Earlier this year Rhys Mellor, Director of Love Kitchens, received a call that began a truly incredible project.
The call was from a client, Susan, who had been ticking off a project per year with Love Kitchens for the past four years. It all started with an outdoor kitchen, then a white Polaris kitchen, next a cabana bar, and now it was time for the biggest and grandest project to date — a revamp of a derelict 70’s garage.
Susan owns her own business and wanted a calming space for her clients to visit. She looked at various rental options around her home in Birkenhead, but couldn’t find anything to fit her style and look. With this alongside the current 2020 climate and the added unknowns, she decided to convert her garage into exactly what she wanted.
However this wasn’t just any garage… this was an old, rundown 70’s garage with seized double doors that hadn’t been opened in years. It had become a storage space for all sorts of things, including the previous owners' old paint cans, gardening chemicals and tools. Parts of the floor had hazardous holes in it, so boards were screwed in to stop people falling in. So needless to say, it needed a bit of work.
The brief was to turn the garage into a welcoming office/studio space that offered complete flexibility while looking modern and sophisticated. This was to include custom-made furniture, a fully functional kitchen and bespoke cabinetry. The space would be used as a home office, a professional business space, a hangout zone for her teenage children, and to host dinner parties.
Once the layout had been designed, it was time to choose the products and materials.
V-grooved Birch Select from Plytech was chosen for the wall and ceiling linings. The sustainable product adds amazing warmth, grain, texture and smell to the space — everything needed to create a natural, calming atmosphere.
Next was the kitchenette build and custom cabinetry. The goal was to create a simple and clean-lined kitchen. Given the relatively constrained footprint, a product that would offer multiple usage options was needed. One that would be hard-wearing, retain its good looks and a product that offered a slimline profile to maximise the space available. Polaris Compact from Plytech was the ideal solution.
“I literally just picked up a sample from Plytech of the brand new release black Polaris 12mm Compact Laminate,” explained Rhys. “Susan’s home kitchen is in white Polaris plywood and she loves the anti streak finish and soft touch, so I knew that she’d love this new black compact. I pitched her the idea to mitre all the corners to have the seamless benchtop to front look. Susan wanted a rollaway table to offer book storage for the office one side, bar seating on the other, and also a space to lay things out when doing office work — so we maximised the full sheet of the Polaris a whopping 3 metres x 1300mm wide and made it happen!”
Polaris Compact is a solid compact laminate that has been specifically designed for kitchen benchtops and cabinetry applications, as well as for furniture and high-end joinery. At only 12mm thick, it can achieve a true slimline aesthetic on cabinet fronts and benchtops.
“We are constantly receiving comments from satisfied customers about the finish of Polaris Compact, which not only feels smooth and velvety to the touch but also, thanks to its low light reflectivity properties, imparts a rich, luxurious aesthetic,” says Plytech Marketing Manager, Harmen Kamsteeg.
Another feature is the super matt finish, which resists fingerprints and only requires a wipe over with a damp cloth to clean. It is also heat and scratch resistant (perfect for any well-loved space!).
Polaris Compact is finding a market with people who want the good looks and durability of natural stone, while also offering great value.
Plytech loved being a part of Susan’s project and hope many more Kiwis will take this as inspiration to create a unique space in their own homes. If designers or their clients have an old garage or rumpus room that they're not making the most of, it’s time to turn it into a usable space that also looks amazing!