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The brief for Australian firm Doherty Design Studio (dohertydesignstudio.com.au) was to create a contemporary kitchen in keeping with the 1970s architecture of this Melbourne home. The result? A focus on native timber and crisp, white finishes

This ‘Pure’ kitchen by Siematic is so pared-back that, in spite of the design’s crisp, modern lines, it still blends seamlessly with the beautiful period details of this historic Parisian apartment. A matt-black lacquer finish on the fronts and a mirrored splashback keep things cutting-edge but classy. ‘Pure’ kitchen, from £30,000, Siematic (siematic.co.uk) Photography: Claus Brechenmacher & Reiner Brau

Kitchen renovation ideas to inspire you in the new year

I like the idea of the little open shelf imbedded in the upper cabinets on the left side of the stove. I imagine the shelves where you are describing the microwave will sit. Which means moving the upper cabinets out of the corner.

Fresh white kitchen from John Lewis of Hungerford. http://www.john-lewis.co.uk/kitchens/contemporary-pure-kitchen