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Birch Ply Adds Striking Detail to 1970s Waiheke Kitchen

The owners of this Waiheke home were looking to modernise their kitchen — without losing the appeal of its 1970s style. They approached designer Evan Schwarz from Shoreditch Furniture for a renovation that would give the kitchen a more contemporary feel, while adding a large pantry, breakfast bar leaner, additional cabinetry and display areas for the clients' favourite pieces of art. Timber touches, sliding doors and the use of the bold orange colour from the original kitchen were key to preserving some of the 1970s flair.

Requested by the clients, birch plywood was used extensively in the design, with Plytech Futura in white selected for cabinetry throughout the kitchen. "I wanted to combine the clients' wishes with a well functioning layout and a balance between the white, the wood and the colour," explains Schwarz. "Plytech Futura is a good combination of two materials I love — plywood and laminate. It was very satisfying to use."

Schwarz appreciated the resilience of the premium quality laminate — a feature which makes it ideal for busy kitchens. "It's a nice, hard wearing, semi-matt surface — and it's also great around water," he says. "Its environmental credentials — FSC certified core and ultra low emissions — are also worth recognising." 

The attractive edge detail of the birch ply added an extra layer of depth to the design. "I like the contrast between the stripe of the core edge detail and flat colour on the surfaces," says Schwarz

Plytech Futura was also an easy solution for the Shoreditch team who manufactured and installed the cabinetry. "It machines really easily with a good blade. You hardly do any sanding, it doesn't splinter and it trims up nicely," says Schwarz. "There's also no grain matching," he adds, "so it's quicker to use than plywood with a timber face."

The simple and stylish look of the Plytech Futura Birch cabinetry is complemented by a solid Rimu breakfast bar, stainless steel benchtop surfaces, white geometric tiling on the walls and cork and reclaimed parquet flooring. The combination of white, steel and timber creates a clean, contemporary backdrop for the bold orange of the upper display cabinets. The final result is a practical, modern kitchen with stylish birch edging and pops of colour that allude to the original 1970s design.

"I am very happy with it and so are the clients — which to us is of prime importance," says Schwarz. "As far as Plytech Futura is concerned, I'll continue to use it. I'm continually happy with it."

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