Birch plywood from the Plytech Futura range was the product of choice for the designers of a kitchen upgrade project in Waikehe, New Zealand. Featuring a hardwearing laminate facing and striking birch ply edge detail, Plytech Futura was used to modernise the kitchen, while still preserving some of its classic 1970s appeal.

The owners of this Waiheke home sought to modernise their kitchen without losing the appeal of its 1970s style. Designer Evan Schwarz from Shoreditch Furniture was engaged for the renovation that would give the kitchen a more contemporary feel, while adding a large pantry, breakfast bar leaner, additional cabinetry and display areas for the clients’ favourite pieces of art. Timber touches, sliding doors and the use of the bold orange colour from the original kitchen were some of the important elements that needed to be preserved for the 1970s flair.

As requested by the clients, Schwarz used birch plywood extensively in the design, with Plytech Futura in white selected for cabinetry throughout the kitchen.

“I wanted to combine the clients’ wishes with a well functioning layout and a balance between the white, the wood and the colour,” Schwarz explained.

“Plytech Futura is a good combination of two materials I love – plywood and laminate. It was very satisfying to use.”

Schwarz appreciated the resilience of the premium quality laminate, a characteristic that makes it ideal for busy kitchens.

“It’s a nice, hardwearing, semi-matt surface – and it’s also great around water. Its environmental credentials – FSC certified core and ultra-low emissions – are also worth recognising.”

The attractive edge detail of the birch ply added an extra layer of depth to the design. “I like the contrast between the stripe of the core edge detail and flat colour on the surfaces,” Schwarz said.

Plytech Futura was also an easy solution for the Shoreditch team who manufactured and installed the cabinetry. According to Schwarz, the material machines easily, there’s no need for sanding, it doesn’t splinter, it trims up nicely and there’s no grain matching, making Plytech quicker to use than plywood with a timber face.

The simple and stylish look of the Plytech Futura Birch cabinetry is complemented by a solid Rimu breakfast bar, stainless steel benchtop surfaces, white geometric tiling on the walls and cork and reclaimed parquet flooring. The combination of white, steel and timber creates a clean, contemporary backdrop for the bold orange of the upper display cabinets. The final result is a practical, modern kitchen with stylish birch edging and pops of colour inspired by the original 1970s design.

“I am very happy with it and so are the clients – which to us is of prime importance,” says Schwarz. “As far as Plytech Futura is concerned, I’ll continue to use it. I’m continually happy with it.”