Kitchen project notes

The Challenge:

This was a small black, U-Shaped kitchen that formed part of an open plan living space. In this arrangement only the left hand wall of the kitchen was in plain sight from the main living area and with this in mind the client requested that this visible section of the kitchen be designed primarily as an elegant focal point. The appearance of this area was to be prioritised over functionality, which in turn could be attributed elsewhere.

The client also advised of their everyday routines, habits, and that they advocated a healthy lifestyle; fresh cooked meals were extremely important to them as part of this and so their second criteria was to have amenities available within their design both for storing fresh ingredients as well as cooking with them.

The Design / Solution:

Layout & Units:

From the specification regarding the left hand kitchen wall it was immediately obvious that the sink should be located within the surface opposite this wall; within this position it would be hidden from the living area viewpoint, given that sinks are not a design feature but at the same time can often draw the eye. From this new sink location we could easily determine a suitable site for the fridge and hob that maintained the flow of the working triangle, and so positioned the fridge to the right of the sink, and the hob on the adjacent left hand surface.

A long, streamlined and elegant appearance for the left hand kitchen wall was created through extra wide wall units, a lift-over design and long handles fitted across the full width of the units. To avoid any possibility of the wall units appearing cumbersome, the design was punctuated with built in glass panels and a frosted-front tambour unit in the centre. It looked good, yet practical too, this tambour unit provided a lot of storage space, or alternatively made the perfect home for the client’s kettle and breadbin, keeping them clear of the visible work surface area. Furthermore glass shelving within not only looked very refined but created the perception of increased depth and space. This effect was heightened through the use of clever lighting integrated within a glazed bottom shelf of the wall unit to create a flood effect but without taking up any additional space. We also fitted plinth lighting, an integrated extractor with bright halogen spotlights, LED lit glazed shelves within the cupboards, and internal drawer lights to illuminate the inside of a drawer on opening.

Storage Solutions and Appliances:

Through awareness of the clients inclination toward a healthy lifestyle and preference for fresh cooking it was proposed that they might have little requirement for a lot of freezer space. They were quick to agree that they rarely used their previous freezer, and so in place of a new one we recommended a larder fridge with built in freezer drawer, supplying ample fridge space for storing fresh ingredients, yet still enough room to fulfil their (minimal) freezer requirements.

Other appliances included a 90cm oven and a glass and stainless steel extractor which was carefully positioned in the centre point of the facing wall, creating a symmetrically balanced and very pleasing view.

A microwave was also requested within the design so an eye-level integrated model was fitted within the space above the fridge. In this position it didn’t detract in any way from the clean lines of the worktop and within a small kitchen this was useful in freeing up more preparation and cooking space, particularly important for a client who has advised they are a keen and frequent cook.

Other space saving solutions within this design included the deep pan drawers of the wide units which provided an abundance of space, as well as two pull-out corner solutions and drawers beneath the sink.

Client verdict

The client was extremely happy with their newly finished kitchen, particularly with its usability and that it maximised storage space but without appearing bulky or overbearing.