideas for social medial, blogs, newsletters and other media use. Please email and let us know what you need, what it is for and how Resene will be acknowledged as the source of the content. We are happy to assist with most requests.

Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

PO Box 924, Beenleigh, Queensland 4207
P: 1800 738 383. F: 1800 064 960

New Zealand:
PO Box 38242, Wellington Mail Centre, Lower Hutt 5045
P: +64 (4) 577 0500, 0800 RESENE (737 363). F: (04) 577 0600