This is an example of a design where form and function were of equal importance. My client had specified right at the start of the project that the finished kitchen had to be ‘ergonomic, functional, practical and efficient’. Oh, and it ought to be beautiful as well. Not to mention both timeless and contemporary. I love this type of project though where attention to detail is essential from the off and this particular kitchen was almost two years in the planning. By spending time thinking about how he wanted to use the space, the client and I planned one room which would incorporate different areas for cooking, reading, working, relaxing and eating. Each part of the room had to at once feel specific yet flow into the other spaces seamlessly.
We started by reconfiguring the layout so that the outlook was towards the woodland garden and the door was moved so it was easily accessible from the bar area – making entertaining easy and giving the space even more flexibility. This kitchen has the added luxury of a separate utility, meaning that storage of larger items and the notion of chores – like laundry – could be kept out of this minimalist space.
Once the layout was agreed we moved onto to the textures and materials. My client wanted something clean but not cold so we contrasted sleek, white Silestone worktops with warm, dark walnut doors; all handmade. The slatted, solid wood cupboards create texture and body and soften the potentially clinical whites. All the drawers and doors operate using a push latch motorised system including the integrated appliances (which were chosen for their energy rating as well as functionality). The fact that only the large larder has any handles at all keeps the lines created by the wood unbroken. The natural stone floor introduced a very soft grey and stops the other, stark shades from being harsh. The decision to use natural materials was very deliberate and I think will help to keep this design looking great for years to come – natural stone and real, beautifully crafted wood last and last and both are far less likely to date than other synthetic materials.
One of the final touches which I am still really pleased we went for was the lighting; sourced from Italy the white shades with their unapologetically bright insides inject a citrus zing which means that this minimalist, probably quite masculine space, can never be accused of being boring. In this vein, we chose inky blue Italian leather chairs for the bar which are both comfortable and gorgeous. Other touches of luxury like the discreet, programmable lighting and the Silent Gliss electrical blinds, which automatically open in the morning and close at dusk, mean that the atmosphere of this space can change as and when my client desires, literally at the flick of a switch.
My favourite aspect of this design? Well I think that it works, it fits the brief. The light streams in through the windows, and the view of the woodland is beautiful all year round. The kitchen is functional, the work space is calm and as a whole, it’s a wonderful space in which to break bread with friends. A minimalist space can be relaxed and comfortable as well as clean and chic.