Modern Farmhouse

Creating a timeless kitchen and laundry to tie in with the ‘industrial farmhouse’ theme of this new home was the brief from this family in North Canterbury.   

Marrying old and new world colours, textures, and materials together, has resulted in a welcoming rustic yet modern kitchen for a busy family who love to entertain.  The island bench is a ‘hero piece’. Almost furniture in its own right, it is built of reclaimed timber, topped with a Neolith porcelain benchtop.   

This is juxtaposed against a sleek, minimalist working zone, featuring a highly durable and practical honed-granite benchtop in black.  

The practical surfaces and rustic features continue through the scullery and into the laundry and mudroom where materials have been cleverly placed, and are perfect for their purpose.

The story of this kitchen…

Could you tell me a little about you and your family, and also about the design of your new home?

We live in a beautiful new family home in Rangiora. It’s a completely bespoke build, with an industrial modern farmhouse theme. We have two daughters, 11 and 8, and have lived here since May 2019.

The three wings of the house converge on the kitchen area, so it really is the heart of our home. The new kitchen needed to serve two purposes – primarily as a family kitchen, but it also had to be good for entertaining.

How did you come across Mastercraft Kitchens, and why did you choose them to design your new kitchen?

We had worked with Kristen and Poppy from Mastercraft in the past, and they’d had a really good understanding of exactly what we wanted. When you’re making big decisions, like a new kitchen, you need to have that trust.

What was your brief to the designer, and how did it evolve?

I didn’t want the kitchen to feel like a kitchen. I wanted it to look and feel like a piece of furniture. That’s why the cabinetry and bench along the back wall is so minimalist – with just a tap, a sink and an induction cooktop, instead of a big gas hob or range.

It also had to fit in seamlessly with the rest of the décor in our house – and not date. I wanted to be able to look at my kitchen in ten years time and not see it has dated with a trend from back then.

It also needed to be hardy. I‘ve got two girls, who like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen with me, making more mess than I do, so all the surfaces needed to be hard wearing.

How did the designer translate your brief – and how did she help you make important decisions on the big-ticket items?

Because we’d worked together before, Kirsten knew what styles I liked. But she was also very good at making me think outside the square, by introducing me to new materials and products. For example, I would never have thought of going for an induction cooktop – I loved gas. But now, I wouldn’t go back. Induction is the way to go, and it also fitted in perfectly with the minimalist look I wanted along that back wall.

Kirsten also took me on site to view the benchtop materials – so I got to see the big sheets, which really helped me visualise what it was going to look like in my finished kitchen. I’m a real touch, feel and see person, so it was amazing to have the opportunity to do that.

We settled on a really durable granite benchtop along the back wall and in the scullery. And the honed surface Kirsten suggested is perfect, because you don’t have to be forever wiping it to make it look perfect, like you would if it had been polished. It’s beautiful to work on. Then the tie in between the granite and the Neolith porcelain benchtop on the island is just gorgeous – it works so well – and that was all down to Kristen.

Kirsten also helped make decisions on budget – like keeping the Neolith as the hero on the island saved a lot of money – and helped marry all the individual pieces of the kitchen together – textures, size, scale, and colours.

The use of reclaimed timber in the island is a signature of this kitchen. Can you tell me about your reasons for choosing this rustic material and where it came from?

We reclaimed the timber for the island from the old Littleton Wharf. It wasn’t going to be able to be used for anything else, apparently, so we were allowed to go on site and pick it up. Through Kristen, we then took it to Oakley Fine Furniture in New Brighton, who refinished it into the shelving for the scullery, drawer fronts on the island, and the structure of the island itself. 

Because of the cathedral ceilings we couldn’t have ducted heat or cooling in the ceiling, so we had to cleverly integrate a heat pump into the island. If you look carefully, you can see a grille in the back of the island.

What were some of the most enjoyable and memorable moments of the process?

Kirsten’s ideas – coming up with solutions for things we wouldn’t have thought about, like increasing the depth of the workbench so she could install a pop-up downdraft extractor for the cooktop – then cleverly disguising the motor, so I couldn’t hear the noise it makes. Really simple, but clever things, like that.

What are your favourite parts of your new kitchen?

I love the blend between the old and the new. Also seeing everything coming together so well, so that it now really is the hub of our home. This is exactly what it was designed to do – to bring people together. And it does it so simply.

What would be your advice to anyone who’s thinking of having a new kitchen designed?

To find someone, like Kirsten, who doesn’t just listen, but gets what you are trying to achieve – because there are a lot of designers out there who try to put their stamp on things, and that’s not what you want

Also think about your budget. Put the money into the things where you know you’ll get the value back out. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it’s just thinking about the little things that you use every day – like taking time to choose the right tap.

How did you find the experience of working with Mastercraft Kitchens?

The service and the follow up have been fantastic. Also, Kirsten’s commitment to making sure that everything was perfect. She was very hands on with every step – nothing was a problem. Also, she worked well with my husband, who is a builder, and could talk his language, which was great.

What Mastercraft does really well is that they build a relationship with you – and with all the trades they work with. With Mastercraft, it’s not just about you and your kitchen now, but in ten years time, when you will go back to them for your next kitchen.

Kitchen Specifications:

Island Benchtop: Neolith Porcelain, Estaturio

Back Benchtop: Natural Granite, Zimbabwe Black Brushed & Flamed

Island & Scullery Shelves: Oakleigh Fine Furniture

Cabinets: Flat Panel Dulux Okarito, Satin Lacquer

Hardware: Blum – Antaro Dual Drawers, Orga Line Cutlery Drawers, Bottle Store Set 

Sink: Archant – Robiq 700-10 (9077SA)

Electrical: PDL Iconic Sockets & Switches

Acknowledgements: Mike Greer Homes North Canterbury

By Mastercraft Kitchens North Canterbury – Millbrook Kitchens

Designed by Kristen Reid