Jewellery Box

A considered approach to surface choices, coupled with a fine attention to the smallest of details, ensures this black-on-black, contemporary kitchen shines out in its architectural surroundings.

Designer Nicola Ross from Mastercraft Kitchens by Healey in Palmerston North had previously worked on four kitchen projects with her clients, Marie and Matt Henry, so when it came to designing a fifth for their new family home, she had a pretty good understanding of what they both wanted in terms of style and functionality.

“A few years ago, Marie and Matt bought a large piece of land and slowly renovated the house on it and sold it. They then built and sold other houses on the same site to get to this house,” explains Nicola. “This is effectively their dream house that they’ve been speculating and working towards for a really long time, and it was a real honour to work with them on this project.”

Getting on board early with the design and the spatial planning of the kitchen, before the working drawings had been finalised with the architect, meant that this part of the house could be adapted to accommodate Nicola’s scheme – in particular the appliances, feature open shelf and concealed entry to scullery. This also helped the kitchen fit in with the home’s internal architecture.

More like furniture than cabinetry

“Everything is here in terms of functionality. We also wanted to make it look built in, like furniture,” says Nicola. “Marie didn’t want to see the fridge, so we went for the new Fisher & Paykel zero clearance fridge and clad the doors in the same material as the cabinets. The bi-fold doors to the scullery are also made to look like part of the cabinetry, enhancing the built-in look of the whole kitchen. They also give the kitchen a clean look that widened out the overall space visually,” she adds. “The open shelving above allows Marie to add a bit of her own personality to the space. I love the idea of incorporating plants into a kitchen, and this gives a great space to do this.”

Texture is key in this black kitchen

Nicola says that although her clients asked for a black kitchen, she didn’t want it to look plain, “black on black”, so she introduced texture to the large surfaces, to help break it up and to add visual interest and dimension.

“For the island and the benchtops, I chose hard-wearing Dekton in a leathered finish, and for the cabinetry, a pre-finished timber veneer from Laminex, called Nero Fino. Both these materials have a matte finish. I didn’t want anything shiny” she says.

Another layer of texture was brought into the material palate by using a blackened timber planking feature, inset into the front of the island and as a backing to the open shelving above the cabinetry on the back wall. “It’s antique spruce with a brushed wax finish, from a company called Vidaspace,” says the designer.

Brass highlights and a splash of colour

For the door and drawer pulls, the mixer tap, and the chevron tiles on the splashback, Nicola specified a brass finish. “It adds a nice pop of colour and is the one place we wanted a bit of shine,” she says. “A lot of work went into getting a cohesive textured look. I wanted to play with texture and matte finishes, with the handles, tap and splashback brought in to act like jewellery.”

A further splash of colour – a vibrant yellow (Resene Galliano) – was introduced inside the cabinet above the oven and coffee machine and repeated on the splashback and on the cupboard and drawer handles in the scullery.

This subtle and clever use of texture and colour has resulted in a stylish, functional and beautifully coordinated kitchen and scullery that Nicola’s clients absolutely love.

Stylish cabinetry throughout this home

Nicola also designed the laundry, bathroom and spacious walk-through wardrobe in this home, demonstrating how attention-to-detail bespoke cabinetry can go way beyond the confines of the kitchen, and into these more functional spaces.

This kitchen recently won the NKBA (National Kitchen and Bathroom Association) Wellington Chapter Kitchen Recognition Award 2018.

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This kitchen was proudly designed, manufactured and installed locally by Mastercraft Kitchens Palmerston North.