kitchen
IT'S ONLY NATURAL

Aesthetics and functionality merge in these beautiful statement kitchens, where following the need for nature-inspired spaces, wood plays the leading role in giving character to cabinetry, countertops and elegant accents.

TOWN & COUNTRY

It’s easy to see why this large ground-floor kitchen and dining area, designed in a modern farmhouse style, has become the centre of this family home: the inviting space is perfectly suited to cooking and entertaining, special gatherings as well as homework, breakfast-on-the-run and other routines of everyday living. Mid-tone oak – a timeless choice – has been used for much of the carpentry including the substantially sized kitchen island and dining room table.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding 

DESIGN NOTES

  • Finishing off the oak kitchen island is a paper thin but ultra-durable tempered steel top as well as an integrated sink. Those elements, in combination with its large surface (for food preparation and serving) and storage capacity makes it the perfect kitchen workhorse.
  • The island features concealed under-counter storage as well as capacious open shelving that allows ease of access to everyday kitchen items while at the same time creating visual interest thanks to the objects being displayed.
REFINED COMPOSURE

Practical and elegant, this kitchen was designed with connections in mind: a visual connection to the garden outside; a spatial connection with the communal spaces of the house; and a human connection with family and guests who congregate in the dining and living areas.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding 

DESIGN NOTES

  • Blonde oak used for cabinetry and the kitchen island has been left slightly rough to emphasise its materiality, lending depth and texture to the interior.
  • Ash-tinted floors and a large white rug under the dining table contrasts with the oak cabinetry of the kitchen as well as the leather dining chairs, emphasising the warmth of their caramel tones.
  • Adding another layer to the textural quality of the construction materials is the rough black surface of the flamed Zimbabwean granite countertop, that adds a tactile quality to the kitchen island.
BALANCING ACT

Wood is the main event in this poetic interpretation of architectural minimalism. As the only natural construction material amongst the man-made plaster, glass and concrete, the presence of timber provides texture, warmth, colour as well as visual energy thanks to a slatted design that marries with the outdoor blinds. In this kitchen, functionality has been distilled to its basic essence and a sense of weightlessness achieved via unbroken lines, floating cabinetry and integrated essentials such as the sink and conduction hob.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • A cast concrete countertop – a resilient surface choice – runs the entire length of the kitchen and has been installed in such a way that it seems to float above the wooden units.
  • Similarly, the wall-mounted cabinetry hovers above the floor and enhances the sense of weightlessness and modernity in this airy, light-filled kitchen.
  • The concrete has been tinted a soft organic shade to complement the warmth of the wood.
  • An extractor is a must for a busy kitchen. In this instance, the appliance has been encased in a bespoke plaster structure. The profile references traditional wide-mouthed, funnel-shaped kitchen chimneys but has been rendered in an appropriately contemporary form.
MATERIAL WORLD

It’s not just furniture, flooring and cabinetry that looks good in wood – here, the angular ceiling – clad in Western Red cedar – is a striking design feature. Kitchen and dining zones come together to form an open-plan arrangement where architecture, building materials and furnishings appear seamlessly unified with each other. The mix of polished concrete and sleek wood has a strong aesthetic unity while at the same time creating visual-, tonal- and textural interest.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • The concrete ring-beams that are holding up the roof structure have been polished and left unadorned. As well as establishing the contemporary architectural character of the space, in a certain light these take on the quality of marble which has an industrial-luxe sensibility.
  • The angled wooden ceiling has a strong geometric form. The tone and visible grain of the wood, along with that on the kitchen cabinets, infuse the space with warmth and verve.
  • Furniture and lighting has been chosen to express the materiality of the objects, with the effect that these add another layer to the restrained but soulful architecture.

