Articles / Project Story: The Whitehaven Estate renovation

Project Story - The Whitehaven Estate

The Whitehaven Estate kitchen renovation used expansive and lavish elements underpinned by functional practicality.



From state-of-the-art food preparation centres to creative and minimally designed cabinetry and the elegant surface use for kitchen benchtops and splashbacks, the detailed design in this kitchen is amazing.

And being a renovation, the project did face some restrictions and challenges but through well-thought out product selection and design creation, this space will be valued for its practical beauty and trend-setting style.

Managed and fabricated by Simply Joinery in the Marlborough region, we sat down with Glenn to discuss his career in kitchen joinery, the process of this project and ultimately how he sees New Zealand kitchens and their designs playing out in future.

With nearly 20 years of experience under his belt, Glen has seen a range of movements within the industry and is excited about the current trends in New Zealand.

Starting fresh out of school, Glen got varied experiences at joinery jobs after gaining his apprenticeship. Then, like a typical Kiwi, Glen and his wife took the leap to start Simply Joinery in 2013 and they’ve grown from strength to strength.

Glen says he enjoys “kitchen joinery in particular because each project is different. Where you are working with more bespoke design there are no two things that are the same”.

As a younger generation joiner, Glen was quick to embrace the use of somewhat unconventional and more top-end products in this project to ensure the client was completely satisfied both aesthetically but also as a space to enjoy cooking and living in.

Perhaps the largest of impacts, both from an aesthetic and functional perspective in this kitchen is the surfaces. The benchtop and surfaces within a kitchen undoubtedly influence the overall mood and theme within any kitchen. From a design perspective, choosing your benchtop material first is a good option to give your design palette a base to work from.

In the Whitehaven Estate, the large porcelain benchtop and splash backs with their graceful colour tones not only moderate the dark black veneer cabinetry but characterize the kitchen with a certain opulence. The golden veined accents running through the cream white base creates the well-known monochromic palette (with the black cabinetry and a white surface base) marked with the royal gold accents.

And with a simple 20mm mitred edge, the countertop begins to truly look like a carefully finished piece of raw Calacatta stone. But its not!

The client stipulated that the benchtop had to be something durable, and functional; something that suited family living.

Although the beauty of raw marble is incontestable, its high porosity rating makes it a poor choice for a family kitchen benchtop in projects like these. With premium marbled porcelains, the surface boasts the beauty of marble but with exceptional impact and thermal stress resistance qualities as well as their completely non-porous nature. With these benefits, the client chose this gold-marbled porcelain colour to adorn the large benchtops as well as the splash back.

Of particular mention, is the way the fabricators have matched the veining to continue from the benchtop and up through the splashback. This further highlights the beauty of the marble and endows the space with continuity making it easy for the eye to naturally travel throughout the space. As premium European surfaces become more available through New Zealand, the options will be endless as porcelain not only is beautiful colours but possesses uncompromising standards when it comes to functionality.

With such a beautiful use of the surface, and in expanse, the need to keep it clean becomes paramount. This is where food-preparation centres become are needed. So, the Whitehaven Estate features a state-of-the-art Swiss food preparation centre in the island benchtop.

As a large specially designed double bowl sink, this food preparation centre comes with a range of accessories which perfectly fit the sink. These accessories are not just for a pretty picture though, as each accessory has been innovatively designed to take any mess or food preparation off the bench and onto (or above) the food preparation centre. And, once finished, the accessories slide seamlessly into their holder for storing in the second bowl itself.

It’s a storage space saver and it’s a benchtop saver (both for space and cleanliness) and when entertaining, this innovation becomes indispensable. Food can be drained, cut, rinsed, prepared and served all from the preparation centre ensuring your benchtop stays completely clean for your ease. And once the meal is served, cleaning and draining the dishes is easy with the purpose-built strainer bowl.

In this project, the large food preparation centre and elegant pull-out tap was an easy decision for the client.

The sink and tap combination is something that suits that busy lifestyle; a combination that makes living, cooking and entertaining in the kitchen a dream and a combination that is an investment in innovation which will serve the kitchen and homeowner well.

Throughout the project, Glenn from Simply Joinery took a hands-on and proactive approach to ensuring this bespoke kitchen was fabricated to premium standards. This meant co-ordinating with the design team, the benchtop fabricators, collaborating with the client and with the supplier.

Being a renovation project meant Glenn had to work with existing frames and cut-outs; a challenge that was cleverly overcome with exceptional design skills and by taking advantage of the premium kitchen products available in the New Zealand. It’s a real testament to Kiwi talent, both design wise and fabrication wise. And by recommending and selecting only the premium products not only ensures a satisfied client but also future-proofs himself due to the quality standards and warranties from European kitchenware.

Curated by Archant

Archant provided support and the supply of products throughout this project. Featured in the kitchen is Marble Calacatta Gold colour from our Florim Stone porcelain range to adorn the benchtop and splashback surfaces. For the benchtop, the recommended 12mm thickness was selected and for the splashback the 6mm stone slab was selected; both in a matte finish. The food preparation centre is a Box Centre from the Swiss-designed and make Franke brand while the elegant kitchen pull out tap is the Professional Flex from our Franke range in a chrome finish.