Sleek, simple and sophisticated – this new kitchen in a relocated villa has won the NZ Master Joiners Best Kitchen and Best Kitchen Design Awards.
Designer Leonie Hamill from Cube Dentro in Pukekohe is on course for success – last weekend her own new kitchen in a relocated Remuera villa on the Awhitu Peninsula won the Master Joiners Best Kitchen and Best Kitchen Design Awards.
But that’s not all – the kitchen is a finalist for October’s Best Awards and was named Supreme Kitchen Runner-up and Outstanding Renovation Winner at this year’s NKBA Awards.
The old mansion itself was already the subject of attention when the move from Clonbern Road to Remuera was filmed by Clarke Gayford for the first series of Moving Houses – the house was split in two and reassembled as it found itself in a paddock settled on a hill in Awhitu.
Designer and owner Leonie Hamill from Cube Dentro combined white lacquered cabinets with granite tones on the island.
But it’s the grand transformation in the kitchen that’s turning heads. Designed to meet the needs of extended families and friends – Hamill has transformed Clonbern Estate as it is known into a venue capable of hosting weddings and other special events.
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And it was not done by sacrificing the character of the old house. “I wanted to preserve the villa atmosphere while also acknowledging its surroundings,” says the designer. However, the original kitchen had an awkward floor plan, so walls were knocked down to allow easy passage to the dining area and living room.
BEFORE: This was the ’90s kitchen at the mansion. Walls were torn down and the new kitchen turned at right angles.
The original hardwood floors have been preserved and the bespoke furniture has been designed to reflect the character of a bygone era – the closets have a satin polyurethane finish in the Aalto Arthouse color and the island is finished in Aalto Gunsmoke. The large hood is painted a custom antique brass color.
With its curved, sculptural support at one end, the island plays a prominent and practical role in the kitchen. There is an elegant, raised, curved marble worktop that, together with the base, visually breaks up the large island and conveys a feeling of lightness.
The end of the island worktop rests on a point; Clarke Gayford from Moving Houses is pictured with designer Leonie Hamill.
The marble, Istone Touche Ice Blanco in the color Gris, was chosen for its visual connection between the veining and the ocean that can be seen from the villa. The other tabletop material on the island is Dekton in the color Eter, reminiscent of dark granite.
The bold splashback features Quantum marble tiles chosen to contrast with the island’s countertop.
“The sink and wall-mounted faucets are discreet but also part of the design story, keeping the countertop linear and clean,” says Hamill.
There is also a long beautiful scullery with the same marble as the island. The room offers additional storage space, additional seating and wooden shelves.
There is plenty of room for entertainment and event hosting.
There are wide openings to allow easy flow to the scullery (right) and the dining and living areas.
Pendant lighting in the dining and living rooms was chosen with photography in mind: “It’s practical and aesthetically pleasing for taking photos and capturing special occasions.”
The NKBA judges called it “a kitchen stunner” and said: “A lot of thought went into this design embedded in a challenging renovation. It used to be small and closed; Now it’s a sprawling space for entertainers. The design incorporates interesting and whimsical shapes, like the sculptural island and brilliant leg detail. This is sophisticated cuisine that has an artistic quality. A knockout.”
The kitchen has a full range of Fisher & Paykel appliances, integrated where possible.
The original floors of the villa are preserved along with the main architectural features.
The shelves in the long scullery are lined with wood.
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