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This Monochrome Kitchen Used to Be a Rooming House

Nelson Kwong Architect performs a miracle in what appeared to be an unliveable space

By Tory Healy
Photography by Shanele Soares

“When the owner took possession of the property, it was a rooming house, and the kitchen was beyond repair,” says architect Nelson Kwong. The kitchen and the eight apartments attached were unusable – in fact, how the owner, a copywriter, saw beyond the rotted wood, water damage and rat infestation is beyond me. But he saw potential in the long, narrow building, and sat down with his architect to tackle the problem head-on. Seating and work, it turns out, would factor large in the reinvention of the home, particularly in the kitchen.

Project construction manager was skBuild; cabinetry by LCC Kitchen; Miele appliances; Franke sink; Blanco faucet; framed print by Team Macho.

The house was fully gutted and the original massing preserved; not an inch was gained or could be spared. “I wanted the space to accommodate a dining table that would seat eight, as the house would be used to entertain friends and family,” says the client, “while also serving as a meeting table for clients, as I work from home.” The most elegant and efficient solution for the compact footprint was to tear out the original kitchen, situated along the southern wall, and replace it with an L-shaped custom system built by LCC Kitchen. A two-metre-long Corian island connected to a nearly three-metre-long dining table takes centre stage, providing ample storage, space for prep and gatherings, and a workstation. A separate dining table would have congested the room. The minimalist palette further calms the relatively small space, with the matte black cabinetry providing a sense of depth when the kitchen is viewed from the front entrance. The result is a welcome sight for family and clients alike.

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