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Plenty of natural light coming into this modern monochrome kitchen
This beautiful kitchen has gone from dull to dramatic thanks to a series of clever layout and design changes.

Drama class

This striking kitchen, the work of interior designer Chontelle Samios (@ellesindesignsydney), has undergone a complete makeover. Plain white cabinets have given way to almost-black Shaker-profile Kaboodle cabinetry with Think marbled benchtops and timber-look hybrid flooring underfoot, while behind the scenes, a butler’s pantry keeps small appliances and clutter out of sight.

70's style warm toned kitchen with outdated cabinetry and the same large block tiles on the floor and the splashback

Light introduction

Chontelle opened up the kitchen wall to the home’s entrance in the name of natural light and flow, designing a cantilevered breakfast bar to show off the kitchen’s best side. She put together the Kaboodle cabinetry herself but credits the high-end built-in look to her carpenter and plasterer, who finished the kitchen with tailor-made bulkheads.

Modern monochrome kitchen with black cabinetry with gold coloured handles and timber look floorboards

The dark side

Chontelle used Kaboodle ‘Alpine’ profile doors but eschewed the usual coastal white-on-white look for black. “White is not enough for me. I’m always drawn to dark tones,” she says. “Everything you put against a darker backdrop punches off it.” Chontelle adds that the darker hues blur the boundaries of the space and make it appear larger, rather than smaller.

Modern monochrome kitchen with fresh flowers, and framed flower drawing with fresh bread on the becnhtop

Dine in

With the wall between the entry and kitchen opened up, the breakfast bar is one of the first places that catches the eye. Chontelle’s furniture-like design has Easycraft ‘Easy VJ’ panelling on the back and 38mm Think solid surface benchtops in Vena Cloud.

Window wonder

The original square window was replaced with a wider picture window, which now also serves as a splashback with a garden view. The bank of cabinetry beneath resembles a console, just outside the centre of the action, while its drawers are packed with essentials that can be grabbed without crossing paths with the cook.

Monochrome kitchen with plenty of natural light and fruit and fresh bread on the benchtop

Pantry with purpose

“Space planning was a major consideration,” says Chontelle, who had to navigate the kitchen’s position as a thoroughfare between the home’s entrance and out to the pool. The butler’s pantry-meets-mud room is a multipurpose space to catch wet towels and feet before they come through the house.

Hideaway waste

“No great kitchen is complete without a pull-out bin near the sink”, says Chontelle of her Kaboodle soft-close in-built bin, next to the dishwasher. “It’s an essential,” she says. “There’s nothing worse than having a gorgeous kitchen with a big, ugly bin in the centre!”

Modern monochrome ktichen with black cabinetry, gold coloured sink tap and handles

Light the way

“I’m a believer in functional light, and aesthetically appealing light,” says Chontelle. She chose downlights on dimmers, with LED strip lights under the wall cabinetry to use while cooking. Note: all hardwired lighting and electrical fixtures must be installed by a licensed electrician.

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.