Coastal Classic

Great design demands a keen eye for detail coupled with flawless finishing – both of which were provided by kitchen designer Shane George, from Kitchens By Design, in this beautiful beachside home at Scotts Landing.

A successful design also relies on collaboration and a shared vision by everyone involved, says Shane. “When Mary (the homeowner) and her interior designer walked into our showroom in Newmarket we immediately clicked and she was soon on board with all of the materials and finishes I showed her. She particularly liked the leathered finish of the Titanium Granite benchtop of the contemporary kitchen we have on show – and that’s exactly what we ended up using for the benchtop of her new kitchen.”

The basic shape and position of the kitchen in the house had already been drawn up on the architect’s plans, but Mary was keen to bring on the services of a specialist kitchen design team to expand on these initial concepts and to work on the design details and the material palette.

“She didn’t just want a white kitchen,” says Shane. “It had to gel with the rest of the home in terms of its earthy tones and tactile finishes, so, together with the granite benchtop, I suggested a warm taupe grey for the cabinetry, together with an aged-bronze metallic finish above the central cooktop.”

From the outset, the designer says, he was very mindful and respectful of the architecture, particularly the form of the vaulted, open-plan living space. “Directly below the apex of the ceiling, I lined up the tap and sink on the island and also the cooktop on the back wall. I then continued the symmetry by flanking the central cooking bench with the fridge on one side and the wall ovens on the other, and gave the cabinetry a regular rhythm across the width of the room.”

To enhance the functionality of the new kitchen, Shane designed a built-in ‘entertainment area’, hidden by bi-fold doors, as an extension to the back wall of cabinetry. This clever addition contains a small sink, benchtop, glass storage, and under-bench drinks fridge. He also included a small study nook at the far end of the space.

The signature design element in the kitchen is the large, multifunctional island that doubles as a casual seating area or dining option for up to six people. The distinctive I-beam design was an extension of an idea first mooted by the architects, who also specified the rustic, wide-planked oak floor that grounds the whole space. 

Shane says that his client also took the opportunity to work with Kitchens By Design’s team of independent fabricators and craftspeople, with whom they have built trusted relationships with over many years. “They are the best in the industry, and that certainly shines through in the quality of finishings in the completed kitchen,” he says.

“I deliberately didn’t want this kitchen to shout too loud in the space – it just needed to sit there and look understated, but at the same time feel earthy and timeless,” says Shane. “It really is a stunning location, right on the beach at Scott’s Landing, and I feel my design fits well within this modern, sophisticated home by one of the country’s top architects."

If you’re thinking about putting in a new kitchen, give one of the team at Kitchens By Design a call, or pop into one of their two Auckland-based showrooms at 3 Byron Ave, Takapuna (09) 488 7201 and 7 Melrose St, Newmarket (09) 379 3084. And for inspiration, take a look at their website at

Issue 106 February 2020