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Kitchen of the Week: A Green-Tiled Kitchen Island in an Indoor-Outdoor Setting

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Kitchen of the Week: A Green-Tiled Kitchen Island in an Indoor-Outdoor Setting

August 17, 2017

Two kitchen trends that we’re seeing on the horizon: The return of the 1970s-style tiled countertop, an economical option that provides a durable grid-work surface. And rich leafy green as the color to follow the current petrol blue craze (see The Cult of the Blue Kitchen). We have a feeling Al Gore would approve.

Both of these elements are prominently on display in the airy open kitchen at Layer House, a private vacation home near the coast in Victoria, Australia, designed by architects Kathryn Robson and Chris Rak of Robson Rak. Come see what you think.

Photography by Shannon McGrath and styling by Swee Lim, courtesy of Robson Rak.

Designed as a gathering place for a multigenerational family and their many guests, the house revolves around a central living/dining/cooking area with a clean-lined, organic-modern look.
Above: Designed as a gathering place for a multigenerational family and their many guests, the house revolves around a central living/dining/cooking area with a clean-lined, organic-modern look.

It’s known as the Layer House, according to the architects, because it was “designed as a series of ‘layers,’ with intersecting zones and private vistas.” Adds Robson, “While we used a simple and pale palette of timber, rammed earth, and a pale concrete, we added some strategic graphic insertions to the design to excite and delineate areas. The green-tiled island bench is one such example.”

The kitchen components are all bespoke, including cabinets finished with an oak veneer, six-millimeter white porcelain slab counters (Maximus Venus from Artedomus), and the extra-long tiled island fitted with a breakfast counter and oak cabinets and storage shelves.
Above: The kitchen components are all bespoke, including cabinets finished with an oak veneer, six-millimeter white porcelain slab counters (Maximus Venus from Artedomus), and the extra-long tiled island fitted with a breakfast counter and oak cabinets and storage shelves.

The green tiles, Robson tells us, are “a hardwearing, commercial grade tile”—sourced from Melbourne purveyor DeFazio Tiles & Stone—that “help connect the landscaping with the internal space.” The copper-plated steel hanging lights are Nathan Yong’s Parachute design by Ligne Roset. The range is a Lacanche.

The kitchen opens to a small terrace. The large oak cabinet conceals, among other things, the refrigerator and an appliance cupboard.
Above: The kitchen opens to a small terrace. The large oak cabinet conceals, among other things, the refrigerator and an appliance cupboard.

At the other end of the island, the dining area overlooks a broad terrace. Space Copenhagen&#8
Above: At the other end of the island, the dining area overlooks a broad terrace. Space Copenhagen’s Rén Dining Table and Wohlert Church Chair, a midcentury design by Vilhelm Wohlert, are both in ash from Stellar Works.
What makes the polished concrete floor look like terrazzo? “We added a lot of white stone aggregate to it to make the resulting product quite textured,” says Robson, noting that it’s fitted with hydronic heating to warm the house in winter (see Five Things to Know About Under-Floor Heating). The floor’s equally notable counterpart, the vast paneled ceiling, is banjo pine shiplap, which was installed individually and then painted white. Learn about shiplap cladding in The Enduring Appeal of Shiplap and Remodeling 101: The Ultimate Wood Paneling Guide.

The dining terrace is paneled above and below in spotted gum, an Australian hardwood.
Above: The dining terrace is paneled above and below in spotted gum, an Australian hardwood.
Fitted with an Electrolux gas grill, the outdoor &#8
Above: Fitted with an Electrolux gas grill, the outdoor “bar bench” is made from the same porcelain stone as the indoor counters: “It’s a manmade product,” says Robson, “very strong and stain-resistant—almost indestructible.”
The beach is nearby—hence this luxurious outdoor shower.
Above: The beach is nearby—hence this luxurious outdoor shower.

For more inspiration, see 16 Favorite Indoor-Outdoor Kitchens from the Remodelista Archives.

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