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This kitchen was featured on, noticed after being entered in the NKBA Awards 2016 Under $25,000 category.  See more photos in our Modern Country gallery.



"If you haven't priced a new kitchen, you may not be aware of just how much they cost.

And we're not talking about a large, high-end project, but a simple, professionally designed kitchen with good-quality materials and hardware.

Designer Jessica Valintine-Mowll of Carlielle Kitchens in Pukekohe says her company covers the greater Auckland area and the average spend on a new kitchen is $30,000, not including new appliances. "A renovation project will often be considerably more, depending on what may need to be changed in terms of walls and floors."

But a recent project by the designer proves it is possible to get a top kitchen for less. This kitchen spend was under $25,000, but the cost doesn't include the 4.5m-long concrete island benchtop, which was made on site by the owner.

The kitchen is in a new house in Bombay, which has a church-themed exterior and a soaring gable ceiling in the open-plan living space.

"The owners wanted a modern country look for the interior," the designer says. "The cathedral-style ceiling, which features whitewashed rusticated pine sarking, was part of the inspiration for the design. So, too, was a marble herringbone tile that the owners had chosen for the splashback.

"They went for an industrial-style stainless steel flue, and rather than hide it, we made it a feature in its own right. This also helped determine the rest of the materials."

The kitchen is positioned against a freestanding wall within the large space, with the entry behind the wall and the living-dining area in front. Valintine-Mowll says because the 2.4m-high cabinets don't go all the way up to the ceiling, installation costs were less than they could have been.

But there was no compromise on quality. The designer chose a painted finish for the cabinets, opting for Resene Quarter Thorndon in a polyurethane finish, rather than lacquer. The chosen finish is slightly more expensive will prove more durable than lacquer.

The off-white cabinets are teamed with a stainless steel benchtop on the rear wall, which helps to draw attention to the flue and provides visual relief from the patterned tiles. "Stainless steel with a plain or satin finish is a cost-effective choice for a benchtop," Valintine-Mowll says.

The cabinetry features high-end soft-close doors and drawers, with Blum Antaro heavy-duty drawer runners, hinges, HK lift mechanisms and a Hafele bi-fold door track.

"Costs can be reduced by keeping the cabinetry simple," the designer says. "For example, it is better to have fewer, wider drawers rather than a lot of small drawers. The modern hardware can carry a huge weight, so it's not a problem to have large, wide drawers."

Minimising the amount of open shelving within the cabinetry also helps to keep costs down, as the exposed materials lining the interior of an open cabinet are more expensive than the materials used on the closed interior. This kitchen has just one open unit, on the front of the island, which features the same herringbone tiles as the splashback.

The designer says the kitchen also provides dedicated storage for key items, LED lighting and a negative detail aluminium extrusion.

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