As an interior design expert, writer, television presenter and Silestone Brand Ambassador, Neale Whittaker is a household name, known and admired for his impeccable style and discerning eye for detail. Naturally, that holds true in his own home — a late-1930s country property that Neale and his partner David are renovating on the NSW South Coast.
In the process of renovating the property, Neale and David wanted to create an interior that reflected their personal style but also respected the architecture of the house and its location.
Neale and David provided Kinsman Group with a comprehensive design brief for the kitchen and laundry. They selected materials, colours and cabinetry that are timeless in style and colour. A neutral palette complements Neale and David’s “modern rustic” aesthetic, which reflects their love of modern and vintage, and provides a calm backdrop for the collection of art. Classic touches, such as panelled cabinetry and antique brass tapware are a nod to the heritage of the house.
Having dealt with Silestone and Dekton both personally and as host of The Block and Love It or List It Australia, Neale says, “I have been familiar with Silestone and Dekton for several years and like both products for their good looks, durability and functionality. And let’s not forget how good they feel to the touch."
Kitchen and laundry
"Silestone was the perfect choice for our kitchen and laundry," says Neale. Silestone was selected for the benchtops in the kitchen and butler’s pantry. The kitchen island is used for food preparation and dining — with an induction cooktop, dishwasher, storage and stools — and Silestone provides a scratch and stain resistant surface that allows for use without fear of spills.
Silestone Calacatta Gold works elegantly with the colour and material palette, offering a timelessness that complements the heritage and design of the home. Its soft grey veining and subtle gold flecks emulate marble, and it is teamed with pale-grey cabinetry, off-white tiled splashbacks, white painted floors and sophisticated antique brass tapware. The square edge of the benchtops extend over the undermount sinks with rounded corners to soften the effect.
The design and materials in the laundry intentionally echo but don’t mimic that of the kitchen. Here, Silestone Calacatta Gold is matched with white cabinetry and painted porcelain floor tiles.
A suspended wood-burning fireplace is a key feature in the corner of the dining/living room, providing warmth and atmosphere on cold winter nights. Located close to the kitchen, the fireplace hovers above a circular slab of Dekton Nilium that is seamlessly integrated into the white timber floor, a circle cut into the floorboards to accommodate it.
Dekton is a heat-resistant material that meets building code requirements and inspired by silver metal, Nilium has a subtle dusting of white and grey shades to complement the modern rustic aesthetic.
"Dekton absolutely rose to the challenge of our suspended wood-burning fireplace," says Neale.