This hard-wearing kitchen balances family function with elegant design

Designing a kitchen for a family with three boisterous boys proved to be an exercise in balancing a functional family layout with dramatic materials and finishing

Project
New kitchen in a new home

Architect
Daniel Marshall, DMA

Location
Remuera, Auckland

Brief
A hard-wearing space for a family with three boys


Who is the kitchen designed for and what were their requirements?

The kitchen design was for a couple with three boisterous boys. As such, having a large scullery was a key requirement for storage and a breakfast station, dishwashing etcetera, so that the main kitchen can maintain an elegant aesthetic.

The polished concrete picks up reflections, which add to the sense of scale – was this a deliberate choice or a happy accident?

We were always going to have a polished concrete floor, but the client ended up selecting a much higher level of gloss in the sealer coat than we were expecting. So, it’s a happy accident.

There’s a contrast of materials and finishes in play, including steel, concrete and dark cabinetry. What material have you used to line the ceiling?

The ceiling material was actually a late decision. I have increasingly become obsessed with controlling the acoustics of living spaces, and I knew, with the predominance of hard surfaces in the kitchen area, it was likely to be a very ‘bright’ acoustic space, so I convinced the client to add timber acoustic panelling, which did the job brilliantly, and also added to the West Coast modernist vibe we were going for.

There’s a nice symmetry with the kitchen bench and light above. Talk us through the lighting choices.

The lighting for the space, all from Inlite, is generally track-mounted spotlights – a bit of a play on the 60s vibe that allows for great flexibility and economy. The light above the kitchen bench is an LED mounted in an aluminium extrusion, which gave us an opportunity to provide excellent task lighting all along the bench in a low-key way, while playing on the proportions and materials of the kitchen.


Benchtop Stainless steel and marble Cooktop and oven Miele Dishwasher Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer.

Extractor Powerpack Fridge/freezer Fisher & Paykel French door. Handles Halliday and Baillie.

Hardware Blum Tandembox with Blumotion.

Lighting Track-mounted LEDs from Inlite.

Sink Cabriole under-mounted double bowl.


This article was first published in HOME New Zealand. Follow HOME on Instagram, Facebook and sign up to the monthly email for more great architecture.

Photography by: Simon Devitt

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