Concrete and structural treatments are in high demand. This modern industrial kitchen with layered concrete was designed by Natalie Du Bois. Last year it was the NKBA Supreme Kitchen of the Year.
Kiwi kitchen designers have brought attention to our country in recent years, winning major international awards for kitchens and bathrooms. But the latest win is a very big win for a kitchen in a small town in New Zealand.
Natalie Du Bois of Du Bois Design has won the KBB Australasia Award at the prestigious SBID (Society of British and International Design) Awards in London for her kitchen-bathroom project in a new home in Whanganui.
And it’s not the first win for the house. Last year, Du Bois won the NKBA Supreme Kitchen of the Year Award and the Best Bathroom Under $50,000 award for the kitchen and powder room in the same home. It also helped cement her position as NKBA Designer of the Year.
Du Bois says the kitchen was designed for a family of five, who often have up to 25 guests at gatherings.
“They wanted a modern look with an industrial touch,” she says. “They needed three separate functional zones – the main kitchen area, a large butler’s pantry that could be used as a secondary kitchen, and a dedicated beverage area that their guests could easily access even outside of the main kitchen area.
“The pantry design was just as important to my clients as the main kitchen. One reason for this was so her teenage daughter, an aspiring baker, could use this area to practice her baking skills.”
Du Bois says she was inspired by the Brutalist movement and wanted to emphasize the house’s voluminous proportions.
A mix of materials was chosen for the industrial look in the kitchen. Concrete leads the way – the island features a sturdy concrete Caesarstone countertop, and strips of various sizes are wrapped around the back and sides of the island to create the central focus for the room. Even the walls are made of rough plaster.
Cabinet doors are made from a mix of Laminex Recon veneer in Smoked Greige and Melteca Soft Touch in Metallic Coal. The bar and sink tops are made of Dekton Fossil Natural.
Natalie Du Bois (pictured) designed the pantry to be large enough for two or more people to work at the same time.
Three entrances were provided for the pantry so that it could be used by two to three people at any time. Two openings on the kitchen side provide some natural light and also help create a less crowded space. The other entrance is accessible from the hallway.
A separate drinks area with all the ‘modern comforts’ is located near the family living area, away from the main kitchen, providing a convenient location with easy access.
The kitchen is fully equipped with Gaggenau appliances and in the pantry there is an additional Miele combi steam oven as well as a Fisher & Paykel CoolDrawer, cooktop and dish drawers.
For easy access there is a separate bar area to one side of the family living area.
The bar on the left runs the length of the room and has its own sink and fridge.
Layered lighting also plays a crucial role. LED strips under the island make it float. And similar stripes under the island top accentuate the textured concrete on the front and sides. The pantry also features pendant lights, as well as task and closet lighting.
Du Bois says she focused on a neutral color palette of black, white and gray. “Ultimately, my design decisions were driven by my clients’ specific needs, lifestyles and personalities,” she says.
The designer also designed the laundry room and five bathrooms in the house, which were part of the project submitted to the SBID jury. Other awards for this project included runner-up Powder Room – Designer TIDA,
Highly Acclaimed Boys Bathroom TIDA, Highly Acclaimed Guest Bathroom TIDA, Highly Acclaimed Ensuite Bathroom.
The master bathroom is one of five bathrooms Du Bois designed for the Whanganui house.
From beautiful stone to plywood, these kitchens and bathrooms represent the best of Kiwi design at the 2023 NKBA National Kitchen & Bathroom Awards.