SCANDI NOIR

Cool, calm and collected, this kitchen artfully marries clean-lined timber with chic highlights of black which serve to anchor the space and infuse it with a sense of urban sophistication.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • The kitchen cabinetry is a configuration of units chosen from the Sine Tempore collection by Valcucine and is in sustainable elm wood.
  • The work surfaces, a customised addition, are granite.
  • The presence of black as an accent colour defines the decorative atmosphere, lending the space a sense of depth: elements such as the free-standing Lacanche oven in anthracite; the Shadows Suspension Lamps by Czech lighting studio Brokis; the powder-coated metal framed AAS 38 stools from the About A Stool collection by Danish studio, HAY; a selection of kitchen accessories; as well as an installation of striking artworks by South African artist Hanneke Benade.
ALL-IN-ONE

What do you get when combine a love for Scandi chic, a penchant for modern minimalism and an architectural aesthetic inspired in part by the practicalities of yacht design? This contemporary space that manages to be both family-friendly and streamlined.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • The key feature of this bespoke kitchen is its seamless galley-style configuration (including the cut-out shapes instead of handles) that effortlessly integrates with the open-plan upstairs living space.
  • The choice of pale wood is in keeping with the clean-lined contemporary architecture and has been inspired by Scandinavian design – birch, poplar and white oak are all good choices for a similar look.
  • A folding shutter-style door, barely visible when folded, can be used to close off the kitchen from the dining and living areas if desired.
PINE FRESH

There was a time when pine was dismissed as nothing more than a utilitarian building material or, in the context of kitchens, a yellow-lacquered, knotty-textured out-of-date eyesore that one ripped out and replaced as soon as you could. But there’s a new kid on the (wooden) starting block – the stripped down, organic looking white pine – and its urban aesthetic and clean Scandinavian vibes are making this the material du jour for furniture designers, interior architects and homeowners.


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • White pine (otherwise known as raw pine plywood) is durable, versatile, sustainable and affordable, making it perfect for kitchen cabinetry and furniture, central island construction and other finishes.
  • A freestanding unit serves to demarcate and divide the cooking and leisure zones in this open-plan space. On both sides there is open and closed cubbyhole-style storage (concealing several appliances) as well as surface space to enhance the unit’s functionality.
  • An industrial articulated Anglepoise-style lamp on top of the unit provides additional task lighting.
IN THE MIX

Light wood and cheerful patterned tiles give this kitchen a modern vibrancy. The material chosen for the bespoke cabinetry is Wormy Maple (also known as Ambrosia Maple), specially sourced for its interesting mineral striations and colour variations. 


Photography: Greg Cox and Warren Heath | Bureaux; Production: Sven Alberding

DESIGN NOTES

  • Handle-free cupboards with a push-latch system have a contemporary seamless quality.
  • The slatted design of the cabinetry serves to elongate the space and introduces a dynamic textural effect.
  • The Moroccan tiles introduce colour and pattern, as does the speckled Nguni hide on one of the school-chair inspired bar stools.
  • Textured architectural glass on the wall-mounted cabinets references the past but in context looks contemporary. The airiness of the glass also breaks the solidity of the wood and allows a glimpse of the kitchenalia inside without giving everything away.

(Words: Mandy Allen; Cover image photography: Hey!Cheese)

Tips
  • When planning your kitchen design or renovation ask yourself how often you entertain (or if you’d like to entertain more regularly?). If you love playing host and your budget allows, plan for a design that includes a double electric oven (you won’t regret it), built-in microwave as well a gas hob or electric/conduction stovetop with more than the standard four cooking zones.
  • Clear glassware such as tumblers, wine glasses, vases and other oversized vessels – when left on display – will introduce a sense of visual transparency and weightlessness while reflecting the natural light.
  • In modern minimalism the display of eye-pleasing objects is welcome – just approach the creation of vignettes and displays with an editor’s eye to keep the mood serene. Although stripped back, the organically textured and similar-in-tone kitchen accessories here have become a focal point on the otherwise sparse counter top, lending a touch of personality and style.
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