From Habitat magazine - issue 34, kitchens
Blue – the colour of sky and sea – is a natural choice for two superb kitchens.
The nursery song Sing a Rainbow has it wrong; there are far more colours to choose from than seven, which can make it a bit daunting when painting important rooms such as kitchens. The kitchen is for more than just cooking. It's where families come together, a place for talking, laughing and sharing the day's stories, which makes blue – the colour of calm – a welcoming choice.
Whether it's a light grey-blue hue or a bold and bright turquoise, few colours refresh a dull kitchen quite as well. Strong or subdued, airy or moody, the colour breathes life into every element, from walls and cabinetry to trims and accents.
When the owners of an early-1900s Queenslander (photo above/below) decided to update their kitchen, they sought out Brisbane-based Kitchen Evolution. The brief was clear: “They wanted a timeless aesthetic suited to the remainder of the house as well as room for the family and space for entertaining,” says the company's Dane Hancock. The homeowners were also adamant about one other thing – it must be bold and beautiful. So, they chose Resene Dark Knight, a slate blue, for the kitchen's shaker-style cabinetry.
“The liked the look of the dark blue against the rich honey colour of the pine floor and the original brick fireplace,” says Dane. “From there, it was just a case of selecting the right tone to complement the stone benchtop. They didn't select blue for anywhere else in the home, which makes the kitchen a standout feature.”
Choose Resene AquaLAQ to add colour to your kitchen joinery. This range is especially designed for cabinetry, furniture and joinery and includes an Environmental Choice waterborne sealer, colour coat, which can be tinted to your chosen Resene colour, and a clear coat.
The rich hue of Resene Dark Knight adds character to the room and brings a sense of elegance, he says. Designed by Peter Barrass and built by the Kitchen Evolution team, the striking space features a mix of classic and contemporary elements. The combination of generous bench space and storage plus state of the art cooking appliances also makes it a functional hub.
“The darker blue colour complements the timber beautifully, giving the kitchen a nice warm feel. The benchtops (veined quartz from the Smartstone Athena collection) are a beautiful contrast to Resene Dark Knight. The colour brings out the character of the white stone.”
“The saying goes, ‘Blue and green should never be seen',” laughs kitchen designer Hannah Hebson of Nelson's Cooper Webley Joinery. “But that's completely flipped on its head when you see this beautiful room,” she says.
“The clients – a couple with boys in their early teens – wanted a country kitchen that was fun and colourful. It needed to make a statement among the white walls that were used throughout the house. But from the start, they were torn between having a blue and green kitchen.
”At first, she says, she was stumped. “We rarely get clients who want to be that bold with their cabinetry.
“It's usually the same white-on-white or woodgrain accent. But I was excited by the challenge. I played around at first with darker tones, but they still wanted the kitchen to be light and bright.”
Hannah says she knew she was onto a winner when she found the colours Resene Bismark and Resene Rainee. “The teal blue of Resene Bismark and the mint green of Resene Rainee tied together perfectly and, when teamed with the timber benchtop and patterned tile, created the exact look they were after.”
The new-build home, in Nelson's Redwood Valley, has glorious views of forests and farmland. Hannah says that part of her brief was to allow enough space around the work zones so that her clients could “spread out” when prepping, cooking and cleaning. In the original architectural plans, the hob, oven and tall storage were combined on one small wall, which wouldn't have given them the space they required. So, she repositioned the hob under the window and specified a deep bulkhead for the ducting. The bulkhead frames the windows and also allows for task lighting in the kitchen's prep zones.
She says the selection of a white stone benchtop and a wooden countertop to ‘break' the cool blue hues makes the room welcoming. “These materials and the two colour choices, paired with Resene Bianca walls makes the space successful. The large window, which bathes the kitchen in natural light, works well with the colours.”
The walls of both of these kitchens, each open-plan, were painted white to fit in with the rest of the home. But, in standalone kitchens, cabinetry in shades such as Resene Dark Knight and Resene Bismark are equally impressive teamed with blue-toned walls. For example:
Team a moody, impactful shade such as Resene Dark Knight with an equally stormy shade such as Resene Tangaroa or Resene Coast. Other blue-based shades that work well with Resene Dark Knight are Resene Kashmir Blue and Resene Escapade.
images: Dane Hancock, Grant Stirling
words: Tracey Strange
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