Before and after: a kitchen is reconfigured into an open-plan family hub

A busy family achieved their style and function goals in this renovation which saw an impractical kitchen and dining area transformed into an open plan, airy family hub 

In a snapshot

Who lives here? David Kidd (works in banking), Kelley Kidd (stay-at-home mum), twins James and Ruby, Charlotte, and Hugo, plus Dotti the Cavoodle dog.
Where is it? Northcote Point, Auckland.
Lived here for? Six years.

Expert Q&A with designer Toni Roberts of Kitchen Architect

Toni, what was your brief for this kitchen? 

Kelley and Dave wanted to create a new kitchen room that flowed exquisitely, enabled at least two cooks to work at the same time, looked fresh and modern yet had personality and was family friendly. It had to include durable surfaces to cope with four young children and be a backdrop to colourful, fresh styling. Their large family gatherings needed to connect better with a northwest-facing deck with views of the Harbour Bridge and the city lights at night.

Describe the design/concept you crafted to meet this brief:

I swapped the kitchen with the dining area and reconfigured the layout to allow spaces and room for the family to manoeuvre and grow. With poorly balanced window positioning and lack of natural light, we opened up the rooms and – ironically – removed a window, despite the owners’ initial uncertainty. (This particular dining window only looked into the neighbour’s weatherboarding anyway.)

With only one other ensuite toilet upstairs, I recommended the family bathroom be realigned while doing the renovation, to create a guest toilet separate from the sometimes toothpaste-smeared main bathroom. Adding this third toilet would make for a smoother morning rush with the kids and future-proof for their teenage years. To accommodate this, the new laundry room was relocated to the edge of the kitchen beside the stairs and was carefully configured to give a surprisingly generous space for the family’s washing needs.

Words by: Kristina Rapley. Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.

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