HANDLE WITH CARE
A sleek, streamlined look was key when it came to updating this 1970s kitchen.
‘Form follows function’ is a maxim that has inspired many. But what does it mean when 21st century ideas about kitchen design meet a semi-iconic 1970s home? The 70s saw some classic homes built in New Zealand. More than 40 years later, some of them are receiving a facelift. Architectural designers such as Richard Furze have been tasked with preserving the outstanding features of these iconic homes, while also sensitively updating elements. In this particular house, Richard saw the potential to refresh the kitchen space with a new approach to cabinetry. “I like the kitchen and other associated joinery to have more of a furniture feel, and to create a seamless flow between the working, cooking and small office spaces that often are incorporated near the kitchen. Sculleries are common but I like to create the ability to hide these from the main area. This promotes the feeling of exploration and surprise while still providing very usable and practical areas.” The trend towards streamlined cabinetry without handles complements the classical minimalism of the 1970s, as well as modern client preferences. As Richard says, “I think people are becoming bored with the standard look of handles. New Blum hardware allows better options to achieve a handle-less look.” As always, the best solutions are found when one interrogates the individual habits and preferences of the client: “The first thing is to understand the client’s cooking techniques, abilities and how keen they are to spend time in the kitchen. From there you can look at the ages of the family members, to help select materials best suited to them and the longevity of the house, to make it easy to maintain. The other important element to think about is the flow of the kitchen to the outdoor areas, and how to create the best use of the space when you have a number of people around.” The remaining drawer and cupboard layout follows form, to create the look and feel that the overall project is trying to achieve.