Having lived in their home since 1998 – before having their four children – this couple decided that they would make a significant addition to the ground floor layout, so that they could enjoy a more relaxed, open- plan style of living for their now-sizeable family.
After instructing an architect to design a single- storey extension which, with its sleek lines and floor-to-ceiling glazing, contrasted stylistically with the Victorian architecture of the original house, the couple turned their attention to the heart of their home. A visit to Kitchen Architecture’s Oxford showroom followed, thanks to a friend’s recommendation, and impressed by the service they received, they quickly got the company involved in their project.
“We were lucky enough to be brought on board at an early stage, which meant we could collaborate with the architect to ensure that the layout of the room was unimpeded by structural elements,” explains Jason Shephard, Design Manager. “This ensured we could maintain a good flow throughout the kitchen, dining and seating areas, optimising the space for both family life and entertaining.”
It’s not just the spatial arrangement of the room’s different functions which augments its flow. With so many elements included in a single room, the minimalism of the lines and the restricted colour palette help ensure aesthetic coherence –the greys of both the upholstered seating and dining chairs echo the graphite-coloured matt laminate and stainless steel elements, while the same tile throughout ties all the zones together.
“Our client was keen to include a walnut veneer, so we used this striking finish to highlight the island unit and the wall cabinets above the Aga,” Jason continues. “The warmth and variation of the natural wood provides the perfect contrast with the moody dark grey, the shiny black of the Aga’s enamel, and the industrial edge of the stainless steel.”
“Stainless steel is a fantastic finish to include in a design like this,” Jason explains. “Not only is it incredibly durable and easy to care for, but aesthetically it’s almost like using a neutral, and of course you can tie in a wide range of matching elements from taps and sinks to integrated appliances.”
Practicality is at the heart of every element of this kitchen, not just in the choice of materials. For example, not only has the dishwasher been raised up to a more ergonomic height, it’s been located slightly away from the main preparation area so that one person can access it while another is cooking, plus it’s right next to the cutlery and crockery storage drawers for easier unloading.
“I think that’s what I love about this kitchen the most,” smiles Jason. “It’s such a showstopper, with some really ‘wow’ finishes, but it’s also a really functional space which suits the owners’ busy family life on so many levels.”Kitchen Architecture | kitchenarchitecture.co.uk