Brisbane-based interior design studio, Interiors by Darren James, has completed a contemporary kitchen design for a German family living in Australia.
According to the designers: “When the German owners of this contemporary Australian property engaged Interiors by Darren James to design and build their dream kitchen they wanted premium quality in every detail: design, materials, workmanship and finish. This project clearly demonstrates what is possible when you combine good design, the latest technical mechanisms, quality materials and handcraft production techniques – a project that exceeds every expectation.
“Whilst the clients requested an ultramodern design they still wanted it to suit their Australian lifestyle. Central to the brief was the need to satisfy an enthusiastic and demanding gourmand by creating a kitchen that ‘feels like home’ yet still packs a punch visually and supports the entertaining of family and friends. The result is a free flowing functional kitchen design that makes the best possible use of the available space in this long and narrow room.
The existing space
“The original kitchen was small, cramped and non-functional. To pave the way for a larger space highly sought after by the clients, the diving wall that separated the previous kitchen and an unused sitting room was bought down – a concept the clients hadn’t considered until now. The resulting space was a larger room, approximately 7.5 x 3.2m.
Wall Oven feature & room divider
“A strategically placed wall oven feature surrounded by LED strip lighting is suspended 300mm off the floor and 300mm off the ceiling creating a unique floating look and provides access either side to the cleverly hidden scullery. Metal supports and bracing was incorporated into the construction of the wall and thicker timber framing was also used to ensure structural integrity.
“A selected range of stainless steel Miele appliances included in the feature wall further enhance the cutting edge look whilst providing all the functional requirements of the clients’ healthy cooking style. The black glass finish on the feature door and drawer fronts complement the ‘piano finish’ of the surrounding ‘Ebony Maccassar’natural veneer. In keeping with the desired minimalist look, all the black glass fronts are handless and open electronically using Blums ‘Servo drive’ mechanisms. Thanks to this technology with the simple press of the button the wall oven feature easily transforms from a stunning furniture piece to a fully functional storage space.
Functional cooking and cleaning zones
“A number of work zones within the kitchen ensure the space operates efficiently at all times. The cooking zone includes an induction cooktop for efficient cooking whilst the Neff rangehood is cleverly concealed in the piano finish ‘Ebony Maccassar’ natural veneer which is highlighted by LED strip lighting. To enhance the overall look the veneer work on the rangehood feature box is grain matched and mitred to create a superior and seamless finish. The sink area consists of a large single bowl ‘professional series’ Oliveri sink and a water efficient KWC Inox vege spray mixer ensures even bulky baking items and trays are easy to clean. A three bin system is placed at the bottom of the sink cupboard on a servo drive mechanism allowing the client to easily open without the need of any hands.
Practical Island Bench that packs a punch
“The visually stunning island bench serves dual function purposes. Staron ‘ solid surface was selected for its contemporary appearance as well as for its durability and has been raised 20mm to define a casual seating and dining area.
“The client has a passion for baking, making her own pastry, pasta and breads. Like many a pastry chef she prefers working on natural stone. Therefore a 20mm piece of ‘Calacutta’ marble was selected and inlayed into the 100mm Staron ‘Metero’ benchtop. The gorgeous showpiece slab gives the impression of elegance, adds visual character and complements the other natural elements perfectly.
“Storage has been well considered in this contemporary kitchen design with a scullery providing ample space for groceries as well as specific areas that have been custom designed to house items such as recipe books, small appliances and cutting boards. Every storage item has been thoughtfully located in terms of function and frequency of use. Storage space has been optimized with the use of easy access drawers using Blum’s slow motion drawers. Again the kitchen has been fitted out with the full range of Blum organisational accessories including plate racks, spice racks, knife racks as well as ‘orgaline’ for cutlery and utensil.
Luxurious quality finishes
“One of the main requests of the owners was to include luxurious quality finishes to create maximum visual impact. A combination of different textures and finishes were incorporated to ensure high esthetic qualities as well as top performance. This was created by creatively combining an array of high end materials and textures: The piano finish ‘Ebony Macassar’ natural veneer, black painted glass, automotive high gloss grey lacquer, stainless steel, Calacutta Oro marble and Staron Tempest all combine to create a sophisticated and visually stunning contemporary Australian kitchen interior design.
“The incorporation of the mirror splash back not only adds to the sense of space but ensures nothing is taken away the sophisticated simplicity that this kitchen already boasts.
Light it up
“LED stip lighting is thoughtfully placed for both ambient, feature and practical purposes. It particularly highlights the stunning design of cabinetry features seen throughout this kitchen. Natural lighting is maximised with the inclusion of a sliding door in the scullery that conveniently opens out to the alfresco area. LED Downlights have been thoughtfully placed throughout the kitchen to illuminate task areas and work surfaces.”
Palacio Nazarenas is an all-suite boutique hotel in Peru, this urban retreat and former 16th century convent in Cuzco, capital to the ancient Inca empire, has been one of Orient-Express’ most ambitious projects to date.
The luxury Peruvian hotel boasts state-of-the-art oxygenated rooms, Cuzco’s first outdoor infinity pool, and a gourmet restaurant overseen by one of Peru’s most exciting chefs, Virgilio Martinez.
