A Kitchen That’s A Cooks Dream
I love to cook so when you get a brief from a client that includes creating a kitchen that would be the jewel of the house you can’t help but do a little happy dance inside as a dream comes true. This Knightsbridge kitchen was going to knock it out of the ball park! The brief from our client was to create a modern kitchen with a sleek design that was “a kitchen that’s a cooks dream”, it was in a large 4 bedroom property and needed to be designed as the hub of the house for a growing family. For our clients creating a home is a very different experience from buying a property. When you originally look around a property you are looking at space, location, amenities but once it’s yours you are looking to make it a home. Somewhere you can build memories, enjoy downtime with family and friends, watch children grow up. It these future memories and feelings that need to be incorporated into a design, allowing the design scheme to change with the growing needs of the family – especially with little ones on the way!
Kitchen design is a complicated business, for a kitchen design to work well it needs to be based on the solid foundation of functionality. A place for everything and everything in its place. If you can first solve this problem then the design will not only flow but last a lifetime.
We originally worked on the basic layout before approaching kitchen designers, every company has a different way of creating a kitchen and we love hashing out new ideas with kitchen designers but part of what we enjoy creating for our clients is a scheme that works as a fully functioning home which is more than a sum of it’s parts. We keep the end result in mind with every decision we make to create a cohesive scheme that works effortlessly.
The design of an open plan kitchen can be a tricky thing, it needs to be a space that works hard to look effortless. It needs to be ornamental but not too ornate that it dominates the space, you don’t want to feel like you are sitting in the kitchen when enjoying a friday night movie or a late morning paper. The space planning layout above set out our initial thoughts on the space that the kitchen should take up in the new open plan layout. It’s still quite a large space with a lot of storage but doesn’t swamp the space.
We wanted a clear break between the kitchen and the living area, deciding to break up the kitchen with a U-shape design would encapsulate the kitchen, create a large amount of worktop space and function as a clean breakpoint between the kitchen area and the dining area, which we decided to put directly next to it. Logical but also great for storage. The use of bench seating in this area to create a breakfast bar feeling whilst providing extra storage for bottles of water ticked two very important boxes for our clients.
Above you can see the design developing, storage is key but doesn’t turn the space into a blocky mess and it flows nicely through to the seating area. The seating works well to create a sizable dining area and we have opted for a single large unit above the workspace to carry on the open feeling. With the space planning and layout mostly set we moved on to looking at how the materials that made up the kitchen would work with the rest of the design scheme.
Making Open Plan Work
At this point we were looking at using various materials a big worry however was the flooring, the lounge needed to be wood (as per the clients specification) but with a hard working kitchen it wasn’t the best material for the kitchen and lounge area. The client was hoping to use a less porous material here, so we had an interesting challenge – where does the kitchen end and the dining area begin. To add another curve ball to the works – it would be best if the dining area also had the same flooring as the kitchen. Our initial ‘break point’ for the kitchen now didn’t work. It didn’t include the dining area and if we did include it we ran the risk of having you walk into the lounge area going from the marble entrance way on to another stone floor. This was a real worry for the clients, they didn’t want the kitchen to encroach too much in to the living area as it is much smaller than their home in Dubai – they needed it to be homely as soon as you walked in to this room.
Thankfully for our clients we had already come up with a beautiful way of creating this ‘break point’ without jeopardising the flow of the room or the homely feeling. Early on we had spotted in the client’s inspiration images that they really enjoyed pattern, on walls, floors, fabrics pattern and texture was everywhere to be seen.
Opting for a honeycomb pattern for the floor gave us the option of not finishing the flooring at what we had previously laid out as the break point, the fluidity of the pattern meant that the flooring could flow beautifully through to the dining seating area. It would provide the hardwearing flooring we were hoping for in this area whilst also adding in a fun and playful element that wasn’t too rigid.
I can’t promise that it was the builders favourite option but the finished look was amazing and he couldn’t have been more proud to show it off at the end of the project. The joins between the wooden floor and the tiles is seamless and creates a visual delight. It make me smile every time I walk into the room. The lighter grout colour means that the tiles stand out beautifully without dominating the overall kitchen design.
With the flooring layout pulling together the base of the kitchen design it was important that the rest of the design was equally as honed.
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
When you think about mirrors you don’t really associate them with kitchens but when you get asked to make a kitchen that is a dream you don’t want to dismiss any possibility. So when we initially looked at splashback options for the kitchen we had many ideas in mind, marbles, glass, mosaics, cut glass, metal.
Mirror came about when we were looking at the not just the kitchen but the space as a whole, we had taken down a wall to be able to create this open plan space between the kitchen and lounge and we wanted the kitchen to reflect the rest of the room – to not look like a kitchen. What better way to do it than to have the kitchen literally reflect the rest of the room! To be able to see glances of the rich colours and textures that the lounge had but would be ruined in a kitchen.
The lighting in this room is everything the client asked for, dreamy. Ochre lights have been a long time favourite of mine, they are from British designers Joanna Bibby and Harriet Maxwell Macdonald who seem to continually create products that are both commanding and subtle. This chandelier is no exception, it doesn’t dominate the space and adds a touch of glamour when it is both on and off.
A photo posted by Kia Stanford (@kiadesigns) on
A Kitchen That’s A Cooks Dream
The finished design is most definitely a kitchen that’s a cook’s dream. The work spaces are clean and open but everything is less than a reach away. The pantry provides adequate storage whilst looking stunning. The marble worktop flows around the kitchen effortlessly, using the full depth of the kitchen bay and providing a view of Harrods that almost makes washing up bearable (don’t worry there is also a large and efficient dishwasher if you’re not a fan of washing up!).
What’s your favourite part of the design? What would you have done differently in your new home?
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