Balancing Colour + Sophistication In Kitchen Design, With Studio Doherty + Laminex

Every year we look forward to the Laminex kitchen collaboration that brings together the country’s leading supplier of laminate and an acclaimed designer. This year, it’s the work of the amazing Studio Doherty, who have mixed and matched Laminex surfaces to create the Scoop kitchen you see here — a space that’s colourful yet calming, and sophisticated yet playful!

Studio Doherty’s owner and director Mardi Doherty takes us through the process of designing this dream kitchen, and reveals how you can get the look at home using the exact same products!

Amelia Barnes
Art direction
Supported by Laminex

Pantry and bar: Laminex Mirror Smoke. Laminex Peacock. Laminex Steel Blue. New Volumes terracotta products. Bowls by Hay and Maison Balzac.

Pantry and bar: Laminex Mirror Smoke. Laminex Peacock. Laminex Steel Blue. New Volumes terracotta products. Bowls by Hay and Maison Balzac.

Amelia Barnes
Art direction
27th of July 2023

Studio Doherty for Laminex

Tiled floor and splashback

How often have you seen images of a kitchen in a magazine but been unable to find any details about the products?

The Laminex designer collaboration is an annual project that not only showcases an inspiring kitchen by an acclaimed local studio, but includes an exact breakdown of the featured products so you can recreate the look at home!

This year, Laminex have teamed up with Studio Doherty to design the Scoop kitchen. The project is a masterclass in colour, showcasing the studio’s signature playful flair, including ‘just the right amount of kooky.’

Read on as Studio Doherty owner and director Mardi Doherty shares how the project came together, and click on the product blocks throughout this story to discover the individual products she used!

Start with the feel and function

Any kitchen is primarily a functional space designed for a specific purpose, so the layout should always be your first consideration.

To guide this decision, consider how you’d like your kitchen to feel. You may desire a calming and contained space where storage is the priority, or something more open that invites others to engage with the space frequently and in a more casual manner.

Hero materials should be heat and stain resistant, easy to clean, and be able to withstand the inevitable knocks that come with everyday living.

‘Our general approach when designing a kitchen is to balance personality with the practical side of a kitchen,’ says Mardi Doherty.

‘We’ll always start with the layout, and determine the best functional design for the kitchen, and then hone into the finishes and forms … All of our kitchens have a sense of drama sprinkled over a practical base!’

Get creative with colour

Now for the fun part — colour! Modern kitchens are often white or black, but there’s literally hundreds of colours to choose from across a variety of materials, all designed with kitchen use in mind.

In the Scoop kitchen, Studio Doherty opted for contrasting shades of calming blues, clay, earthy greens, and even a pop of yellow.

‘We started with a neutral base of Laminex Paper Bark AbsoluteMatte for the backbench, then paired this with the smoky timber grain Laminex Smoked Birchply to the island bench that provides a lovely softness to the space,’ says Mardi.

Don’t forget to customise the inside of your kitchen cupboards and drawers: the perfect place to play and showcase a vibrant block colour!

In the Scoop kitchen, bold block colour is only revealed when opening a drawer, or the pantry cupboard doors, which feature inspiring shades of Moroccan Clay, Peacock, Steel Blue and Olivine.

Experiment with texture

Colour isn’t the only place to mix up contrasting materials.

In the Scoop kitchen, Studio Doherty have incorporated texture through a variety of clashing material finishes — from timber grain to gloss.

‘We challenged ourselves by trying to use as many different finishes as possible, and to embrace contrast!’ says Mardi.

‘We designed the freestanding pantry in Laminex Mirror Smoke laminate. Its highly reflective nature provides a strong contrast to the other finishes.’

Style with soul

The finishing touch of any kitchen lies in the selection of appliances, furniture and decorative objects.

In Scoop, Studio Doherty made the daring decision to introduce a pop of bright yellow via the kitchen stools, to really elevate the space.

Don’t be afraid to draw on a variety of influences in your styling, in this project, for example Studio Doherty looked to elements of hospitality design for inspiration.

‘We like to borrow ideas from hospitality, including open shelves, varied textured finishes, decorative lights, and integrated seating,’ says Mardi.

‘We also incorporate our clients personality and quirks into the space, and design a kitchen that reflects them.’

View more about the Laminex x Studio Doherty collaboration, and order free samples of the finishes used in this kitchen here! 


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