Expect the Unexpected

An innovative kitchen by Certified Designer Marianne Gailer from Kitchens By Design has totally transformed and revitalised the interior of this Browns Bay home.

It’s been almost ten years since Sharon and Brian Slater first moved into their home. The original kitchen had a scullery and a small breakfast bar that could only seat two people, max. At that time, Sharon says their two girls were quite a lot younger, but as they have grown and started to cook and bake, the kitchen layout didn’t work for them, plus it was beginning to look tired.

“At first we thought about just doing a makeover, but they couldn’t get the flow working and just kept stagnating. In the end we realised that we needed a whole new kitchen.”

“We came across Kitchens By Design by accident,” she says. “We happened to park right outside their Byron Ave showroom in Takapuna, looking for a café, and thought, ‘I’m definitely going to have a look around here’. Marianne Gailer, (kitchen designer) opened the door for us and in we went. She was really helpful. We were immediately impressed with her knowledge.”

Brian says he was taken with the three kitchens on display. “They were all quite different. At that stage we were still looking at a makeover, but once we compared the pricing we’d been given for a makeover and what it would cost to pull the whole thing out and start again, it made much more sense to put in a brand new kitchen.”

What was your brief to the designer?
“Our must-haves were a bigger, better breakfast bar; better layout and use of space; and having a bit more of a focal point, which we both agreed was the window. We always wanted that marble look and also some dark timber somewhere, because we already had dark wood in the rest of the house,” says Sharon.

“The thing that really surprised us was that when Marianne came back with the first concepts; they were completely different from our preconceived ideas of what we thought our new kitchen was going to look like,” adds Brian. Sharon says it took a bit of time to get used to the idea of getting rid of the scullery, but once we thought it through, what Marianne proposed made perfect sense.

What was the most memorable moment of the process?
“When everything was pulled out, it was pretty scary, but the day we went out to the factory to see the new kitchen all set up, it looked spectacular. That’s when we finally got a feel for what our new kitchen was going to look like. That day was a highlight for us,” says Brian.

And now that it’s in, Sharon says she loves the overall look of her new kitchen, especially the breakfast bar. “We love it when people see it for the first time and just go, ‘Wow’.”

Brian works a lot from home, and he says the new island is a perfect space to work. “It’s at a good height and the lighting is excellent. It always was the hub of the home, but it’s even more so now.”

How did you find the experience of working with Kitchens By Design?
“Right at the beginning, Marianne said to us, ‘trust me’, and she was right,” says Brian. “We would never have been bold enough to do what we ended up with, but it couldn’t have worked out better. There’s nothing we’d change. Richard Cripps, owner of KDB is a perfectionist, and was really easy to deal with. Everything was handled so smoothly all the way through in a really transparent way.”

If you thinking about putting in a new kitchen, give the award-winning team at Kitchen By Design a call, or pop into their showroom at 3 Byron Avenue, Takapuna T: 09 488 7201. And for inspiration, take a look at their website at www.kitchensbydesign.co.nz

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