The modern kitchen has moved beyond the idea of a place solely dedicated to cooking. Today, the kitchen truly is a multifaceted space – a concept that Studio Doherty has drawn from in the creation of the Scoop Kitchen and Nest Kitchen in collaboration with Laminex. Equally playful and bold, both kitchens reveal the power of Laminex to transform the heart of the home through the courageous use of colour and texture.
Specialising in bold, boundary-pushing interiors, Studio Doherty was the ideal fit to bring the Nest and Scoop kitchens to life. With a brief to design two concept kitchens using the Laminex Colour Collection, Studio Doherty has bravely and dynamically harnessed the power of Laminex. Led by Mardi Doherty, the collaboration has been an illuminating undertaking for the studio. “We’re super proud of this project and the two kitchens we have designed,” says Mardi. “I think we are most proud of the way we have been able to use Laminex in a way that we never have before – we have been able to push ourselves so much creatively.”
The design concept of Scoop was focused on one central idea: connection. This meant ensuring a cohesive textural language within the kitchen itself and with the other living spaces in the home. “We really tried to find a strong connection between the kitchen and the living room, understanding that the kitchen now is such a multifaceted space. The idea around the connection between family and friends is also really important,” explains Mardi.
Grounded in a balance of sophistication and practicality, Studio Doherty wanted a kitchen that was not only aesthetic but sturdy, durable and able to withstand time and growing families. “We love the idea that it looks and feels great and is incredibly practical, but also how it doesn’t feel too precious,” Mardi says. Whilst the kitchen is made mainly using Laminex surfaces, various smart appliances elevate the functional nature of the space, as well as complementary tiling and a curved splashback.
The day-to-day functions of the space are enriched by carefully chosen materials, with Laminex products providing bursts of vibrancy in unexpected areas and an overall soft tactility. Mardi comments that “we used more textured finishes – less about colour, more about texture, grain and form”. For example, there was a particular emphasis on reworking the conceptual approach to the pantry. Often done in a white-toned material, the pantry is elevated to become a stand-out feature, thought of as a piece of joinery rather than just a food storage area. “We really wanted to turn this on its head and make the pantry a beautiful feature in the kitchen,” Mardi says. A freestanding pantry unit with a bar is clad in Laminex’s Moroccan Clay and Steel Blue with the dramatic addition of the reflective Laminex Mirror Smoke. A food pantry to the right stands out with the bold tones of Laminex Peacock and Steel Blue.
Studio Doherty’s second concept kitchen for Laminex, Nest, retains the bold and colourful approach of Scoop but is intended for smaller spaces and younger families. As such, the kitchen is designed to be hardworking – organised, efficient and accessible whilst grounded in a midcentury-inspired diner aesthetic. “The functionality of any kitchen is important, and none more so than in smaller kitchens,” says Mardi. The Nest Kitchen features a back bench, imagined for food preparation and cooking, as well a front bench that doubles as another preparation space and a table that acts as an entertaining space and possibly even as a workspace. “We can imagine someone working at the desk while someone is prepping a meal for dinner.”
Therefore, the central idea for Nest was flexibility, where the dining area felt integrated with the kitchen design, as well as merging elements typically used in hospitality into the kitchen space of a home. An integrated circular booth in Studio Doherty’s signature playful style features alongside a pantry treated as an extension of the living room. The unit has been clad in Laminex Kalamata AbsoluteMatte, with the rear wall painted in the same colour so that it merges into one. “It can feel like a piece of joinery that is connected more with the living room, but it [is] actually very close and adjacent to the kitchen,” Mardi notes.
The bold design of both kitchens harnesses the multifaceted essence of the contemporary kitchen and the dynamic offerings at Laminex to rewrite traditional kitchen design narratives. “We hope that this collaboration encourages people to be brave with Laminex. You can really elevate your kitchen design by using Laminex’s textures and colours,” says Mardi. Inspiring a brave approach when it comes to colour, form and texture, Studio Doherty sets an exciting precedent for expressing individuality within kitchen design – boldly leading away from the safety of convention whilst remaining not only practical but playful and joyous.