Blog post

Smooth Operator

Restraint is a design technique that takes a ‘less is more’ approach – allowing simple, clean, and uncluttered choices to speak their quiet beauty.  This contemporary kitchen is an exquisite example of restraint, in its’ uncomplicated and elegant design elements. 

For an interesting space with a pitched roof, a unique format was created to achieve desired social and spatial outcomes.  

Placing the scullery behind the kitchen allowed room for an island bench with dedicated wine fridge to take centre stage, where the homeowners can enjoy their magnificent views and socialise with guests with ease.

Exposed black steel trusses provided design cues, resulting in the choice of a monochromatic colour scheme with clean lines that are uninterrupted by integrating the kitchen appliances.  

This simplicity allows the feature art splashback to really make an impact.


Client testimonial

Could you tell us a little about your home – and in particular, the space your new kitchen sits in?

Our house is spread over three storeys, with a large, open-plan living, kitchen and dining space on the top floor. The reason why it’s configured this way is to capture the extensive views we have out over Pilot Bay and Tauranga Harbour. We wanted the space to look like an attic, hence the exposed steel trusses. On the original plans, the architect had indicated the size of the kitchen and where it should go, but other than that, it was a blank canvas.

How did you come across Mastercraft Kitchens, and why did you choose them to design your new kitchen?

Alex Riddell, the designer, is married to a friend of ours, and I liked her ‘vibe’ – she has great European flair and was very good at conveying her ideas of what she thought our kitchen could look like. We did try looking at another kitchen company, but Mastercraft were streets ahead in terms of what they offered and value for money.

What was your brief to the designer, and how did it evolve?

Because the colour scheme throughout the house was black and white, I wanted something that would be in keeping with this – something neutral and modern. I knew that I didn’t want a timber look, as it just wouldn’t gel with the look of the rest of the house – especially with the black joinery and trusses, and white walls.

How did the designer translate your brief – and was it what you expected?

We had the basic footprint and layout from the architect. Alex came in and rounded it all off and chose all the materials and finishes – and I’m very happy with what she came up with. There was also a scullery behind the main kitchen, which Alex extended out into the lounge area 300mm, because the way the architect had drawn it, we wouldn’t have been able to work in there – so that worked out well, too.

Tell us about the custom splashback. How did that come about?

The people at Glass Art helped us out with that. They came up with the concept, recommending that we stuck with the black-and-white theme, so that it didn’t stand out too much in the rest of the space. The graphic is of The Mount, looking from Pilot Bay, with all the Norfolk Pines lining the shore.   

What are your favourite parts of your new kitchen, and why?

It’s its simplicity, and the way everything is in the right place and works well together. What more can you ask for in a kitchen? We’re very happy with the result and I’ve already recommended to friend to go and talk to Alex about their new kitchens.

Alex also helped with all the design details that I knew nothing about, like the negative detail around the island benchtop, and making the island so comfortable to sit at – like a high dining table. I’m also a wine lover, so Alex included a dedicated wine fridge in back of the island, which I’m really pleased with.

How did you find the experience of working with Mastercraft Kitchens?

The whole staff we so pleasant to work with. Every time I went to their showroom, they we all very helpful – and the showroom kitchens are full of ideas; not that I really needed them, as I was very happy with what Alex came up with.


Kitchen Specifications

Benchtop: A1 Benchworx – Babylon Prime Stone Zeus

Cabinets: Laminex – Melteca Acrylic Soft Touch Pitch Black

Special finishes: Powder-Coated Aluminium Frame Under Island Bench, Negative Detail Around Island Bench

Lighting: Warm White LED Under Wall Units

Splashback: Glass Art – Print Under Glass



Benchtop: A1 Benchworx – Prime Stone Aoraki 20mm

Cabinets: Melamine 1/4 Thorndon Cream Velvet

Floating Shelves: Bestwood – Melamine Coastal Elm, Wilderness

Electrical: HPM Life Series Sockets & Switches

By Mastercraft Kitchens Tauranga


Designed by Alexandra Riddell

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