JOIN­ING THE DOTS

An ar­chi­tect cre­ates a seam­less liv­ing space in his own home.

HOME Magazine NZ - - It’s Nice To Move Around Your View -

De­scribe the project in three lines.

This kitchen is de­signed to max­imise stor­age and us­able work space within a small liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

The kitchen blends seam­lessly into your open liv­ing area. Tell us how you man­aged this in such an el­e­gant and un­der­stated way. We wanted a con­tin­u­ous piece of join­ery to run the length of the liv­ing space. Rather than con­sid­er­ing this as in­di­vid­ual kitchen and liv­ing room join­ery, we de­signed a built-in wall of birch ply­wood with strate­gi­cally placed ‘bite-outs’ that would ul­ti­mately cre­ate a workspace within the kitchen area and open shelv­ing in the liv­ing area. A co­he­sive ma­te­rial pal­ette and fully in­te­grated ap­pli­ances guar­an­tee a dis­creet tran­si­tion between the two.

Stor­age is al­ways im­por­tant but, in a small home, even more crit­i­cal. How has it been cre­ated here?

We’ve utilised the join­ery to cre­ate a room di­vider between the liv­ing spa­ces and bed­rooms. This re­moves the depth of a tim­ber-framed wall and al­lows us to claim back in ad­di­tional stor­age and us­able floor space. Ev­ery void or cav­ity in this join­ery is utilised for stor­age be­hind push-to-open doors – low level for ev­ery­day items and high level for more long-term over­flow. The of­ten awk­ward in­ter­nal cor­ner unit that never seems to get used in an ‘L’ shaped kitchen has been re­versed to cre­ate the laun­dry on the op­po­site side.

What are es­sen­tial con­sid­er­a­tions when de­sign­ing a kitchen in a small space?

The bal­ance between form and func­tion is a fine line. Good stor­age so­lu­tions are an ob­vi­ous must, whether open or con­cealed. Pri­ori­tis­ing the nec­es­sary and re­mov­ing the un­nec­es­sary can help de­clut­ter a space both phys­i­cally and vis­ually. For us, we saw a full din­ing space as a lux­ury that’s not com­monly of­fered in small houses. Rather than at­tempt­ing to squeeze in an is­land unit, we cre­ated two workspaces around the din­ing area. The re­sult is an in­cred­i­bly func­tional and social kitchen and din­ing room space.

How did you come to choose the painted and gaped, re­cy­cled rimu floor­ing?

Re­cy­cled floor­ing had both cost and aes­thetic ben­e­fits for us. New tim­ber floors can be quite costly and in­cred­i­bly pre­cious, al­most too per­fect. We wanted a floor that we could re­ally use and not be afraid to beat up. We se­lected the tim­ber more on char­ac­ter­is­tics than species, as we al­ways in­tended to whiten the floor so it wouldn’t com­pete with the birch ply­wood join­ery. We in­ten­tion­ally laid the floor­ing loosely to lend the house a sense of nos­tal­gia.

Do you have any cost-sav­ing tips for peo­ple cre­at­ing kitchens on a lim­ited bud­get?

Utilise sim­ple ma­te­ri­als well – un­der­stand their ca­pa­bil­i­ties and stan­dard sheet di­men­sions to mod­u­late and max­imise join­ery. Align your­self with a com­pe­tent and co­op­er­a­tive joiner; they’re work­ing with these ma­te­ri­als on a daily ba­sis and can of­fer valu­able in­sights.

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