Original Inca walls that were discovered have been carefully preserved beneath the glass floors of treatment rooms at the Hypnôze spa, and with a stream running over them, will create a soothing sight for guests having a massage. The murals and friezes on the walls of Palacio Nazarenas are real treasures, and are rare survivors among the artworks from Cuzco’s Spanish colonial heyday.
The luxury Peruvian hotel is punctuated with quirky touches, making it a truly authentic luxury Peruvian hotel. Guests can relax in their spacious bath tubs with a bath pillow filled with dried herbs from the hotel gardens that, when submerged in water, release an exotic yet calming aroma. Continuing to make the most of the fragrant flowers and Andean herbs that populate its gardens, Palacio Nazarenas has created its very own bespoke perfume that guests can take home to remind them of their stay. Using muna, a selection of rare herbs from Ollantaytambo, orchids, jasmine and eucalyptus, the perfume is calm and relaxing, and reflects the atmosphere of Cuzco itself.
Adding to guests’ hands-on experience, each suite is provided with a full cocktail making set, with instructions on everything from shaking to straining, and a recipe book giving advice on how to create exotic Andean tipples using local herbs and ingredients. And if guests are feeling lethargic, they can ask their personal butler to concoct their drinks for them, and then recline by the pool before dinner, the best vantage point to take in the setting sun over Cuzco.
All 55 rooms at the boutique Peru hotel are suites, with the deluxe Z-Collection suites standing out in particular. Each with their own defining characteristics, such as an original Colonial arch or original Inca niches, suites from the Z-Collection have incredible views of the Ausangate mountain in the Andes or the San Blas neighbourhood, one of Cuzco’s most picturesque districts.
For further information or to make a booking visit www.palacionazarenas.com.
Dutch design studios CUBE and SOLUZ have designed the Brouwersgracht Apartment. Completed in 2008, this contemporary apartment can be found on the first floor of a warehouse in Brouwersgracht in the centre of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. According to the architects: ”
“This distinctive loft is located on the first floor of a historic warehouse and monument on the Brouwersgracht in the center of Amsterdam. The apartment is designed by Remco Wilcke of CUBE architecten and his partner Marloes van Heteren of SOLUZ.
When they found the monument it was still in use as a warehouse, as two separate long and dark rooms of 100m2 each. They bought the place and hoped the council would let them change the status to ‘dwelling’, which they did after all the plans were submitted. In 2008 the old warehouse has been completely transformed to a 200m2 luxury loft.
The wall between the two rooms has been opened up, and in the architecture a contrast has been sought between preserving the historic beams and floors, and minimalistic new additions. The new additions such as kitchen and bathroom would be clearly identifiable as such in terms of materiality and form.
In the deep and relatively low space is letting daylight in very important, therefore an open floor plan is chosen. The open floor plan also fits the idea of the autonomous designed additions to the ancient monument.
The bathroom is the central element in the house situated at the intersection of public and private. The rounded translucent bathroom-wall consists of nearly 1000 very special glass blocks and acts as a subtle light-object at night.”
New York City and Aspen-based design studio Stonefox Design has completed the interior design of a 1980s home. The stylish property can be found in Aspen, Colorado, USA.
According to the architects: “A hip young couple commissioned Stonefox Design to create a home that expresses their passion for art and their style for living. This is not a fusty grouping of over-the-sofa watercolours, but a vibrant, sometimes controversial, always evolving collection that embraces young artists as well as famous names.
“Chris Stone and David Fox designed the contemporary Colorado property and selected the furnishings, about half of which are original Stonefox designs. The resulting light/dark palette is accented with rich, natural wood and cool gray stone. Large windows bring tremendous views of Colorado’s majestic Independence Pass and plenty of natural light.
The open spaces—even the see-through fireplace—allow glimpses of various pieces, including Damien Hirst’s ‘Beautiful, Lovely My Little Pony Stardust’ and Edward Ruscha’s ‘It’s Ridiculous’, from throughout the contemporary Colorado house. The central stair pivots around an 18-foot-tall column by Jenny Holzer, commissioned by the client in collaboration with Stonefox.
“The owners, both of whom serve on art museum boards internationally, wanted a house that expressed their tastes and their artistic passions. The art and architecture, together, set up a discourse on the international art scene that is intimate, challenging, cerebral, and, at times, humorous.”
Florianópolis-based design studio Westphal & Kosciuk Architects has completed the DLW House project. Completed in 2011, this contemporary property can be found in Florianópolis, Brazil.
According to the architects: “Situated on a steep terrain, the owners of the contemporary Brazilian house wanted to have a dwelling where the social and private zones were not isolated from one another. To assure sunlight, cross ventilation and views to the city and the sea, the solution was to lift the living block onto a white cantilever that floats above the driveway. The room is connected to a terrace that privileges the panoramic view. Also on this level are the kitchen, the service area and a workshop with access to the backyard. Upstairs, the master bedroom, guest bedroom and office are programmed.
“Two lower sectors keep the entrance hall, garage, warehouse and an indoor play quarter separate from this space. The grey colour of the base accentuates the independence between the two volumes. The entire structure of this contemporary Brazilian property is connected by a staircase and an lift.”