Black plywood kitchen island bench

With champagne tastes but only a $10k budget, this couple selected a luscious black plywood for their new kitchen. Prefinished in a satin UV-cured poly, PlyPlay creates a robust and beautiful surface. 


When planning their new family home in Mt Maunganui, Courtney Jones saved a Pinterest board of slick black kitchen photos. ‘When I looked closely at the images, I realised several had a timber finish,’ she says. ‘Having renovated before, I knew I could create the same look with plywood, but black plywood was hard to source until I found PlyPlay.’ 

Courtney chose a prefinished 19mm PlyPlay plywood for thick, stable doors and drawer fronts. The board was UV-coated in PlyPlay’s Penrose factory, and then sent to the Cutshop® Waikato in Hamilton to get it digitally cut for the exact drawer and cupboard sizes. Courtney and her husband Todd sanded and sealed the edges on site, built the units in the garage and installed them in one weekend. 


Black plywood kitchen wall and bench


The couple had used plywood in their previous kitchen, where they had a long back bench for all the utilities – the sink, dishwasher and oven – giving them a clean island bench for serving. They enjoyed this layout, so replicated it in the new kitchen. At the last minute, they also decided to line the stair wall in black ply and use the space underneath for the pantry and fridge. The black PlyPlay has added a strong feature to the white living space, and it connects visually with the black-clad house exterior. 

‘The most successful part of the kitchen is the ply,‘ says Courtney. ‘Despite being black, it has real character and depth. It’s not shiny or matt, making it great for sticky little fingers. I love it when the sun streams in and highlights the grain of the wood.’


Black plywood kitchen
Black plywood kitchen
Black plywood kitchen detail
Black plywood kitchen


Photos: Bryce Carleton
Copywriting: Folio