Auckland designer Natalie Du Bois from Du Bois Design visualises her dream outdoor room with the use of crazy paving, timber, stainless steel and the new Caesarstone Outdoor Collection.
‘I had an open brief for this outdoor room design,’ says Natalie, ‘so I started developing ideas using my favourite materials and colour palettes. A massive fan of concrete, I chose the new matte, concrete-look Clearskies from the Caesarstone Outdoor Collection to define the built-in cooking bench, and paired it with the off-white Palm Shade, with its stone look, to complete the other side of the L-shape. Then, beside the cooking wall, I have a soft seating area where people can relax and talk to the cook.’
The fun in designing with new and innovative products has led Natalie to imagine a uniquely outdoor space, but one we’re familiar with indoors. She’s created a BBQ and sink bench, giving the feeling of a small kitchen, and a dining table bookended with a small stainless-steel drinks fridge. The built-in banquette then completes this space, which is shaded and enclosed overhead by a pergola, and from the side by a timber slatted wall.
‘I worked with the Laminex technical team to ensure the whole unit is buildable,’ says Natalie. ‘We designed a steel beam and legs to support the dining bench span, which connects structurally into the bench. I’ve contrasted the fine edge of the 20mm thick Palm Shade surface with the boxed look of the cooking bench, where the Clearskies panel continues down to conceal the sink BBQ connections and then wraps up at the back to frame a herb planter.’Stained timber creates accents to warm the concrete look. A wall of deep timber slats creates a privacy sun-screen and frame for a climbing vine, while slim battens line the base of the bench unit before the Caesarstone Clearskies toe-kick. ‘The whole unit displays these contrasts in material, shadow and colour to make it feel lightweight and also refined in its aesthetic,’ notes Natalie.
Natalie spent five years working in the UK, where she became immersed in designing kitchens and interiors with a focus on both contemporary and ornate styles. Clients seek her out for that classic design language here, too, and also for her more modern designs. ‘I don’t have a set style. I like to understand my clients and create something that represents them. For this project, I made myself the client, bringing together mid-century modern with clean contemporary lines,’ she says. ‘When you mix those two themes – the natural timber and a couple of very stylised elements, such as the crazy paving in this outdoor space – you can achieve a very elegant yet familiar space grounded in natural materials. These are comfortable spaces but they also have a real spark of character.’
Elements that have personalised this outdoor concept kitchen include the herb planter and the round timber stools. ‘Having herbs by the cooking area looked good, while also being functional. The low timber stools bring a more handmade rustic element, and are easily stored below the dining benchtop when not in use. They are the practical elements that layer up the softness and interest of the space.’
Caesarstone is the pioneer of quartz benchtops and engineered with up to 90 per cent natural quartz minerals. Utilising organic pigments and enhanced polymer resins, the Caesarstone Outdoor Collection consists of highly durable, stain-resistant, easy-to-clean surfaces that have been tested to withstand the most extreme environmental conditions.
Like natural stone, quartz surfaces have a long lifespan, and Caesarstone’s reconstituted quartz maintains quality, strength, and performance that has been proven time and time again. ‘Our outdoor solutions have been developed to withstand the exterior elements, including sun, wind, dirt, debris and frost,’ says Nilufa Ali, Benchtops Category Manager at Laminex New Zealand. ‘Caesarstone utilises UV-resistant technology, making it ideal during hot summers.’
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The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only. As always, please refer to the Caesarstone Care and Maintenance Guide and Caesarstone Outdoor Performance Guide for full care instructions and further details.