Design Focused


Joanna Hoeft set up Auckland’s Studio Italia kitchen division in 2004 and has continually stayed abreast of contemporary styles and trends. Interestingly, Hoeft says her most recent clients have been requesting more greys and dark, muted tones, pairing them with plenty of alluring textures, such as black elm timbers. “While colour used to be the starting point, it is now about texture,” she says. “It’s also rare for a modern kitchen to be just one finish. We’re mixing materials all the time and I think that’s what makes each space bespoke, since the combination is different for every person.” Hoeft also admits homeowners have been shying away from less durable lacquers in favour of laminate. “It creates a surface that is fingerprint-repellant, which is the best way to do black.”

When working with her clients, Hoeft’s first step is to discuss their vision for the kitchen before establishing the look and feel. She believes it is also important to learn about a client’s lifestyle at the early stages as this will dictate finishes. “For example, if they have quite a pedantic personality, I may steer them away from stainless steel as it develops a natural patina,” Hoeft explains. “Similarly, marble is beautiful and we love it, but it doesn’t suit some clients. Ceramic is a great alternative and it’s a relatively new material that it is really durable.”


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Natural Selection

The brief for the cooking zone pictured above was to design a multipurpose space that maximised the views of a courtyard and would enable the sociable homeowners to host guests with ease. Needing to also be both family-friendly yet aesthetically pleasing, a number of specific durable materials were chosen, such as the stainless-steel benchtops for the hob and bar area. The flush window splashback was carefully planned to showcase the luscious green outlook, and easy-access louvres were added to allow for cross ventilation from the adjoining outdoor area. Oak set in a herringbone pattern brings character to the large Corian island (in Rain Cloud), while the opposite solid block-end is a chic contrast to both the timber features and concrete accents. The clean lines of the Sage cabinetry in Acrygloss White add a sleek finishing touch.

Colour Release

Corian has evolved the standard kitchen benchtop and splashback into a creative work of art by continually offering new shapes, effects, colours and finishes to lift the design bar. Made from a blend of natural materials and acrylic polymer, its products are durable, non-porous and stain-resistant. Plus, one of the main advantages of Corian is the ability to create one entire continuous surface with seamless undermounting methods, which eliminates areas that trap dirt and water, to minimise cleaning and maintenance. Adding to its extensive colour selection are three new Corian hues: Neutral Concrete, White Onyx and Weathered Concrete. Available at Evolution of Surfaces, 0800 267 426,

Shine Bright

The inviting room below was designed by Annika Rowson and built to withstand everything family life could throw at it. The warm yet sturdy Corian benchtops in Cirrus White were chosen to complement the timber features, and is an elegant addition to the rawness of the polished concrete floors. All of these finishes add a soft and gentle texture that blend well with the subway tiles, which feature across the entire back wall of this open-plan room. The island’s waterfall end gracefully anchors the bench and the integrated Corian “Duo 023” sink adds a seamless and attractive touch to the functional zone. Bathed in natural light, courtesy of carefully placed skylights, combined with a striking ceiling pitch, this kitchen firmly holds ground as the hub of this busy home.

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