“The view, the view, the view!” say our judges. The new kitchen at Shoreline, which overlooks Soncy Bay, has been expertly designed to blend in with its surroundings, not just in its indoor-outdoor layout, which allows the patio to become part of the show, but also in its neutral colours and organic feel.
Once you’ve dragged your eyes away from the tranquillity of the twinkling water, you notice that the kitchen itself feels equally tranquil. It is well thought out and nothing is overpowering, but the more you look at it, the more you notice all the detail—the integrated knobs for the cooktop,
the subtle colours, the way the island’s countertop matches the walls.
CTX partner and interior designer Lauren Grayston explains that there is a lot of technology behind all these details. “The cabinetry is a high-density fibre board and a heat-fused laminate. It has the look of wood, but is a lot more durable.” They chose this, she continues, because the location of the house means the kitchen needs to be handy to handle indoor-outdoor living, and when the cascading doors are opened, you are exposing it to the sea air. “The material on the exterior is very hard so it takes a beating,” she adds. “The way that it seals all the drawers is very advanced. It holds it together.”
For a similar reason, unlike many countertops which are made from natural stone or quartz, Shoreline’s island countertop is made from porcelain. “Porcelain is very thin, very hard, doesn’t stain and is super durable,” explains Grayston. “It comes in very big sheets, so we had Aptech take it from being half-an-inch thick and 10 feet long and turn it into three inches thick, so it looks like a solid piece. It has the look of stone and is a lot stronger.”
The beauty of this porcelain was that they could also use it for the backsplash. “We were able to use it at the half-inch thickness, so it didn’t lose any space in the kitchen, just a little thin sheet going up the wall,” she continues. “It’s a seamless backsplash. It looks like a huge piece of stone, but it’s only half-an-inch thick and there are no grout joints like with tile.”
Grayston says the island is her favourite part because of its size, “and the community it creates. You can be working at the kitchen and have people sitting up there enjoying the view,” she says, adding however that she also really loves the cooktop. “They have a super neat cooktop,” she continues. “The handles are drilled right into the cabinetry and it’s an induction. If it’s on and you put your hand on it, it won’t burn you but will boil water in 30 seconds.”
In order to blend in well with the outdoor space, the colour was very important and Grayston says the owner wanted it to feel coastal. The colour they chose has a driftwood feel to it, which she says, has a “sublime feeling, so when you walk in, you’re very relaxed and you can really notice your surroundings. “A lot of people want the kitchen to be a showstopper, but it doesn’t have to be flashy to be stunning,” she points out.
Equally, the flooring is a simple, neutral-coloured tile, matched both inside and out, but the exterior tile has a different texture, so it doesn’t get slippery when wet. “Keeping the flooring the same is important for making those two spaces flow,” says Grayston.
Other smaller, but equally important, design features which make Shoreline’s kitchen work so well include rollouts in some of the cabinets, fitted-out drawers, a hidden coffee station behind retractable doors, double dishwashers and an extra preparation sink in the island. Some of the upper cabinets are fronted with white glass instead of the laminate which is not only attractive to look at but adds to the bright, spacious and contemporary feel of the room.
In addition to the view, function and general beauty of the kitchen, the judges also love what they describe as a “European look.”
“I like to see an Italian-style kitchen made by a US company,” says one. “They achieved the European look, but when you open up the cabinets you can tell they’re American.”
I think they would also love a lunch invitation.