This brilliant all-white kitchen is anything but boring

Moving the kitchen into the heart of the living area made this 1920s New Plymouth home feel open and fresh. See more of this Kitchen Awards finalist below

Meet + greet

Heath Ashton, 35 (builder), Sarah Ashton, 32 (pharmacy technician), and Leonardo, 4, plus Isabella the dog and Lily the kitten.

Key Trades/suppliers

Plumber Mike Wimsett
Electrician Ricky Fox at Surfside Electrical
Builder Heath Ashton
Designer Annika Rowson at Rowson Kitchens

How did you come up with the location for your kitchen?

Sarah: I was sick of feeling claustrophobic in my house, so we started by working with architect Chris Larsen to fix it. We ended up with two large, sliding doors on one side of the house and another on the other side, creating a square cube for the kitchen and living spaces.

I approached a few kitchen designers but the designs blew my budget every time. Then I met Annika from Rowson Kitchens and we hit it off straight away. I’d always thought the kitchen would stay in the same place, in the far end of the cube, but Annika walked in and said, “Why don’t you move it to the middle of the room?” This was the best decision we ever made.

How did you choose your materials?

Annika and I worked together to create a stylish kitchen on a budget. I always thought we wanted Corian benchtops but couldn’t fit them into our budget. Then Annika gave me white Laminex laminate with a plywood clash [edging] and there was no going back! Annika sourced the tiles and I sourced the tap from Carters. Our doors and panels are Invisedge in ‘Arctic White’ with a velvet finish from Sage Doors, with Blum hardware.

Did you have any setbacks during the build?

Our biggest challenges were having to repile the house while installing the sliding doors, and removing a huge slab of concrete from the middle of the room.

What do you love about your new kitchen?

Instead of being stuck in a claustrophobic corner, it is light, bright and, most of all, functional. I love being in the kitchen cooking, so it’s lovely that I can be doing my thing while also spending time with my son, who can play dinosaurs on the same bench.

All-white tip

Keep an all-white kitchen from looking too clinical with the addition of a tiled white splashback, timber-effect detailing and rich brass tapware.

Words by: Sally Conor. Photography by: The Virtue.

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