Going graphic

With its strong retro aesthetic, this striking black and white galley kitchen designed by Nicola Manning melds with the character of the rest of the 1940s home, creating a highly functional space.

Nicola’s clients are a family of eight living in the same house, ranging from a new born to children in their 20s.  It is a busy household with a large extended family and they have lots of family gatherings.  So they wanted a kitchen that maximised the space with plenty of bench space and quality storage.

Their starting point was a curvaceous orange Smeg fridge. “The loved the colour and style and wanted the rest of the kitchen to complement the Smeg range,” says Nicola. As a colour accent, the bright orange pops against the black and white scheme.

“To bounce off the curves of the appliances, I used strong geometric shapes for the cabinetry and the tiling. They complement the linear shape of the gallery kitchen. The black negative detail lines between the cabinetry and the white grout on the black tiles add further contrast,” says Nicola.

Hard-wearing materials like the engineered stone bench top and tiled splash back are practical for an area used by many people and including recycled rimu floors was a labour of love for the client.

One of the challenges Nicola faced was that a fireplace and shower in adjoining rooms reduced the kitchen space. “To increase both bench space and storage, I changed the access to a storage cupboard on the back porch, so the bench top could be extended to the end of the kitchen.”

She also slightly narrowed the generous opening to the lounge at the other end of the kitchen to extend the wall space and maximise full-height storage.  By moving the electrical switchboard into the hallway, her clients gained even more storage. Nicola’s clients love their new well-functioning family kitchen, with its strong colour and texture.

Dark looks

In another Auckland home, this dark kitchen was also designed by Nicola Manning. “As part of a very large space, I chose the dark cabinetry to anchor the kitchen in that space,” she says. “Two pillars were part of the structure.  While one is concealed, I left the other exposed and used black textured cladding to make it a feature rather than pretend it wasn’t there. The home is beside a fold course with a lot of greenery around it so the black sits nicely agains it.”