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Perfect design

Kitchen ideas from Food magazine

The right ingredients come together to create sensational spaces in the makeover of these three kitchens. Sharon Newey looks at how Resene paints help to create three very distinctive styles

Is it art?

Lack of space was a key issue for kitchen designer Sian Gillanders of SG Design when renovating the kitchen of this Queenstown apartment. The result is a harmonious melding of furniture and art, function and style. It has elements of surprise and is rich in detail.

Her design was so successful that Sian won this year’s National Kitchen & Bathroom Association (NKBA) award for Best Use of Small Space and was also runner up for use of colour.

An arty kitchen
A colourful cooking centre and a hydraulic bench that transforms into a table make this apartment kitchen full of delightful surprises.

While the apartment is small, it has a light airy, almost loft-like feel. The original kitchen was dull and dated.

Sian’s solution was to create three blocks of furniture-like cabinetry.

A combined pantry/cooking cupboard on legs is perhaps the most ingenious of her design details. It conceals cooking and storage behind symmetrical doors that slide away into a cavity. When closed, the cabinet is elegant and demure in a textured laminate, but open it up and the playful sky-blue tones of Resene Endorphin pop out from the interior. Resene Alabaster matched the cabinets and is used on the table plinths, table top edge and base, and on the frame around the cooking zone.

At the point where the kitchen meets the living room, Sian installed a custom-built table with plinths that conceal hydraulics, so that the table can be raised from a formal dining table height to become an informal bench top and breakfast bar when required. Tucked underneath is a moveable crockery and cutlery storage unit.

The final block is a sink unit that has joinery to the floor and has a white, rather than the more usual chrome, tap that visually disappears.

Feature LED lighting, round push-in cabinet handles, paua graffiti bench tops and a fridge by offset the white palette and help to create a dynamic, clean space with a retro feel.

kitchen renovations
Left: A delicious range of mocha tones give these coffee-loving homeowners a much more welcoming place to cook.  Right: Traditional shapes and a retro colour scheme replace the dated brick in this dreamy kitchen renovation.

When new and old unite

The words “kitchen renovation” conjure up images of streamlined, white cabinets; all sleek, monotone and modern. But for Cheryl Farthing and Jon Kirk, while honouring the character of their 1920s bungalow was the most important consideration, it didn’t mean they eschewed modern manufacturing techniques. Behind the interesting colour combinations of Resene Washed Green, Resene Scandal and Resene Centaurian is up-to-date thinking, especially in terms of being environmentally friendly.

The use of potentially harmful glues and industrial additives was limited and kitchen-makers Opus Libero were chosen because they specialise in traditional cabinet making, including using timber rather than sheet material for their cabinets.

The old living area of the house was a rabbit warren of tiny rooms, with a dated kitchen featuring exposed brickwork. Cheryl and Jon have repurposed original design features of the house, using a sunburst motif from the stained glass windows as a cut-out in the cabinets and the dimensions of the concentric rings on one of the old light fittings to detail the cornices.

The cupboard doors and carcasses were painted in the retro-esque tones of Resene Washed Green with small contrasting areas inspired by the colours in Cheryl’s Art Deco vase collection. The turquoise Resene Scandal shines from the display alcove behind the vases, while the tongue-and-groove bookcase that sits under part of the breakfast bar is in the purple Resene Centaurian. Cheryl chose the colours herself, but also took advice from Janette Anderson at the Resene ColorShop in Devonport. American oak is used for the countertops and some of the drawer fronts, while Resene Buttery White is used on the walls.

Colour cues

How the colours of your kitchen look will depend on the properties and textures of each of the surfaces. The same colour will look quite different on glossy surfaces, such as laminated cabinetry, which reflect more light, than on low-sheen painted walls. Sometimes it is better to select a tone lighter or darker, rather than trying to create an exact colour match. Kitchens are dominated by cabinetry, benches and the floor, so use these elements as the starting point for your colour scheme. The kitchen is where you will tend to spend a lot of time, so consider the colour scheme carefully. Bright, invigorating colour schemes can boost energy levels when you have a lot of cooking and cleaning to get through! A glass splashback is an ideal way to add a splash of colour in an otherwise neutral kitchen. Make sure you request a Resene product and colour to ensure you get the exact colour you want, rather than a lower-quality substitute. Likewise, if you’re planning to use a Resene colour on your kitchen cabinetry, make sure the joiner uses Resene ArmourCat to ensure you get an authentic Resene colour.

kitchens before

What’s for dessert?

Take generous scoops of cookies and cream ice cream, add two thick blocks of silky smooth milk chocolate, sprinkle with fresh raspberries and drizzle with espresso-flavoured cream. It’s the perfect delicious dessert of a kitchen.

With a passion for coffee, the self-confessed foodies and owners of this home wanted a functional kitchen that would handle the demands of not only their busy family, but also the intense recipe testing required for their popular café.

Their old kitchen had no personality, it was often dark and had a dominating icemaker fridge in full view from the living and entry spaces. Their single oven was restrictive and accessible storage for the owners’ baking dishes was at a bare minimum.

The first challenge for kitchen architect Toni Roberts was to find a new home for the fridge. With a little restructuring of walls under the stairs, a little-used coat cupboard was reconfigured to keep the fridge out of immediate eyesight.

Two frosted glass cabinets were then created for the most visible wall, while floating vertical towers at each end of the kitchen feel more like living room furniture than cabinetry.

Drawing on the owners’ interest in coffee, these towers begin the dessert-inspired colour palette with the mocha tones of Resene Rocky Road. The owners then found the richly textural Snow Lake granite, which looks like cookies and cream ice cream. With the essential Resene Whites & Neutrals fandeck on hand, Resene Half Napa was chosen as a warm, espresso-tinted cream to grace the rest of the cabinetry. Ironically for coffee-lovers, Resene Half Tea was selected as the most suited complement for the walls. The ceilings were repainted in Resene Quarter Tea to improve light reflection and a feeling of warmth.


Photographs by Marina Mathews

Kitchen Decorating Ideas
View more kitchen decorating ideas from Food magazine in the Resene kitchen inspiration gallery.

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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.