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What makes a Family-friendly Kitchen?

As we begin a month dedicated to kitchens and bathrooms, in preparation for Habitus Magazine’s first ever special issue, we look at a project by David Bartlett – which won the 2014 KBDi NSW Kitchen Designer award for Large Kitchens.


The latest award-winning kitchen from the Art of Kitchens team is no exception to their rule of excellence. When they were asked to design a kitchen for this Northbridge home, they immediately recognised the potential to create an amazing space that would be both aesthetically pleasing and an incredibly functional family kitchen.

The brief was simple – an accessible family-friendly room with a view, and seating for at least five people – but the site presented plenty of challenges that had to be overcome. It was important to maintain the view as a feature, minimise the imposition of the staircase, work around the existing angled walls, and complement the stained American Oak flooring. The result is a 2014 KBDi NSW Kitchen Designer award for Large Kitchens: a seamless design that achieves the perfect balance between the backdrop of stunning views and the pared-back mimimalism of the kitchen.




An island bench was used to create an accessible working space and open the room toward the backyard and front balcony. The New Age Veneer, ‘Grenada’ was used on the island cabinetry to add contrast to the custom-fabricated stainless steel bench and integrated sink.

The moulded bench and integrated sink means food preparation and clean-up is a breeze, and the inclusion of the Calcutta Marble-topped dining table at the end of the island gives the family a beautiful space in the heart of the home to share their meals, or relax after a hard day at work and enjoy the spectacular views.




One of the major strengths of The Art of Kitchens is the fact that the team does not use pre-built modular cabinets. Every design is original and the joinery bespoke. This approach offers a great deal of freedom to the client, and it is also a positive in difficult spaces like the angled walls in this kitchen. The floor to ceiling cabinets behind the island were built around the angled walls, and covered in a lighter-toned New Age Veneer ‘Santorini’. Bench-height draws, storage cabinets – even the fridge – are tucked behind the smooth exterior of the cabinets in a kitchen that exudes cool, balanced sophistication. The heady mix of contrasting veneer tones, stainless steel and marble add textural interest, and reduce the risk of any one element becoming a dominant feature.

The substantial natural light enjoyed in the kitchen meant David Bartlett could concentrate on creating an innovative and exciting lighting feature that would also perform the functional work required. It is a bold design that once again manages to beautifully balance some of the more austere elements of the kitchen. The custom-made light plane of moulded stainless steel with inbuilt LED down lights is suspended on stainless wires, and despite the industrial muscularity of the cylindrical integrated Qasair Range-hood above the Siemanns cooktop, gives the impression it is floating above the island.




With such a carefully-considered balance between form and function, it’s no surprise this kitchen is an award winner. When we asked David for his thoughts on winning the 2014 KBDi NSW Kitchen Designer award for Large Kitchens, he said “Awards are always fantastic because they are a benchmark for excellence, but client satisfaction is paramount. The owner of this kitchen told us it has become the heart of the home. That makes us very happy indeed.”

There’s no doubt David and The Art of Kitchens team will continue to make their clients ecstatically happy. The 2014 KBDi award is their 21st industry award since 2008, proving that David’s investment in “attention to detail, sympathetic design and a highly-skilled, cohesive team at Art of Kitchens” is paying dividends for this award-winning kitchen designer, and for his clients.

LOCATION: Northbridge

Art of Kitchens

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