Bright and beautiful

Cheltenham Beach Kitchen

After spending several years modernising their lovely family home at Cheltenham Beach, with beautiful results, the owners now wanted a new kitchen to match. Through a friend, they found kitchen designer Jane Fergusson, from Takapuna-based Kitchens By Design, and have been delighted by the transformation she has achieved.

Could you tell us a little about you and your family, and also about your home – in particular, describe the existing kitchen before the makeover?
We are a family of four and are lucky enough to live in a very special part of the world, Cheltenham Beach. My kitchen was about 15 years old and, while the materials were still fashionable, such as marble and stainless, it wasn’t a well-functioning kitchen in terms of storage and design.

How did you come across Kitchens By Design, and why did you choose them to design your new kitchen?
They were recommended by a friend. I actually started the process with another kitchen designer, but wasn’t satisfied following the initial consultation and drawings, as I felt they were very happy to draw up what I wanted without actually making any recommendations, or suggesting alternatives. As I am not a kitchen designer, I really did need someone to take the lead and be confident enough to tell me if my ideas might not actually be the right way to go!

What was your brief to the designer, and how did it evolve?
My brief to Jane was that I wanted a sophisticated kitchen that stayed pretty much in the same footprint, but allowed for ease of access to kitchen items, with good pantry storage, space for a new double fridge, and one that was going to last the distance by using classic yet practical materials. For example, I love the look of marble – however it was suggested that I instead use Dekton, which is a man-made blend of natural quartz stone, porcelain and glass, and is super strong.

How did the designer translate your brief – and was it what you expected?
Jane was perfect in every way. She listened to my ideas and understood my vision. She was very good at listening to suggestions and re-directing me if she felt, due to her vast experience, that perhaps a move in another direction might achieve a better outcome.

What were some of the most enjoyable and memorable moments of the process?
Meeting Jane at the kitchen factory and seeing it all coming together was amazing and a huge relief to see it was looking exactly as we had planned. There were never any surprises, as everything was explained clearly every step of the way.

What are your favourite parts of your new kitchen?
I love all the wonderful storage and ease of access to everything. Also, the way the materials all work together to reflect my personality and taste is wonderful.

What would be your advice to anyone who’s thinking of having a new kitchen designed?
While the process is reasonably long, it is worth it in the end, as every day you get so much pleasure from being in a gorgeous, well-designed kitchen.

How did you find the experience of working with Kitchens By Design?
As well as meeting at their showroom in Takapuna, Jane arranged regular after-hours, on-site consultations to fit in with our busy working lives – and to ensure my husband could also be part of the consultations and design process. Nothing was ever too annoying, and no question was too silly to ask. Jane also liaised with all the contractors when needed and was on site to meet them if I had to be at work. There was a constant calmness throughout the process. Honestly, I was so impressed with Kitchens By Design, and I will be shouting that from the rooftops.

If you are thinking about putting in a new kitchen, give the team at Kitchens By Design a call, or pop into their showroom at 3 Byron Ave, Takapuna (09) 488 7201. And for inspiration, take a look at their website at