Kitchens of distinction

The National Kitchen & Bathroom Association Excellence in Design Awards winners have been announced. Here are the kitchen distinction awards by price category…

Kitchen distinction under $25k

+ Wellington Chapter Kitchen Recognition


O’Brien Group; Parex


Wai Mihinui
Kitchen Studio


In a quirky 1960s home complete with arched doorways and peep-hole openings, this renovated kitchen is low-cost but high impact. The existing appliances were combined with uncomplicated storage solutions (including a corner cupboard and traditional pantry), a butler’s sink, a coffee nook and open shelving for displaying tableware, plants and objects. The black and timber palette references the mid-century retro aesthetic, with Melamine and Formica finishes selected for nostalgic and budgetary reasons. Timber detail breaks up the black and adds interest, while black overlay pull handles achieve a clean look and help to reduce finger marks on the black doors.


Cabinetry Bestwood Melamine with an embossed black finish, and Melteca Melamine in Oiled Legno with a Woodgrain finish. Drawers Blum Tandembox Original runners in White. Benchtops Formica Laminate in Oiled Legno with a Naturelle finish. Oven Fisher & Paykel.

Kitchen distinction $25–$40k

+ Hawke’s Bay Chapter Kitchen Recognition


Laminex New Zealand; Harvey Normal Commercial


Trudi Rabbitte
Rabbitte Joinery


Lots of light, clean lines and no handles were musts in this kitchen. Designed for a busy family of five who enjoy cooking together, it incorporates a small scullery for the storage of main pantry ingredients and small appliances, and a large sink. A hub for preparing breakfast and after school snacks was needed for the children, so a working pantry was positioned next to the main fridge. This was built in Bullet LPL to match the dark Aalto Tantrum paint, so when open it blends in with the tall wall of units. The dark cabinetry and benchtop create a striking contrast with the white splashback and island, the latter being a beautifully solid statement piece with seating on the working side that allows the cook to take a load off yet still keep an eye on dinner.


Cabinetry Blum Tandembox Antaro in Silk White. Doors Häfele Hawa Concepta. Benchtops Cosentino Dekton in Doomus with a textured finish. Oven Smeg.

Kitchen distinction $40–$60k

+ Bay of Plenty Chapter Kitchen Recognition


NZ Panels Group; NEFF


Michelle McAnulty
Beaver Kitchens


A renovation to create a relaxed entertaining space that connects to the deck of this coastal home, this kitchen features an island that forms a casual dining zone and a large food-preparation area. The generous benches are varied in height to suit chefs of all statures, and twin ovens, bins and sinks allow for simultaneous food prep. A scullery provides storage for food and appliances, a place in which to hide away mess, and room to make breakfast and lunch for two. Green tiles in this area reference the collection of Tony Sly pottery displayed on oak and metal shelving at the front of the island and on the kitchen’s rear wall, all enhanced by LED lighting.


Cabinetry Laminex Purecoat in Frost with a gloss finish, and PSP Syncron in Rustik Oak. Drawers Blum Tandembox Antaro. Benchtops Laminex Solid Surface in Chalk Satin with custom-made stainless-steel frames. Sink and tapware Burns & Ferrall. Appliances Fisher & Paykel. Bins Blum top-mount pullboys in White.

Kitchen distinction $60–$80k

+ Taranaki Chapter Kitchen Recognition


Schneider Electric; APT


Annika Rowson
Rowson Kitchens


Also pictured at the top of the page, this G-shaped kitchen skilfully incorporates innovative materials while not detracting from the view. Highlights include ample benching, a durable work surface, a drinks station, a tall wall of cabinetry and custom-made blue steel finished with beeswax. The rangehood was designed to make a statement and enhance the high stud, and to offer storage/display and additional task lighting. The splashback has the look of a textured concrete wall, and the antique pendant light provides an eye-catching contrast to the room’s modern and raw materials.


Cabinetry Bestwood Melamine with PVC edging, Acrymatte Eclipse from Sage Doors, and blue steel. Doors Häfele Concepta. Drawers Blum Legrabox, Tip-On, Aventos and Flex. Handles Buster & Punch. Benchtop Cosentino Dekton. Splashback Impact Feature Walls. Sink Blanco. Tapware Zenith HydroTap All in One Arc, and IB Rubinetti Bold Sink Mixer. Ovens, hobs and warming drawer Miele. Dishwashers and fridge/freezer Fisher & Paykel. Beverage fridge Vintec. Rangehood Powder-coated custom steel with integrated Schweigen power pack, keruing shelving and LED strip lighting.



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