In week 4 of the Caesarstone Kitchen of the Year insert series Lisa and Danilo jet off to Johannesburg to visit the first local kitchen finalist in the competition. Homeowner Craig Rodney is on hand to explain why they chose a distinctive industrial style for this new-build kitchen, while Optima Kitchens representative Willie van Eeden explains the design thinking and material choices in response to the client brief.
View Episode 4 and enter this week’s KitchenAid giveaway after watching the video below, and keep reading for this finalist kitchen’s plans, interviews and more!
HOMEOWNER & DESIGNER INTERVIEWS, PLANS & IMAGES
Homeowner Craig Rodney is the happily married father of 2 boys who was the driving force behind the look and feel of his brand new Caesarstone kitchen.
How did you feel when you finally saw the kitchen finalised?
I had high expectations so I probably felt relief that they had pulled it off as expertly as I had hoped. It’s the focal point of the living area and every person who comes to the house falls in love with the kitchen.
What is your impression of the Caesarstone product in your kitchen.
It makes the kitchen. The design of the kitchen is really simple – there’s no crazy things trying to steal attention. It’s simple and, as such, the Caesarstone is the feature, and it succeeds at being such an important part of the kitchen.
What relationship does your kitchen and kitchen activities have with the rest of your life.
We have two young kids who are a big focus of our home life, and much of the house design was guided around them. We eat all our family meals at the kitchen counter instead of the dining room, the kids can make as much mess as they want on the counters because they’re easy to clean, and there are no sharp edges anywhere that could cause injury.
How much assistance did the designer give you in conceptualising your new kitchen?
They were instrumental in helping us choose colours and materials that worked within the space and complimented the clean design aspects of the house.
What is your favourite aspect of your new kitchen?
Visually, the contrast between the wood and Caesarstone makes me happy every time I see it. Physically, using the island as a work surface, office space, breakfast spot, is just amazing.
Were you surprised to be one of the eight finalists?
Not really, the kitchen is amazing 🙂
Stefan Marais of Optima Kitchens was the lead designer on this kitchen. Although he wasn’t in Johannesburg on the day we visited, we caught up with him on his thoughts on designing this Sleek Concrete Caesarstone kitchen.
What was your first impression of this kitchen when you received the contract?
The space was well thought out by the architect and gave us an opportunity to create a design with a difference. The emphasis was on horizontality and elongation and this is reflected in the island and the horizontal wooden slats on the back wall.
How prescriptive was your client for their kitchen design?
Very much so, my first encounter with Craig was over a cup of coffee. He arrived on a Vespa scooter and it gave me the sense that he valued design. The client loved the contrast of colour and textures and the scale of the 60mm and 20mm worktops in relation to each other. We were faced with the challenge of integrating the kitchen with the surrounding living spaces.
How did you manage to implement their ideas with your creative flair and insight?
The client wanted the focal wall to resemble, “a sunken ship”, and the wall behind the cooking zone became the perfect canvass of raw and unfinished staggered timber pieces. The Caesarstone Sleek Concrete was the perfect ‘cool and sleek’ contrast to the warm timber wall cladding and a great complement to the screed flooring. Gola handles were used for a sleek, clean appearance. White, high gloss finishes and the island back panel blend in perfectly with the rest of the interior and the two adjacent white walls. Part of the creative process is supplying the client with a timeless space; a space that allows for change when needed.
What were the challenges that you faced in designing this kitchen and how did you overcome them?
Space was limited to the left and right of the extractor – By relocating the microwave and the fridge in the laundry/scullery thus creating functional working space around the cooking zone. The sink, dishwasher, washing machine and tumble drier were placed out of site too, visually creating a seamless worktop space. The kitchen’s visibility and accessibility by the surrounding living and dining spaces meant that the kitchen had to accommodate both bar and coffee bar for entertaining. All tall units were removed to give the appearance of a neutral space and minimized the appearance of a kitchen. A powerdock (pop-up plug) and underslung prep bowl were included on the island for quick cocktails and coffee prep. Lastly, it was imperative that the worktops along the feature wall align with the island (island length: 3815mm) resulting in designing within the natural size limitations of the worktops lengths (3060mm). By intentionally creating a joint line on the island, we were able to create that is a seamless and aligned work surfaces (Annex B).
Were you intentional in trying to incorporate new trends into your design?
Yes we were, the look and feel of a concrete island top. When we were introduced to Caesarstone Sleek Concrete and Raw Concrete, it gave us the opportunity to create a ‘concrete’ cladded island without the need of the casting process. Keeping the kitchen to a functional minimalistic design by excluding wall storage with a focal feature wall.
Could you point out to us some of your design elements in the kitchen?
Texture, Repetition and Balance.
- Through texture: the warmth of the raw timber cladding against the sleek concrete tops, floors and high gloss cupboards.
- The repetition of the dominant horizontal line: in the wall cladding, worktops and created by the gola handles.
- Balance: the island and cooking wall/zone are aligned and a reflection of each other in shape.
What is your favourite aspect of this kitchen?
The texture of the raw timber cladding in relation to the sleek concrete tops and white high gloss carcasses: simplicity, yet creating a visual interest.
Were you surprised to be one of the eight finalists?
Yes we were, we are grateful to Caesarstone for recognising our kitchen design.
If you’re renovating or building a new kitchen, make sure you visit www.caesarstone.co.za to pick out your perfect Caesarstone countertops for the kitchen design of your dreams!
What were your favourite elements of this kitchen design? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to enter the incredible Kitchen of the Year competition each week!