Open Plan Kitchen Ideas

Home insights: A shaker kitchen with picture-perfect finishes

Inspired by classic, east-coast style, this striking kitchen is as elegant as it is practical
Simon Whitbread

The view from this Sydney harbourside apartment had won over the owners in a heartbeat, but the layout of their new home was less appealing. They decided on an attic conversion and changes to the downstairs living area, creating an open-plan kitchen and sitting room. The new kitchen, repositioned at the front of the apartment and given a Shaker-style feel with panelled cabinetry, is a compact but stylish fit for the 100-year-old home, with crisp finishes and a breezy, coastal vibe.

(Credit: Simon Whitbread)

STORAGE Taking the cupboards to the ceiling and investing in plenty of drawers maximises storage options. Walls painted in Dulux Natural White frame the painting by traditional artist Betty Club Mbitjana (above). It creates a splash of colour in an otherwise restrained scheme, where the oak floorboards add warmth. Originally,  the owners wanted dark grey soapstone for the rear bench but couldn’t find any in Australia. The engineered stone with the matt finish from Stone Italiana was an excellent substitute.

ISLAND BENCH This is the kitchen’s standout feature, with its tongue-and-groove panelled front and luxurious 600mm slab of Carrara marble. The white stone, with its grey veining, looks spectacular and lends subtle texture. The undermount double stainess-steel sink (for similar, try Abey) gives the elegant swan-neck tap centre stage; the Perrin & Rowe ‘Mimas’ mixer, available from the English Tapware Company, is similar. The dark Thonet bar stools pack a contrasting and stylish industrial punch.

Show-stopping kitchens | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Simon Whitbread)

LIGHTING The trio of ‘Stockton’ pendants, found at Lightstyle, adds drama to the roomy breakfast bench in this free-flowing layout. The etched glass and chrome finish of the three pendants are striking without being heavy and overpowering.

DETAILING Panelled overhead cabinets in hand-painted wood add texture to the otherwise quiet scheme, as does the splashback of bevelled subway tiles – try Tile Mega Mart for a wide range in various colours. Subway tiles are a classic pairing for the Shaker look, with the mix of chrome knobs and bar handles providing the traditional finishing touch to the cabinetry.

APPLIANCES A benchtop appliance cupboard, screened by a bi-fold door with mesh panels, speaks to original Shaker style and houses the coffee machine, toaster and microwave, ensuring the limited benchtop space is kept clear.

Related stories