Social Focus

The kitchen has long been the central social space in a house, and one that gets the hardest knocks. Extra care in quality and materials, it seems, are amply justified. We have selected three kitchens that have had every last detail considered and refined to create spaces of fine craft and beautiful aesthetics.

Ben and Penna Architects Surry Hills Kitchen Sydney

Surry Hills kitchen, Sydney
Benn & Penna Architects

This project is an alteration and addition to a tiny inner-city terrace house. The kitchen and dining room are positioned to flow onto a private rear courtyard, and, through various design elements, the indoor and outdoor rooms are made to appear as one. A single colour palette – white walls and light oak timber cabinetry – unifies the space, and the kitchen bench continues outside as one unbroken line. A wall of white mosaic tiles lines the back wall of the courtyard, reflecting northern light back into both garden and kitchen.

Benn & Penna Architects
Photo Tom Ferguson
Artwork Mark Hanman

John Wardle Architects Fairhaven House kitchen

Fairhaven House kitchen
John Wardle Architects

This kitchen continues the house’s interior strategy of wrapping every surface in waxed blackbutt timber to create a consistent and immersive environment. Cupboards merging magically with the wall, ceiling and floor are all lined in the same timber. The warm wood is offset by a honed Adelaide black granite benchtop and splashback. A butcher’s block island bench provides a setting for cooking and conversation; the streamlined unit similar to other bespoke furniture and fittings in the house. External venetian blinds provide control over sun and glare.

John Wardle Architects
Photo Sean Fennessy

Architecture Bureau Mt Manganui kitchen

Mt Maunganui kitchen
Architecture Bureau

This kitchen is the social focus of a richly detailed living space. With views over Mt Maunganui beach to the east and a courtyard to the west, the cabinetry needed to be minimal to avoid blocking the outlook. The island bench is detailed like a piece of furniture in waxed steel and black slate, contrasting with the honey tones of the cedar wall lining. The rear wall is concealed behind cedar lining, replicating the finish of the rest of the room. Fold-away doors open to reveal four kitchen compartments lined in a dark matt melamine to prevent visual dominance.

Architecture Bureau
Photo Simon Devitt