Join us alongside New Zealand designer Annika Rowson of Rowson Kitchens as we discover the underlying design elements informing her signature kitchen style. Annika Rowson takes us on a journey through two contemporary kitchen case studies. Each project is a unique exploration into her vision and process, designing hard-working and luxuriously understated kitchen interiors.
Durable materiality and innovative surfaces play a pivotal role when Annika Rowson sets out to design a new kitchen space. At the fore of every design lies an attention to detail, considered layering and a unique eye for texture. “A kitchen space that easily allows multiple people to use it in harmony, coupled with beautiful material specifications, ensures this central hub within the home blends effortlessly into its surrounding environment,” Annika says.
Taking a closer look at the key design elements that inspire a modern kitchen space, we sat down with Annika to dismantle her insight and find out what it means to build a practical yet striking kitchen that exceeds both form and function. From a modern, industrial aesthetic to a classic family-style, Annika reveals how considered and innovative selections in quality materials, such as Silestone, Dekton and Sensa by Cosentino, inform timeless and well-balanced design solutions.
Annika’selection of materials in this New Zealand home’s kitchen includes reeded glass and blue steel cabinetry, Herringbone flooring, solid timber ceilings and an oversized island workbench clad in Dekton’s Laos from Cosentino.
The Industrial Entertainer’s Kitchen
Setting a dramatic stage for the theatre of family life, Annika Rowson designed the ideal entertainer’s kitchen within this New Zealand home. A blend of industrial features with a contemporary edge offers this bold kitchen a brand-new future for a family of entertainers.
Annika explains that the brief for this kitchen was striking and dark to create a moody space featuring a harmonious material mix. The kitchen is located next to the home entrance, so this central space needed to offer a furniture-like appeal as guests entered the home. The mezzanine floor also meant that the kitchen could recess into the space to maximise the floorplan, while the impressive cathedral-like ceiling adds a touch of drama and opulence.
“The clients at this residence frequently entertained large groups, so a generous, statement island bench in Dekton’s Laos material allowed for ample and informal seating while also making a strong statement within the space,” Annika says. Strategically, Annika placed the hob further down the island towards the dining area which provides space for multiple people to work at the island comfortably together.
Streamlined and honed, Annika’s considered selection of materials includes reeded glass and blue steel cabinetry, which offers a raw contrast to the cedar slats above. Herringbone flooring and solid timber ceilings add warmth and character, while the real piece-de-resistance lies in the oversized island workbench clad in Dekton’s Laos from Cosentino.
No stranger to specifying Cosentino’s surfaces, a Dekton workbench was chosen for its innovative qualities, durability, low maintenance and natural, stone inspired aesthetic which plays to the industrial scheme. With its dark colours and lived-in feel, Dekton’s Laos not only reflects the industrial feel but offers a depth in tone with its soft, grey vein and smooth matte finish.
“I like to consider the overall aesthetic of the home – whether it’s a new build or a renovation, the location and the natural surrounding environment are all really important, along with careful consultation with my clients to select materials that complement the way they work within the space,” Annika says. “The workbench in Dekton ensured a classic timelessness and modern backdrop to the rest of this space.”
Playing to the industrial scheme, Annika selected Dekton for the workbench for its innovative qualities, durability and for being low maintenance.
The Classic and Contemporary Family Kitchen
Family gathering spaces don’t come much more compact or timeless than this kitchen and dining space in a downsizer’s New Plymouth home. Elevated with sweeping views across the countryside, Annika explains how important it was to maximise the footprint in this compact new-build while also delivering a design that offered a furniture-like appeal, given its location at the top of the stairs, where guests pass the island to access the living space.
Annika took care to introduce materials and furnishings that would sit cohesively within the proportions of the townhouse while also injecting a practical balance for moments when the extended family visit. “Whether it’s a new build or a renovation, the layout informs the design resolution, alongside thorough consultation with my clients to select materials that enrich the way they intend to use the space.”
Annika explored some exciting materials in the kitchen; the chief was a dazzling Dekton benchtop in Taga. “I specified a warm palette of rich timber cabinetry which is also used on the cantilevered dining table and beautifully balances the stunning Dekton block island and benchtop,” Annika says. “The island was finished with a bevelled frame for an extra special design detail.”
The high gloss finish of the Dekton also extended the perfect element of luxe to space, and the client was particularly keen on the neutral tone, which allows for easy maintenance. For these reasons, Annika consistently specifies Dekton from Cosentino. “Its both durable and heat resistance, which is especially key when specifying a kitchen island complete with a cooking hob”.
Designed for downsizers, Annika ensured materials and furnishings in this kitchen would sit cohesively within the proportions of the townhouse.
“I always encourage my clients to put as much budget into the benchtops as they can – it is the surface that will endure the most wear & needs to be as hard wearing as possible.”
– designer Annika Rowson
The generously sized island was designed as a showpiece to highlight the incredible vein of Cosentino’s Dekton Taga material.
The warm palette of rich timber cabinetry was used to create an integrated, cantilevered dining table.