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From Habitat magazine - issue 24

Either way, these kitchens are super elegant.

Tangerine dream

With cabinetry painted in the richest orange Angela Grooby could find (Resene Tangerine), this kitchen suits the retro vibe of her ex-state home. Yet tawa floors stained with Resene Colorwood Walnut, white tiles and crisp Resene Alabaster walls restrain it just enough to pluck it out of the 1970s and place it firmly in the now.

Orange kitchen
Orange and white kitchen

Angela always wanted a colourful kitchen and looked at many oranges before finding the right one. She's thrilled with the result and loves the reaction from people who see it for the first time. "The tangerine bounces off the alabaster. They say, 'oh wow, that's bright, good on you.' Most love it. We do." Although the kitchen is right on trend, most of the cabinetry has been around for a few years. It was only recently that Angela and husband Kim called on architectural designer Fraser Gillies to help with stage two of the home's refurbishment, where he updated the room by opening it up to a new dining area and creating a better connection to the living room.

"The kitchen didn't work," says Fraser, "so we punched the wall open and created a dark-stained cladding detail [also in Resene Colorwood Walnut] in a column across the bench that hides appliances. The new breakfast bar in a very slim stainless steel matches what was there already and gives continuity."

Copper lights above the breakfast bar marry well with the orange and also reference the 1970s.

Says Fraser: "It feels modern but very retro at the same time. Vibrant and fresh; it's a look that's come of age by toning it down with the rustic effect of the timber."

Soft and soothing

Appealing to a broad cross-section of people while injecting some personality into a home is the constant challenge for showhome designers. This particular home is in an exclusive subdivision bordering a golf course, so an elegant 'modernised European' look using soft, soothing colour was the key, according to concept designer Mark Wilson at Masonry Design Solutions.

Traditional kitchen design

Resene White Pointer used in varying strength shades throughout the home reflects the light while adding warmth and personality. Says Mark: "I'm a great fan of using one colour and varying its strength because I know it's going to work as you move through the spaces. In darker areas, you can pull back and you can also grunt it up for warmer tones where there's more light."

Traditional kitchen design

In the kitchen, dining and living area, timber ceilings and heavy timber beams add a traditional European country flavour while the kitchen cabinets have a simple panel profile and a corniced capping painted in a traditional French grey – Resene Half Delta. Explains Mark: "The bluey green grey works tonally with other spaces of the home and without being too obviously green, it picks up on the view to the greenery of the golf course through the trees and surrounding gardens."

Resene Triple White Pointer is used on the walls, and combines well with the linen drapes and pale European oak floors. The kitchen's central island has a timber bench insert, making it feel like an old refectory table.

The design has hit its mark, attracting "a considerable amount of more work for the company," says Mark.

Or mix it up

After dousing her interiors in Resene Black White, Yvette Parker was ready to add some punchy colours to her kitchen. She had just launched her business, Studio Y Interior Design, so her own home was a great opportunity to try out ideas.

Kitchen accessories

Viewed from the adjacent dining area, three walls jut into the kitchen from the right hand side. Rather than making them blend in, Yvette decided to add excitement, with layers of colour. Resene Spotlight, a vivid yellow, creates a welcoming entry and a cheery backdrop to the dining area.

A red bookshelf in the lounge was her next cue. Says Yvette: "I didn't want to make the kitchen look like McDonalds, but red seemed a safe choice given there are so many red accessories available to pair it with. Resene Bullseye continues the flow of colour." The final layer was a floor to ceiling cupboard, now painted with Resene Blackboard Paint – providing a chance for Yvette and her children to have fun writing messages to each other.

The wall opposite is painted in the smoky grey Resene Gun Powder, which beautifully frames the leafy view from the window. The wall was covered in old melamine, so Yvette used an undercoat of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer to grip onto the smooth melamine and two coats of Resene Enamacryl tinted to Resene Gun Powder so the wall is easy to clean.

There was still a lot of life left in the original doors of the 1960s kitchen so the existing cabinetry was simply refreshed with a coat of Resene Black White and new handles were added.

pictures: Frances Oliver, Mark Scowen, Kellie Extance
words: Vicki Holder

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