Dekton® and Silestone® by Cosentino in Neale Whitaker’s Home
Case Studies, Top Faces
February 10, 2019
Neale Whitaker, interior design expert, writer, television presenter and Silestone® Brand Ambassador, is a household name, known and admired for his impeccable style and discerning eye for detail. Of course, that holds true in his own home – a late-1930s country property that Neale and his partner David are renovating on the NSW South Coast.
Neale and David live in an old country property on the NSW South Coast. In the process of renovating it, they have completed the kitchen, laundry and living/dining area with the bedrooms and bathrooms still to do. Neale and David wanted to create an interior that reflected their personal style but also respected the architecture of the house and its location.
The kitchen is very much the hub of the home, for cooking, eating and conversation. With two large windows, it is filled with natural light and offers beautiful views of the colourful garden. Like the rest of their home, Neale and David wanted to create a contemporary and functional space that was sympathetic to the style and heritage of the house.
Neale and David provided Kinsman Group with a comprehensive design brief for the design of the kitchen and laundry. This included specific details such the size of the island bench, position of the partially concealed butler’s pantry, choice of cabinetry and colour palette, ratio of drawers to cupboards and inclusion of glass-fronted cabinets, butler’s-style sinks and classic brass tapware.
They selected materials, colours and cabinetry that are timeless in style and colour. A neutral palette complements Neale and David’s “modern rustic” aesthetic, which reflects their love of modern, vintage and ethnic, and provides a calm backdrop for the collection of art. Classic touches, such as panelled cabinetry and antique brass tapware, nod to the heritage of the house.
Long familiar with Silestone® and Dekton®, both from personal experience and as host of The Block and Love It or List It Australia, Neale appreciates both products for their good looks, durability and functionality. He also knows the importance of adding value to a home when undertaking renovations, and Silestone® represented a good long-term investment, offering durability and longevity.
Neale selected Silestone® for the benchtops in the kitchen and butler’s pantry. The kitchen island is used for food preparation and dining – with an induction cooktop, dishwasher, storage and stools – and Silestone® provides a scratch- and stain-resistant surface that allows for use without fear of spills.
Silestone® Calacatta Gold works elegantly with the colour and material palette, offering a timelessness that complements the heritage and design of the home. Its soft grey veining and subtle gold flecks emulate marble, and it is teamed with pale-grey cabinetry, off-white tiled splashbacks, white painted floors and sophisticated antique brass tapware. The square edge of the benchtops extend over the undermount sinks with rounded corners to soften the effect.
The design and materials in the laundry intentionally echo but don’t mimic that of the kitchen. Here, Silestone® Calacatta Gold is matched with white cabinetry and painted porcelain floor tiles.
A suspended wood-burning fireplace is a key feature in the corner of the dining/living room, providing warmth and atmosphere on cold winter nights. Located close to the kitchen, the fireplace hovers above a circular slab of Dekton® Nilium that is seamlessly integrated into the white timber floor, a circle cut into the floorboards to accommodate it.
Dekton® is a heat-resistant material that meets building code requirements, and inspired by silver metal, Nilium has a subtle dusting of white and grey shades to complement the modern rustic aesthetic.
Neale adds, “I have been familiar with Silestone® and Dekton® for several years and like both products for their good looks, durability and functionality. Silestone® was the perfect choice for our kitchen and laundry and Dekton® absolutely rose to the challenge of our suspended wood-burning fireplace. And let’s not forget how good they feel to the touch.”
- Project: Renovation of kitchen, laundry and living area in a country property dating from circa 1938
- Location: NSW South Coast
- Completed: September 2019
- Duration of the project: Two months for design and construction
- Design: Neale Whitaker and Kinsman Group
- Construction: Shoalhaven Constructions