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Hawke’s Bay kitchen wins major design award

A renovation of an original 1960s Hawke’s Bay kitchen by Trudi Rabbitte of Rabbitte Joinery has won two awards at the 2020 NKBA Excellence in Design Awards.

The awards, held on Friday night, are among the most prestigious kitchen and bathroom awards in the country.

Rabbitte won the 2020 NKBA Excellence in Design Hawke’s Bay Chapter Kitchen & Bathroom Recognition Award and the 2020 NKBA Excellence in Design Kitchen Distinction $25k -$40k Award ahead of more than 100 designs throughout NZ.

The brief was to replace an original 1960s kitchen with a more spacious and cohesive space for a family to enjoy.

The kitchen before renovations. Photo / Supplied
The kitchen before renovations. Photo / Supplied

The previous kitchen was small and did not allow any sitting space for visitors which had a negative effect when entertaining as it interrupted the flow.

The homeowners also wanted more storage for their children’s school bags and homework and a more relaxed, shared space for all.

Rabbitte decided the best option would be to incorporate the kitchen, laundry, and porch, to create a more spacious and light area.

“We decided to remove all the windows in the porch area which looked out towards the road and instead incorporate a large floor to door height window at the end of the kitchen.

“This meant when standing in the working space of the kitchen there were lovely views out to the yard. To incorporate the laundry, we created a tall broom cupboard and then a bifold laundry unit to house the sink and washing machine. A Blum space tower was used for the pantry and to house the microwave. We put drawers under the seated area for the children’s homework,” said Rabbitte.

Trudi Rabbitte. Photo / Supplied
Trudi Rabbitte. Photo / Supplied

The kitchen material pallet incorporates American white oak, pitch black Melteca acrylic fronts and Organic White Caesarstone.

The judging panel said the kitchen was comforting and a social space with a homely pallet.

“Effortless and well done, this is an example of a successful layout with layered spaces and simple forms. We enjoyed the detail of the framing of the island and the treatment of kitchen around the window,” said the judges.

NKBA president Nick Thompson of Fisher & Paykel said the design will resonate with a lot of New Zealanders as it focuses on making a home rather than a statement.

“This kitchen is functional; it absolutely works for the dynamics of this family and it looks like somewhere you would like to spend your days cooking and spending time together.”

The most prestigious awards of the evening, the 2020 NKBA Excellence in Design SUPREME Kitchen Design Award and the 2020 NKBA Excellence in Design SUPREME Bathroom Design Award went to a tranquil coastal Tauranga kitchen design by Chelsey Mathieson of Vekart and a dark and masculine bathroom design located in Auckland by Christchurch designer Angelique Armstrong of Armstrong Interiors.

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