Utopia    People 21 Aug 2017

We speak to designer Tim Higham about the key to creating a perfect kitchen

Tim Higham of Higham Furniture works with his design team to create beautiful bespoke kitchen furniture. Established in 2004, Higham Furniture prides itself on its handmade furniture designed in the company’s Fulham studio and then produced in its Hampshire workshop.

What are your top tips when designing a new kitchen?

  1. Keeping it simple and trying to create symmetry can create stunning kitchens.
  1. Keep the dishwasher, bins and sinks close by as they are frequently used together.
  1. Keep walkways at a minimum of 900mm.
  1. Seating on an island on the off side can help make a kitchen sociable but without having non-cooks getting in the way.

What do you try to avoid?

Avoid corner cabinets if at all possible as they are awkward and can be pokey.

How do you deal with client’s expectations when they ask for something you don’t think will look good or work?

With some clients, you have to show them a design as they have asked and explain why it does not work and suggest an alternative.  With our experiences, we can often explain verbally what might be the problems and get straight on with offering an improved design.

What kitchen designs are you most proud of and why?

Some of the simplest designs are the most striking.  Where we can bring an effortless symmetric design with a central wow feature but still offer a well-functioning kitchen we are most proud of our work.

What projects have you found the most challenging and why?

Clients who we do not relate to can be tricky.  We work most effectively when we create a design that both we and the client love.

What is the most over the top or unusual thing a client has asked for in their new kitchen?

We get asked for dog sleeping spaces or cat feeding stations from time to time.  Building cabinets to 3.4m tall for one client was the most over the top thing we have done.  We had to get all the tallest people from the workshop to help fit it.

What advice would you give homeowners who are thinking about a new kitchen, but don’t know what they want?

Canvass opinion from more than one designer.  Shop around.

And finally, how do homeowners know which kitchen company and kitchen designer is right for them?

We hope that clients choose us because we can offer them what they want and we understand and click with them.  It makes the process so much easier for all parties if there is a common understanding and goal.

Higham Furniture | higham.co.uk