UPDATE: LOCAL KITCHENS CATEGORY WINNER! Our last local kitchen finalist, Lisa and Danilo head to Zimbali just outside of Durban to view an exquisite new holiday home featuring Calacatta Nuvo Caesarstone. Designed by Amy Kidger and Michele Throssell of Michele Throssell Interiors, these designers were given carte blanche when it came to designing not just the kitchen, but the entire interior as well. With amazing attention to detail, no area of this kitchen design was not thought through! Watch the video below, and keep reading for this finalist kitchen’s plans, interviews and more! HOMEOWNER & DESIGNER INTERVIEWS, PLANS & IMAGES The homeowners of this kitchen have worked with Michele Throssell Interiors for many years, so it was a natural fit to invite them to take on the turn-key design of their newly-built holiday home in Zimbali. Were there any specific aspects that you asked the designer to incorporate in your design? Yes, I requested a pantry and cold room as well as for the scullery area to be able to close off from the kitchen, especially when we are entertaining. This is important, as the kitchen is very open with the dining and living spaces. They also needed to integrate 2 fridge-freezers as well as an oven and various other appliances, so the planning needed to be well thought out. How did you feel when you finally saw the kitchen finalised? I was so thrilled. I love it! What is your impression of the Caesarstone product in your kitchen? I’m very happy, it is very user-friendly and sleek. What relationship do your kitchen and kitchen activities have with the rest of your life. The kitchen is such an integral part of our living space as we practically live in it. It has direct access to the central courtyard outside as well, so it is a central hub. What is your favourite aspect of your new kitchen? I love the pantry and scullery and that I have lighting inside all my cupboards and drawers. Were you surprised to be one of the eight finalists? I was extremely thrilled. Michele and Amy worked for a whopping 27 months on this project, which also included the interior design of the rest of the home. What was your first impression of this kitchen when you received the contract? We’d recently been on a trip to Milan and Venice and were so inspired by the kitchens we saw at Poliform and Valcucina. When we saw the initial look and feel of the home from the architect, it became apparent that the home lent itself to a kitchen that had the sleekness and modernity of a European kitchen, but also needed soul; and we knew that this would be achieved with the finishes. It needed to be contemporary with a homely organic element. How prescriptive was your client for their kitchen design? In terms of the look and feel she wasn’t too prescriptive. We have worked with our client in the past and we definitely feel that we understood her requirements. Where she was prescriptive was in the quantities and selections of various appliances that we needed to fit into her kitchen, as well as her desire to include a cold room and pantry, ensuring that we also closed off the scullery area. How did you manage to implement their ideas with your creative flair and insight? It was really quite seamless as her requirements were well within reason to implement into the overall look and design. We were also given free reign, which definitely allowed us to be as creative as we liked; and that was really was wonderful. We put a design mood board together and sourced all the finishes, which we then presented to her and she approved from there. What were the challenges that you faced in designing this kitchen and how did you overcome them? The first challenge we faced was to get the layout of the kitchen correct, as our client didn’t want to walk into the home and have a sense of an entrance, without seeing the kitchen straight away; she wanted the entrance hall to lead one into the living spaces so this took some careful space planning. One of the other challenges was that we needed to fit all the appliances, fridges, cold room, pantry and scullery into the space. We were able to overcome this by sitting the pantry and cold room in the centre of the kitchen as such, which then also assisted in dividing the main kitchen from the scullery. We also wanted the timber from the ceiling to wrap down onto the cladded front faces of the central unit (housing the pantry, cold room and storage with integrated ovens), both the ceiling and island were installed by different subcontractors so it was a challenge to make sure that this was all manufactured and installed seamlessly. It resulted in us making numerous site visits over many weeks to personally oversee and monitor every aspect of the kitchen as it was installed. Were you intentional in trying to incorporate new trends into your design? – Show us where they were reflected in the final kitchen? Yes, we were very intentional. We gleaned a lot of inspiration from the latest trends seen in Italy. They are seen in the thin tops, also the use of thin steel shelves in the scullery that cantilever from the timber clad wall, and the island is completely clad in Caesarstone, including the drawer fronts. We also saw the mixing of smooth and textured surfaces as a very important element. Also, most of the kitchen storage is concealed with a few open shelves, so although it has rustic elements, it remains very sleek. We also specified that all the drawers and internal cupboards we able to be illuminated when opened. What is your favourite aspect of this kitchen? Timber cladding, the raw and refined mix of materials, fine steel shelves, sliding glass and steel shelves that allow the light reflecting down from the skylight above to still be present in the space. Were you surprised to be one of the eight finalists? Yes, we were surprised, but given the time, energy and passion that we put into this project, and how immensely proud we were with the final result when the kitchen was completed, we knew that it was really special and that it would be well received. 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!
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