Causing a scene in a palette of dramatic blue and minty-fresh green, with mostly hidden hints of vivid red, the ‘Studio Kitchen’ is the third experimental space designed by Melbourne-based architecture practice Kennedy Nolan in collaboration with Australian surface-manufacturing company Laminex.
This time around, the architects have put Laminex’s matt-finish products through the wringer, with the aim of highlighting the immense versatility of the fingerprint-resistant range. The luxurious-looking surface appears on the kitchen benchtops and cabinetry, as well as the full-height splashback, and as a seductive wave-like rangehood treatment – all within a compact footprint.
“Our ambition for [the kitchen] was that it felt quite abstract,” says Rachel Nolan, practice principal at Kennedy Nolan. “We’ve used Laminex on the curve of the exhaust, compositionally with the splashback. There’s an abstraction to it that makes it a really memorable little kitchen.”
Laid in a stack-bond pattern on the floor and behind the stovetop, rustic terracotta tiles from Artedomus balance out the cool-water tones of the kitchen’s facade. Elsewhere, natural timber furnishings with organic lines and a leather-lined pantry handle continue to offer earthy appeal. To the right of the kitchen, a wall coated floor-to-ceiling in chalkboard paint echoes the matt finish of the joinery while racking up extra points for practicality and playfulness.
The overall effect is utterly compelling, stylish and full of surprises. A complete, small-scaled kitchen with a consistently beautiful look – and feel – that packs a punch through its refreshing showcase of colour and spatial planning. “A small kitchen is great when there is generosity in it, and often generosity comes from depth,” says Rachel, gesturing towards the delightfully deep cabinetry. “It feels almost like a large kitchen in a small space.”
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