A sleek, stream­lined look was key when it came to up­dat­ing this 1970s kitchen.

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‘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.

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