Kitchen of the Week: Mt Victoria cottage goes moody black

There's a transition from light to dark and back again in this remodelled cottage. The kitchen-family area, designed by Joneen Rodgers, is a dark, moody space that's full of character.

JEFF McEWAN/CAPTURE STUDIOS WELLLINGTON

There’s a transition from light to dark and back again in this remodelled cottage. The kitchen-family area, designed by Joneen Rodgers, is a dark, moody space that’s full of character.

The owners of this cute cottage in Mt Victoria, Wellington, had strong ideas about the look they wanted in their kitchen-family space – it was to be dark, moody and intimate.

Designer Joneen Rodgers of Hello Home Interiors says their initial request for their “transition” project was to be able to progress through their home, from a light space to dark, and back to light again.

“With the cottage having a small footprint, they wanted a feeling of intimacy throughout, with the kitchen creating the dark, moody hub of the home.

Kitchen designer Joneen Rodgers of Hello Home Interiors in Wellington transformed the Mt Victoria cottage with a new kitchen and bathroom.

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Kitchen designer Joneen Rodgers of Hello Home Interiors in Wellington transformed the Mt Victoria cottage with a new kitchen and bathroom.

“The kitchen was to be a space where friends and family could gather around the island under dim lights, but this would not interfere with the practical aspects of the space.”

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Rodgers says the island was to be considered another “area” within the home, with room for a minimum of four people, but it needed to accommodate six stools.

“We agreed that to achieve the transition from light to dark we would incorporate colour, texture and different types of lighting.

Six stools can be tucked under the island, creating another gathering space. Penny-round mosaic tiles, open shelving, a skylight, and a window splashback help to bounce light around the kitchen.

JEFF McEWAN/CAPTURE STUDIOS WELLINGTON

Six stools can be tucked under the island, creating another gathering space. Penny-round mosaic tiles, open shelving, a skylight, and a window splashback help to bounce light around the kitchen.

The light-to-dark transition helps to draw the eye to what lies beyond.

JEFF McEWAN/CAPTURE STUDIOS WELLINGTON

The light-to-dark transition helps to draw the eye to what lies beyond.

“The function of the island was more complicated, but designed with flexibility in mind. One short side was dedicated to ‘work’ space and the other three sides dedicated to social – business at the front, party at the back!”

“The size of island, work triangle and walkway around the island were discussed at length on multiple occasions,” Rodgers says. “The clients’ wish was to have a large island where they could entertain friends and family and this was of utmost importance.

“We chose to put the island on a stainless steel leg and industrial strength castors to add flexibility to the space. If a larger work space or walkway was required the island could then be moved within the space.”

The kitchen also needed to accommodate the laundry, albeit tucked out of sight: “It needed to be as discrete as possible. So we have tucked it behind a small wall and hallway that leads into the bathroom. By doing this we could include a pull-out laundry basket, stacked washer and dryer, and a utility cupboard.

The team chose Melteca Soft Touch acrylic cabinets in Pitch Black Matte, and teamed these with CDK Stone Neolith benchtops in Iron Copper with a satin finish.

But while the cabinetry and tiles are dark, there is plenty of light bouncing around the kitchen, thanks to a skylight, a window splashback and the penny-round mosaic wall tiles.

BATHROOM MAKEOVER

Rodgers was also asked to redesign the bathroom.

“The old bathroom was an area they were pretty embarrassed to let guests see. It was dark and dingy; the basin was cracked, and you had to reach into a hole in the wall and find the cistern to flush the toilet.”

The clients wanted to create a sense of light and openness in a very small space.

“They also requested a connection to the rest of the interior through colour, texture and materials,” the designer says. “Again they were focussed on that idea of a transition from light to dark, and back to light again.

“The initial consented plans showed the toilet right in view from the door, with a very small wall-mounted basin and no storage. After some initial discussion around this layout and presenting the clients with a new layout, we agreed to change this.

“We created space for a much larger vanity unit with drawers, an area where cologne could be on display, a large walk-in shower with glass screen, and most importantly, the toilet was tucked away behind the corner out of sight.”

To provide continuity, the top of the custom vanity unit has the same stone as the kitchen island. And the vanity drawer fronts were made from the flooring material that features throughout the kitchen, dining and living area.

“Small details, such as the black cologne shelf, the colouring of the pendant bulb and light fittings, and aged brass fixtures, all made subtle connections and references back to the kitchen-living spaces.”

The designer says having great clients ensured the success. “The clients were our idea of a dream. They had a clear vision of what they wanted, were not afraid of colour and texture and were open to us throwing some wild cards their way. A mutual appreciation for all things design made the process really enjoyable.

“There was also good communication with the building and joinery team that ensured it all worked like a well-oiled machine.”

The builder for the project was Dan Alkema of Mega Structures. The appliances were all sourced through Harvey Norman Commercial.

NKBA

Winning kitchens and bathrooms in the 2020 NKBA Excellence in Design Awards are announced.

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