ASK THE KITCHEN DESIGNER
Annika Rowson of Rowson Kitchens
The Newbolds had lived with a U-shaped kitchen for almost 10 years. How did you convince them to opt for a galley instead?
The original kitchen was quite small and there were two corners that were difficult to access and didn’t offer much storage. Removing these and working to a galley layout gave Fleur and Paul much-needed accessible drawer storage. If we’d kept with the original U-shape, the main benefit would have been more benching, but we added benching in a separate nook.
What was your thinking behind the nook?
The walls in the nook once housed tall units. By pushing back into this space, we were able to seamlessly incorporate an integrated fridge and pantry set either side of a bench complete with a small sink and open display shelving above it. We purposefully chose not to put a door on this space and designed it to look beautiful so the need to conceal it was removed. Continuing the Middle Earth tiles from the kitchen splashback creates a cohesive flow and adds unexpected texture. Given the coffee culture in the Newbold family, having a space to prepare beverages, while not interrupting the flow of the kitchen, was important too.
Living in a house where a renovation is taking place can be stressful – do you have any advice on how to handle it?
Pack up everything that’s not required, keeping the bare minimum. It saves you having to clean items and furniture and allows the tradies involved to work more freely. I also suggest moving out for the really messy stages, especially if you’re juggling children and animals. Otherwise it means setting up a camp kitchen and trying to keep at least one main room or zone tidy as a space to retreat to. An accurate timeline is also a lifesaver: it informs you of the processes/ trades involved and helps to keep your focus on the end result.