Kitchen of the Week: Builder’s own is a beauty

This stunning kitchen is in the Christchurch house that won the Builder’s Own Home Award in the Master Builders House of the Year awards. It was designed by Lena Doull of Dwell Interiors, in conjunction with the owners.

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This stunning kitchen is in the Christchurch house that won the Builder’s Own Home Award in the Master Builders House of the Year awards. It was designed by Lena Doull of Dwell Interiors, in conjunction with the owners.

Last weekend the Master Builders House of the Year awards were announced, but it wasn’t just the houses that caught our eye – the house that won the Builder’s Own Home award had a very special kitchen.

Owner Peter de Gouw of Home Trends Builders in Christchurch, and wife Elaine commissioned Lena Doull of Dwell Interiors to design the kitchen and interior in their new home.

Doull says the kitchen need to cater for a large, active and busy family with adult children – and it needed to fit with the look they wanted to achieve.

Overhead louvres cast shadows across the front of the island, which features Titanium Gold granite.

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Overhead louvres cast shadows across the front of the island, which features Titanium Gold granite.

“They wanted a deliberately opulent and dynamic interior that would provide a sense of wellbeing and happiness,” she says. “It was also important to include individual touches to make the space personal.”

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“Scale and proportion required a considered design response – it is a large house but the client was in fact downsizing from their existing property.”

Doull says because the client is in the industry, they tackled the important details together. The colour palette was determined by two key factors – the unique design of the timber floor which the client had already chosen, and the Titanium Gold granite specified for the kitchen island.

The wall ovens are on the wall that leads around to the butler’s pantry - behind the timber slats at the end of the kitchen. The paint finish on the drawers at right emulates a metal finish.

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The wall ovens are on the wall that leads around to the butler’s pantry – behind the timber slats at the end of the kitchen. The paint finish on the drawers at right emulates a metal finish.

“This was subtly carried through to other spaces within the house (master ensuite, powder room and wine cellar). The leathered finish of the granite became a textural theme throughout the house.”

For textural contrast, natural Bagnara Stone in Portland Grey offered a uniform beige grey tone and satin finish to both the horizontal and vertical surfaces of the rear wall and co-ordinated with the American oak cabinetry.

“The exterior of the house has expansive use of metal cladding, and metal elements were brought into the interior – the kitchen design initially specified acid-etched iron by Di Castelli on the drawer fronts on the rear wall. However this became cost prohibitive and the client sourced an alternative paint finish created to emulate the metal finish.”

The butler’s pantry is behind the kitchen. It features similar American oak cabinery and Titamium Gold benchtops. The mirrored wall reflects light back into the room.

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The butler’s pantry is behind the kitchen. It features similar American oak cabinery and Titamium Gold benchtops. The mirrored wall reflects light back into the room.

Doull says the effect of natural light on the material choices was researched due to the expansive full-height glazing and high ceilings. Natural light is reflected in the full-height mirror at the end of the butler’s pantry to create a sense of space and also reflect the views from the garden and river boundary beyond.

Functionality was as important as visual impact. To cater to the extended family, the kitchen incorporates a number of different zones, making it easy for several people to work at the same time.

Doull says the size of the kitchen allowed for three walls of fitted cabinetry, with cooking and eating zones differentiated by the lighting. The ovens are built into the wall that leads around into the pantry.

Lena Doull was commissioned to design a kitchen that would fit the high-end aesthetic of the house.

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Lena Doull was commissioned to design a kitchen that would fit the high-end aesthetic of the house.

“As the family is big on entertaining we spent time researching seating and ergonomics for both the formal and the casual dining areas. We worked closely with David Shaw in the design, choosing leather upholstered seating with soft velvet bases. Comfort was key.”

The lighting is another standout feature, helping to identify different zones.

“Crystal cube pendants in smoky greys and warm beige are suspended in apparently random heights above the casual dining area (at one end of the island). And subtly colourful glass pendants adorn the stairwell with a nod to the ombre effect of the formal dining suite chairs.”

Metal cladding features on the house by Home Trends Builders, which won the Builder's Own Home Award at the Master Builders House of the Year awards.

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Metal cladding features on the house by Home Trends Builders, which won the Builder’s Own Home Award at the Master Builders House of the Year awards.

Similar smaller pendants appear in the main ensuite, the designer says. “LED strip lighting in warm white features throughout the house, along with under-cabinet lighting and feature lighting throughout to iluminate the client’s art collection.”

The Kitchen of the Week is supported by Resene. Find more inspiration in Resene’s kitchen decorating gallery.

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Kitchens don’t get any better than this – these are the 2021 TIDA New Zealand Kitchens of the Year.

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