Strong materials and a simple layout are central to this kitchen with a semi-industrial aesthetic – kitchens, benchtops
A slender granite island benchtop contrasts with a chunkier engineered stone in a white concrete finish, for this mix-and-match kitchen design
Clifftop apartment combines unbeatable harbour views with open plan luxury interiors – kitchen, benchtops
This fully integrated kitchen incorporates stunning natural stone benchtops and a full suite of flush black Miele appliances
Benvenuto! – benchtops
A long quartz benchtop – actually 4.6m in length – means this kitchen has plenty of space for easy socialising, as well as for prepping and serving
Repositioning the existing kitchen creates a central hub for this home
Two-tone surfaces, modern cabinetry, plenty of storage and great lighting all make this kitchen the ideal social hub within the home’s wider renovated setting
How best to accommodate a functional kitchen within a modest-sized, open-plan apartment? This design is a great example
This modest kitchen offers all the drama and function of a much larger space – an antique mirror and good cabinet choices help it grow
Tall and handsome
When there's not much existing storage, a giant wall of visually receding floor-to-near-ceiling white cabinetry more than fits the bill
Upmarket apartment makeover connects rooms with harbour views and celebrates this through interior tones and artworks – kitchens – benchtops
Every new component in this luxuriously designed apartment – granite benchtops included – were designed to be flat packed, scaled to fit inside the lift car and reassembled on site.
All tucked in
Want an island breakfast bar but not the cluttered floorspace from protruding stools? On this kitchen, by di Rosa Cabinetry & Furniture, space was made so seating can tuck right in under the island
Explored all your options for your kitchen countertop? What about concrete? Today’s concrete tops are as smooth, warm and resilient as any other countertop material. The concrete countertop in this kitchen creates a casual hub for the family.
Over the counter connections
As one of the most prominent surfaces in your kitchen, your benchtops offer a subtle or not so subtle way to connect other surfaces tonally. In this design by Bijl Architects, the black and white cabinetry is set back into the wall planes while the subtle veining in the marble-look countertops connects with both the black and white surfaces.
This kitchen by designer Jason Saunders of Arc Seven 1 includes a waterfall island benchtop. Saunders: “While waterfall ends are often seen as a luxurious inclusion, in some ways they simplify the form of the island and perimeter lower cabinetry – enriching and streamlining the kitchen at the same time.”
The end is always in sight
A beautiful marble waterfall countertop is a prominent feature to greet visitors on entering this open-plan indoor-outdoor living space.
If you have a young family, one way to keep them focussed on meal times is to opt for a bench with seating on both sides. This allows the children to eat facing each other, minimising distractions from other areas of an open-plan interior.
Your kitchen island can do more than serve up good looks and prepped ingredients. This island design by interior architect and kitchen designer Nadia Clark includes casual bench seating and storage, as well as a breakfast bar with stools – not to mention a pretty cool concrete benchtop.
It's a wrap
Wrapped in a classic stone-look Caesarstone on the front, sides and top, this island has a dramatic if pared-back presence.
Are thick, chunky benchtops still the way to go?
This depends greatly on the overall design – in this kitchen, slender countertops help build a refined, minimalist appeal.
This modern kitchen by Hagley Kitchens includes a 1.2m-long cantilevered island countertop supported by a hidden steel support structure.
An angled, oxide red concrete island delineates this kitchen from the more formal dining area and acts as a cutting and prepping area, or as a buffet servery. The second island houses the cooking zone and has a 7.6cm thick, bullnosed concrete benchtop that cantilevers over the cabinetry on the back side.
Split-level, open plan contemporary home reflects clean lines and an elegant composition – benchtops
Slender benchtops are in, but that doesn't mean everything has to be on a diet. A chunky frame sets off this kitchen environment, within a spacious, open-plan interior.
Seen from the outdoor entertaining space, this contemporary kitchen by Lume Design works well with the clean lines of the wider entertainment space. The interior designers gave the kitchen cabinetry a frame of its own and extended the long island countertop beyond that as a casual breakfast area.
Slim? Chunk? Both?
Trends can evolve in benchtop design, often in relation to thickness. Slender is becoming increasingly popular, and substantial also remains a hit. So, how about both? This marble island, in a kitchen by Pepper Design, has a waterfall countertop with a slender top and chunky sides.
A long marble-clad kitchen island is the central feature of this kitchen and includes a fitted chopping board that can be positioned anywhere along the island.
Rich and complex
The material you choose for your benchtop can set the scene for the entire kitchen, as with this new kitchen by Lloyd Hartley Architects – so this will be high on your budget consideration priorities.
While all business for the chef, the island benchtop in this kitchen by Matisse all but conceals a flush hob, pop-up extractor and recessed double sinks.
In the right vein
The rich warmth of timber and the sheer coolness of white veined black marble – seen to striking effect on the feature waterfall island benchtop – are celebrated in this new two-tone kitchen by Eliska Lewis Architects.
Taking the long view
Jason Higham: “Rather than choosing a U-shaped or island bench kitchen for this renovation, we opted for a design that incorporated the dining area. This arrangement creates an easy connection and has the other big advantage of making the entire area feel significantly larger than it actually is.”
The stainless steel front panel on this kitchen island opens up as an extension to the countertop, revealing a storage space behind.
There’s no governing rule that all benchtops have to match – with variety, comes visual interest and function-specific choices. This scullery in a kitchen fit-out by Studio Italia features no-nonsense, hard-working stainless steel benchtops while the front-of-house kitchen has a waterfall island in sumptuously veined marble – the latter also features on the wall of the scullery as a visual connector to the kitchen.
Want your kitchen to have immediate presence? Start with what is most prominent. A white waterfall benchtop flowing over a wood-fronted island creates a strong presence for this minimalist kitchen by di Rosa Cabinetry & Furniture.
We know the Specialists
Commercial Design Trends Vol. 35/2C
The world of hotel design is changing, with a move away from bland repetition of a chain’s design template to giving guests a unique experience that reflects the location they’re visiting. In this issue of Commercial Design Trends, we look at how that’s been implemented in three quite different hotels – the TWA Hotel in the iconic 1960s TWA terminal at JFK Airport, the Sudima Christchurch City and Montreal’s new Hotel Monville.