Riverstone - Skypoint kitchen

A view to thrill

With its accessible yet contemporary styling, water views and lifestyle-oriented layout, the HIA Australian Kitchen Design of the Year has all the ingredients to make life a little sweeter.

Photo courtesy Riverstone Custom Homes


Gabrielle Chariton

At the heart of every dream home, there is a dream kitchen. So says Anna Pearce, marketing manager of Riverstone Custom Homes, which specialises in building luxury custom family homes in and around Perth.

The 21st century kitchen represents the epicentre of domestic life, and is often the defining visual element of a home’s living space.

‘For our clients the kitchen is always the most important part in their design brief, because it’s where they spend most of their time, cooking for their kids, eating dinner with their family and hanging out with friends,’ Anna says.

‘It’s also the part of the home that clients particularly want to get right, and they usually have very firm ideas about what they want. So with every home we build, we aim to make the kitchen the showstopper.’

In May, the company scooped up the 2018 HIA Australian Kitchen Design award for the ‘showstopper’ kitchen in their latest display home, the Skypoint. Sleek and contemporary yet also intrinsically warm and welcoming, this is a kitchen that’s supremely easy on the eyes and would be very easy to live in.

Anna says it’s the first national HIA award that Riverstone has won since it was established in 1995; although the company has received plenty of recognition at a state and regional level for its high-end workmanship, thoughtful design and emphasis on liveability.

Riverstone - Skypoint kitchen
In this kitchen, the innovation is in the details
Photo courtesy Riverstone Custom Homes
Riverstone - Skypoint kitchen
The kitchen transitions seamlessly into the alfresco entertaining area
Photo courtesy Riverstone Custom Homes

‘We create warm, family homes – homes that people want to live in,’ she explains.

Display homes are the company’s ‘passion projects’, presenting an opportunity to showcase innovative design and ideas, technical flair, and new products. They’re a chance to build without compromise – unfettered by clients’ requirements or budgets. Accordingly, every aspect of the Skypoint’s kitchen is finished to the highest possible specification, and the design was geared towards optimising both functionality and lifestyle.

To take advantage of the home’s riverside location in North Fremantle, the Riverstone design team employed a ‘reverse living’ strategy, whereby the secondary bedrooms are located on the ground level, with the kitchen, living space, and master suite elevated to the second floor. The open-plan kitchen is ideally positioned to capture the water views, and transitions seamlessly into the lounge, dining and alfresco entertaining areas.

The expertly planned zoning of the kitchen space has resulted in a room that’s the ultimate multi-tasker. The main section reads as a galley, with a large concrete-coloured island bridging the kitchen and dining spaces. On the kitchen side, it’s all business, with an undermount granite sink, integrated dishwasher and under-bench storage. The cooktop is on the opposite bench, completing the work triangle.

In contrast, the dining-room side of the island summons luxury and relaxation, with its built-in suede-upholstered bench seat and adjacent timber-topped breakfast bar.

The open-plan kitchen is ideally positioned to capture the water views

In a nod to our changing lifestyle requirements, a neatly integrated computer nook is tucked alongside the dining area.

In this kitchen, the innovation is in the details. On either side of the cooktop, the designer has created insets at the back of the bench, perfectly sized for storing culinary essentials such as oil and spices, and oft-used chopping boards and trays. This clever semi-concealment keeps the benchtop clear to maximise the sleek aesthetic, and adds an unexpected decorative touch.

The inclusion of a scullery both facilitates food prep and ensures that the main kitchen can be kept tidy and ordered. It’s a bright, airy, windowed space fitted with a sink, masses of bench space, and a range of open and closed storage. The entry point to the scullery is conveniently located adjacent to the wall ovens and the integrated fridge/freezers, which means the cook can operate efficiently from either part of the kitchen.

Anna describes the kitchen as ‘contemporary and minimalist’. ‘Although it’s modern in appearance, we wanted it to maintain Riverstone’s trademark warmth; we wanted visitors to imagine themselves living there.’

Visually, the look is underpinned by the Caesarstone Raw Concrete benchtops, elegantly paired with crisp white cabinetry. The timber joinery adds the requisite softness, delivering textural warmth without compromising the chic Scandi ambience. The architectural lines of the island are expertly echoed in the subtle monochromatic, geometric patterning of the tiled splashback.

Riverstone - Skypoint kitchen
The dining-room side of the island summons luxury and relaxation
Photo courtesy Riverstone Custom Homes
Riverstone - Skypoint kitchen
On the kitchen side, it’s all business, with an undermount granite sink, integrated dishwasher and under-bench storage
Photo courtesy Riverstone Custom Homes

Interestingly, the overall success of the kitchen’s indoor-outdoor cohesion evolved from a design challenge: ‘We had to figure out how to link the kitchen with an outdoor alfresco area, given that it was on the top floor and the pool is on the ground floor’, Anna explains.

The design response was to create an alfresco ‘room’ adjoining the kitchen. This space features floor-to-ceiling glass stacked doors that can be opened or closed to the elements and to the kitchen in a variety of configurations, for maximum flexibility.

‘Then there’s an outdoor staircase from that alfresco area straight down to the pool area below. It works really well for entertaining.’

Not surprisingly, Anna says the kitchen receives an overwhelmingly positive reaction from visitors to the Skypoint display home.

‘It’s been really popular. People would stand at that island bench looking out at the view and be amazed that you could have that in a house, and I think that’s testament to the clever design: the place where you’re going to spend the most of your time has the best views in the house.

‘Although we weren’t working to a client brief or budget for this kitchen, it embodies the idea of what people want.’

Skypoint kitchen at a glance

Location: North Fremantle, WA
Completed: 2016 (as part of an 18-month new home build)
Benchtops: Caesarstone Raw Concrete
Tapware: Teknobili Likid mixer; Mizu Drift Gooseneck P/O Mixer in scullery
Sink: Franke Impact Granite; Afa Cubeline Single Sink in scullery
Floor: Grey tiles throughout
Splashback: Mosaic tiles
Cabinets: White two-pack; timber grain
Hardware: Hafele
Appliances: Miele

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