Like-Minded Design

For over 30 years, Parnell-based Matisse has been supplying New Zealand’s design industry and discerning homeowners with high quality, inspirational kitchens, bathrooms, furniture and furnishings. It’s fair to say that Matisse is a brand that’s become synonymous with top-end European design, and that’s a reputation co-owners Alan and Jeanne Bertenshaw hold dear.

So when it came to supplying their new range of Italian designer kitchens to Creating Communities for seven new houses in the Wai O Taiki Bay development, it was a decision that wasn’t taken lightly, says Matisse’s Business Development Manager, Jan van Deventer.

Alan Bertenshaw and Business Development Manager, Jan van Deventer.

 “At Matisse we have a reputation to uphold. When we are approached by any developer who expresses an interest in installing one of our exclusive ranges into one of their projects, we are extremely conscious of how our brand is perceived in the market place,” he says. 

“We want to be aligned with likeminded companies who share the goal of offering great design and exceptional quality.”

After looking at the plans and the layouts of the houses prepared by Ashton Mitchell Architects, Jan concluded that the Wai O Taiki Bay project would be an excellent fit for their brand in terms of quality and design. “It comes down to Ashton Mitchell’s design of the houses in this area. They are large, architecturally designed, stand-alone family homes, set in a beautiful location right by the sea… and finish quality is exceptional.”

The kitchens chosen for all seven of these homes in Fernwood Place come from Matisse’s latest high end kitchen supplier, multi-award-winning Arrital – a collaboration between architect Franco Driusso and the Italian-based kitchen manufacturer. Matisse has been bringing high-end European kitchens into the New Zealand market for over 20 years, and Arrital represents the very finest in Italian design. Now in its 40th year, Arrital bases its reputation on producing precision, functional kitchens, using the very latest in innovative materials.

“With our comprehensive range of Italian-made kitchens, we have 16 levels of specification, so matching the most appropriate design for each of the houses at Wai O Taiki Bay was a relatively easy task for us to complete,” he says. “At this quality and price-point, Arrital are way ahead of anything you can get in New Zealand.”

Their design, ordering and manufacturing process is very simple, says van Deventer. “After we were given the architectural plans to look over, we met up with Creating Communities to go through their needs and came up with some concepts and colourways. Once agreed and signed off, we drew up detailed plans and sent the design files direct to Italy – to their fully robotised, 55,000sqm facility. Four weeks later, we had seven, fully assembled kitchens – not flat-packed – which were then shipped over to New Zealand.

For the kitchens at Wai O Taiki Bay, two quite different colour palettes have been chosen – a light scheme and dark scheme that offers a difference between the houses, both option are combined with a crisp white finish for the lower units. With the dark scheme we selected a walnut finish (Noce), for the Light finish we selected a light oak finish (Sesamo) to complement all the other elements in the house, timber flooring, carpet and paint.

The material Arrital uses for its drawer and cabinetry fronts is a high-performance engineered board that looks and feels exactly like real timber, says van Deventer. “In many ways the new materials they are using using for their kitchens surpass the real thing in terms of practicality, functionality and most importantly, longevity of look and design.”

The other standout feature of these kitchens is their build quality, says Jan. “Arrital specifies 22mm door fronts – several millimetres thicker than normal – which creates an elegant negative-groove handle detail that adds to the clean lines throughout all the kitchens. They all feature the latest technology in drawer runners and all the hinges are soft close. A nice finishing touch is an internal drawer unit with our exclusive timber cutlery tray inserts.” Every kitchen is topped with a custom-finished, hardwearing Caesarstone benchtop and paired with a suite of high-end, German-made Bosch appliances.

James D’Anvers, Development Manager at Creating Communities, says that the Arrital kitchens have given the seven homes at Wai O Taiki Bay a best-of-both-worlds scenario – exceptional quality coupled with great functionality. “These kitchens are especially fitting for our high-end homes and utilise premium materials that are not readily available in New Zealand"

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