A perfect marriage of traditional and contemporary, this simple, yet dramatic kitchen draws together elements that distil the essence of the home.
When Jim and Jan Frazer relocated an old villa from Auckland’s Remuera to a rural situation in Karaka, south of the city, they wanted a new kitchen that would reflect their contemporary tastes and collections. But they also wanted a design that was in keeping with the villa character. It had to be a little bit country with a cleanlined, contemporary edge. “Not ultra modern, but not too old,” says Jim.
Designer Celia Visser took the familiar idea of the big farmhouse table and made it the central focus of the kitchen. “Hence the turned legs and the dark timber bench top,” she says. “But the working side of the island looks just like a normal contemporary kitchen, fitted with a dishwasher and storage.”
Celia says it was reasonably difficult trying to tie all of the elements together. “The benchtop and the turned legs were tricky. They required different skill sets and had to be made by different manufacturers. However, they were stained in the one location so they are exactly the same colour in oak, stained dark brown.”
In a traditional framed door style, the rest of the cabinetry provides a soft contrast to the dark timber and is painted Resene Parchment to match walls in the same hue. Underneath the island table, a tongue-and-groove finish adds an old-style, country look.
The strong, lime green Resene Awol Graphic Glass splashback behind the Bosch induction hob was no random act of madness. Hints of the colour were already in the room, thanks to a beautiful piece of Maori sculpture on a wall. Celia chose the colour to help tie all the kitchen elements together, to link it to the owner’s existing artworks as well as to the green of the tranquil rural view through the french doors opposite.
Jim Frazer says the architect had originally designed the kitchen to stay where it was – in what is now the adjacent dining niche. Together, the Frazers and Celia decided it simply wouldn’t work. They are now pleased they swapped the spaces, so you can stand behind the island, prepare food at the bench and look out through the verandah to the view. Says Jim: “We recently had my mother’s 70th birthday here. It works so well for entertaining with large numbers – the way it opens to the outdoors.”
Apart from the table bench and the lime glass, the rest of the kitchen has a simple feel. “I didn’t want to go over the top with anything too different. Everything else just fits in and is in keeping,” says Celia. The handles and square sink and mixer are clean-lined, strong and contemporary, as is the rangehood. With its sleek, curved glass hood, it’s light and simple.
The high ceiling of the room generates a sense of spaciousness, making the space feel uncluttered and comfortable. Halogen lights above the island help to reinforce that notion. Small, white, glass cylinder fittings complement the white bar stools.
Between the pantry and the fridge/freezer, the hob is a creamy Caesar stone, chosen for practicality and looks. “We didn’t want more stainless steel. But we did want something sturdy and durable around the hob to contrast with the dark timber.”
words: Vicki Holder
pictures: Mark Heaslip
Search Habitat Magazine Stories
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.