Kitchen of the Week: The designer gets her new kitchen in time for baby’s arrival

Designer Candice Van Dyk and husband Tony Stanley, who were photographed with baby Ivy, were able to finish their new kitchen in time for the big arrival.
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Designer Candice Van Dyk and husband Tony Stanley, who were photographed with baby Ivy, were able to finish their new kitchen in time for the big arrival.

No one wants to be in the middle of a home renovation with a newborn, and designers are no exception.

Designer Candice Van Dyck and her husband, Tony Stanley of Christchurch, were lucky to have it all behind them before baby Ivy arrived last September — but only. I entered the kitchen table while Van Dyck was in the hospital.

The couple had left the house earlier while work was still going on, and Van Dyck says they went home during the lockdown without lights. “At that point, the stoves were just working – there were no ovens but only makeshift worktops.”

The joinery is a mix of Resene Quarter Delta painted cabinetry, and quarter-cut veneer of American white oak.

Kate Clarge

The joinery is a mix of Resene Quarter Delta painted cabinetry, and quarter-cut veneer of American white oak.

But it was all behind them by the time they got back from the hospital and were able to settle into the house with their new kitchen, bathrooms and indoors.

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Van Dyck, who founded Mooi Design in Christchurch, says the house doubles as a “show house” for clients. That’s why she wanted to highlight design features that were a little different than usual – to allow clients to think outside the box when planning their designs.

The couple commissioned architectural designer Barry Connor to handle the project, in conjunction with interior designs by Mooi.

“The design brief was for a light, modern design that would be sympathetic to a character’s home of the 1940s,” says Van Dyk. “The contrast between old and new is strong throughout the house, but touches of copper, Neolith Estatuario (a marble-like sintered stone) and light woods provide a scheme that complements the timeless nature of the home.”

The designer says that a custom range is a key feature. “We wrapped a 12mm Estatuario Neolith around the band and created a frame around the cooking area. This creates a seamless modern look while also being very practical to clean.”

Estatuario Neolith also forms the summit of the island. Formatted with Joinery (by Modern Age Joinery) in two materials. The cabinets along the back wall are painted in the Resene Quarter Delta, while the quarter-cut veneer of American oak features prominently. For visual continuity, the veneer wraps the hallway wall in the kitchen, flowing through the island joinery, bar, and hidden sink.

VanDyk says the sink also functions as a sink, so the ability to close the hidden compartment door, which is made of solid oak, not only reduces noise from this area but is also a major design feature that contributes to the overall look.

Needless to say, the kitchen includes all the modern conveniences that a traditional 1940s home didn’t – double ovens, integrated dishwasher, 900mm hob and signature bar.

The kitchen is part of a large open plan family living area filled with natural light.

Kate Clarge

The kitchen is part of a large open plan family living area filled with natural light.

A tall window seat provides casual seating in the dining space, while double folds open the room to a picturesque bushland setting.

Kate Clarge

A tall window seat provides casual seating in the dining space, while double folds open the room to a picturesque bushland setting.

The Family Tree Home renovation, as Van Dyk called it, also created a beautiful living area, paneled entry and entryway, and new bathrooms. This includes an exciting powder room with geometric black wallpaper and white fixtures.

The kitchen was highly praised at the 2022 TIDA New Zealand Kitchen Awards.

Kitchen of the Week powered by Resene. Find more inspiration in the Resene kitchen decorating gallery.

The bar is located at one end of the kitchen, making it easy to get drinks for guests without going into the main work area.

Kate Clarge

The bar is located at one end of the kitchen, making it easy to get drinks for guests without going into the main work area.

The home has a paneled entrance and entryway, and new bathrooms, including a black powder room.

Kate Claridge

The home has a paneled entrance and entryway, and new bathrooms, including a black powder room.

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