December 5, 2021


Only The Finest Women

Kitchen of the Week: Rustic character for Cromwell holiday home on rail trail

This new kitchen in a holiday home beside the Otago rail trail in Cromwell was designed by Stefan Sonntag to reflect the historic nature of the setting.


This new kitchen area in a vacation house beside the Otago rail path in Cromwell was built by Stefan Sonntag to reflect the historic character of the setting.

There’s a superb architectural tradition in Central Otago – houses typically aspect steep pitched roofs, nearby schist stone and exposed wood, all of which match both of those the local weather and the landscape.

This holiday household beside the rail path in Cromwell, with vineyards all about, has modern day nation character in abundance. But it wasn’t normally this way, says designer Stefan Sonntag of Masterwood Joinery in Cromwell.

“The household was created in 2004, and when it was marketed the new owners experienced the inside gutted. There was nothing within when we arrived to design the kitchen area – we began from scratch.

With its solid American white oak legs, the 4m-long island resembles a piece of furniture. The sliding doors open out to a lawn and the lake. The schist fireplace can be seen to the left.


With its solid American white oak legs, the 4m-very long island resembles a piece of household furniture. The sliding doorways open out to a garden and the lake. The schist fire can be observed to the still left.

“The homeowners wanted a hotter, nation-design truly feel to match the locale – they have a metropolis home in Christchurch that appears to be like totally different.”

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Sonntag says they also experienced sturdy strategies about the format: “They desired the minor bar on top of the two wine fridges beside the sliding doorways that open out to the garden and the lake – that was really significant. And they requested the butcher’s block (in oak) at the end of the island.”

The owners specifically requested the two wine refrigerators with the oak bar above, and the butcher's block.


The proprietors specially asked for the two wine refrigerators with the oak bar over, and the butcher’s block.

At 4m extensive, the timber island is a central attribute. It was created to resemble a piece of home furnishings with strong American white oak legs – “the owners did not want a major toekick”.

The doorway and drawer fronts and panels on the island are 19mm Primary Art Planked Oak in Rustic. These are teamed with 20mm benchtops in Caesarstone Fresh Concrete.

In contrast, the anthracite cabinetry together the wall is Laminex Acrylic in Cinder Matte. Sonntag says the interior of the carcase matches, so when the doors are opened, the interior is the exact colour.

Stefan Sonntag says the country character of the refurbished Cromwell home is "completely different" from the owners' Christchurch house.


Stefan Sonntag states the region character of the refurbished Cromwell property is “totally different” from the owners’ Christchurch home.

Cabinets along the wall are in anthracite with copper handles.


Cabinets along the wall are in anthracite with copper handles.

The designer states the splashback tiles ended up deliberately picked to provide a neutral history that would not stand out.

But the kitchen is not just about rustic matte finishes. The tiles are glossy, there are polished copper handles on the cupboards, and the tall rangehood positively gleams – the ideal counterpoint to the substantial schist fire in the open-approach living area.

Sonntag states the refurbishment also incorporated the new timber-lined gabled ceiling in the home, and black steel rods in the exposed metal trusses.

The Kitchen of the 7 days is supported by Resene. Obtain extra inspiration in Resene’s kitchen area decorating gallery.


The 2021 NKBA Structure Excellence Awards showcase the incredibly best kitchens and bathrooms in New Zealand.

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