Integrated kitchen appliances, oak interiors, open plan living and generous views to the beach come together to emphasise the coastal feel of the Hahei House on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand.

Designed by Paul Clarke of Auckland-based Studio2 Architects, this beach house is sympathetic to its dune environment. The Scandinavian-style oak-lined interiors exude a sense of calm and serenity that gives the owners, a couple with three children, a tranquil space to socialise and relax in during their breaks from the city.

The Social Kitchen

Conceptualised as the social hub of the beach home with every element designed to expand the purpose of this space far beyond cooking, the ‘social kitchen’ is also a key design approach for Fisher & Paykel.

“It’s a thoroughly social experience, and a space that everyone can be part of,” Clarke explained.

A Kitchen Hub

On entering the house, visitors are led upwards from ground level to the open-plan kitchen and living area overlooking the beach through floor-to-ceiling windows – a feeling that Clarke describes as “being on the bow of a ship sitting over the water”.

The kitchen is a natural focus for social activities in the house, with a large cantilevered island bench setting the stage for everything from morning coffee to evening drinks. An adjacent bay window seat and 12-seater table enlarge the space further.

Integrated Appliances

The appliances are integrated into the kitchen space, allowing the wood interiors to flow seamlessly through the kitchen. This preserves the coastal feel of the home, building on the experience of indoor and outdoor spaces that seem to meet in an unbroken line.

Designed To Fit

“A logical layout is always key to entertaining,” the architect explained. “This kitchen is designed to do that efficiently and so people can come in to help without getting in each other’s way.”

Wall ovens and an integrated refrigerator freezer are positioned at opposite ends of the space, a five-burner cooktop is in the middle across from the stainless steel sink, and two DishDrawer dishwashers are in the island.