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let there be light

From Habitat magazine - issue 12

This kitchen is a deliciously contemporary space, spiced up with a dash of tradition.

When the Dentons installed their original kitchen, tearing down the chimneys of old villas was a no-no. In fact, exposing the brick and making the fireplace a featured centrepiece was the mode of the moment.

Contemporary kitchen
A once dark space has been transformed into a light and airy kitchen with Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta cabinets. The Danske Mobler dining table acts as an extension to the island bench. Pendant lights, from Katalog. Designer: Natalie Du Bois. Get the look with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom tinted to Resene Blanc (walls) and Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom (trims and joinery) tinted to Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta.

Not so these days. When the couple came to renovate their kitchen and adjoining living area, “we took down the chimney with great glee,” says Alison Denton. Not only did it block lots of natural light but it also got in the way of a more workable layout for the area. And where scars from its removal might have been left in the board-and-batten ceiling, kitchen designer Natalie Du Bois cleverly mounted a stunning group of pendant lights, which hang down over the new island bench. Alison loves the lights – “no-one is allowed to open a bottle of champagne in here,” she warns.

The kitchen cabinetry is a soothing mix of plain and subtly panelled facades, finished in Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta. The panel profile was specially designed with bevelled edges for ease of cleaning.

Contemporary kitchen island
An old brick chimney was removed to create the open-plan area. Main tap, from Grohe-Tapware. Chilled/boiling water tap, from Insinkerator. Sink, from Franke. Bench: Corian in Jasmine White. Induction hob, from De Detrich. Rangehood, from Designair.

While the overall effect of the kitchen is light, airy and modern, traditional references in keeping with the house’s age can be seen in the glass-fronted overhead cupboards, the protruding wall at one end which mimics a chimney breast, the bevelled pelmets on the cabinets and the open shelves.

Pattern is introduced in the curtains and blinds made in Sussex fabric, colour Vanilla, from James Dunlop Textiles.

Walls behind the open shelves are painted in Resene Triple Milestone to create added interest and a further illusion of depth. Its subtle lavender tone is echoed in the curtain fabric and is complemented by the room’s Resene Blanc walls.

Contemporary dining room
Living room
Dining room: The original floors were bleached to provide a light base to the room. Living room: The living space features a coffee table from Perfect Pieces and cushions in Warwick Mizu, colour Stone. Handles, from Katalog. Fridge, oven, dishwasher, from Fisher & Paykel.

The original wide-plank matai floors have been skilfully patched and then bleached to further lighten the room. The Corian benchtop is also light, and is used extra-deep on the ends of the island bench for added presence.

A bank of cabinets against one wall is shorter than normal to add visual relief and character, and adjoins a lower cabinet used to house the entertainment equipment. Here, sliding doors are inset with mesh so as not to block signals from the remote controls.

A new dining table sits hard up against the end of the island bench as a practical solution to casual meals, while a couple of sofas and low water hyacinth coffee table create an inviting setting at the northern end of the room.

Alison Denton is thrilled with the result. Although the kitchen is three times the size of the old one, she says Natalie’s good design means it works extremely efficiently. Thoughtful elements include long narrow drawers set into the kickboard for baking trays, a tap that delivers instant boiling water and a set of shelves near the sitting area for Alison’s embroidery and sewing baskets.

Did you know? Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom and Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom combine anti-bacterial silver protection and MoulDefender mould inhibitor, perfect for minimising unwanted nasties in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries.

Words: Sharon Newey
Pictures: Frances Oliver

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