Kitchens: a century-old building meets modernity

Article by Home Magazine

The brief Richard Naish received for this Stable Lane kitchen was for a large, sociable family kitchen that, while modern, still fit the century-old building. A challenge was the low stud height, which was resolved with cleverly created storage space.

Stable Lane Newton kitchen

The large timber island was created as a central hub for this modern, social kitchen. Photograph by Patrick Reynolds.


HOME This was part of a redevelopment of a century-old building. How difficult was it to carve out space for a contemporary kitchen?
Richard Naish, RTA Studio The existing building did provide some challenges. It had very low stud height at the wall roof junction so we utilised this space for pantry storage and shelving.

HOME What kind of kitchen were you asked to create, and how did you go about doing it?
Richard Naish We were asked to design a large, sociable family kitchen. We created a large timber island unit to become a focal hub of the space with an overhanging edge to sit at.

HOME How do you go about making kitchens sociable places?
Richard Naish Placing the kitchen and dining area together almost as one space enables the boundaries to blur between cooking and eating. A scullery/pantry allows a second sink and work surface to be easily closed off while entertaining.

HOME What are you most pleased with about this kitchen space? What works best for the people who live here?
Richard Naish Well, I love the feedback that the family is really enjoying the space, so I believe it is working as intended – as a great social kitchen!

Design details

Appliances Fisher & Paykel fridge, oven, dishwasher and extractor.
Tapware Methven.
French industrial stools The Vitrine.
Tiles Green crackle-glazed butchers tiles from Middle Earth Tiles.
Benchtops Kings Fourth Generation Woodworking Co Ltd, Carterton.
Lighting Fluoro battens with a custom-made baffle.