When Keith and Rachel started thinking about replacing their twenty-year-old kitchen, they knew they wanted extra space and a lot more natural light. Their existing kitchen felt dark and enclosed, and entertaining meant either squeezing everyone around the kitchen table, or using the separate, more formal dining room. By knocking through the small snug next to the kitchen, and then adding bi-fold glass doors across the back of the house, they could create a bigger, lighter and more flexible kitchen-dining space, overlooking the garden. Rachel also knew exactly the sort of kitchen she wanted,
“It had to be bright, white and very easy to maintain,” she says, “I didn’t want any dust-traps or fussy styling, but I did want clutter-free surfaces and masses of storage.”
During their research, Keith and Rachel spotted some kitchen cabinetry that fitted the bill, but unfortunately the supplier was some distance away. When they discovered that we offered the same product, they came into our Bristol showroom, to investigate,
“That was when the Stoneham Fusion kitchen cabinets caught our attention - we liked them even more than the ones we’d been looking at,” says Rachel, “They were so sleek, absolutely plain and seamless, and the J-style door-pulls were exactly the easy-to-clean type I had in mind.”
Our designer Alec Yull listened carefully as Rachel and Keith described their vision and detailed what they wanted from their new kitchen. He quickly picked up on another key requirement; well-designed storage for crockery, glassware and cooking equipment. Rachel and Keith were taken with his suggestions of a useful carousel fitting to maximise otherwise-wasted corner cupboard space, and a freestanding island packed with sturdy, easy-access drawers. They appreciated smaller, thoughtful design touches too, like the work top ‘appliance garage’, a neat cubby-hole complete with wall-sockets, which houses the air-fryer and coffee-maker. There are separate bins to help sort recycling, and a practical metal base for standing cleaning products in the under-sink cupboard. Another plus point was that Stoneham offers a wide range of sizes, including extra-tall wall units,
“Rachel and I are both tall, so we can reach high-up areas, and we wanted the cupboard tops almost to the ceiling so they wouldn’t get dusty,” says Keith, “We were able to have the work surfaces slightly higher than standard too, which makes a big difference to us.”
Sustainability was an aspect that Rachel and Keith wanted to address in their new kitchen. To cut use of fossil fuels they had recently installed solar panels, and agreed to replace their gas hob with an electric induction one. They wanted to position it on the island, but the idea of a cumbersome overhead extractor did not appeal. Keith had researched hobs with integrated extractors, and Alec recommended Elica’s low-profile, touch-control Nikolatesla model as the ideal solution. The extractor mechanism sits discreetly below the centre of the hob surface, and is activated by tilting its circular, pivoting lid,
“The extractor is really convenient, and doesn’t take up a lot of room, so we’ve hardly lost any storage space,” says Rachel, “It’s also freed up the perfect place above the island for our beautiful blue Venetian glass lampshade - a treasured family heirloom that had to be part of our new kitchen.”
Including building work and installation, Rachel and Keith’s kitchen was completed in under three months. At the same time, the adjoining utility room was also refitted with matching Stoneham Fusion units. Keith took on the role of project manager, co-ordinating builders, plasterers, and floor tilers and liaising with our fitters.
“The Gardner Haskins’ team worked so well together, and with the other trades too, some of whom they’d introduced us to,” he says, “Everyone was meticulous, and just wanted to get a perfect result. No-one ever told us anything was too difficult, or couldn’t be done, and that approach would certainly make us go back to them for another project.”
The new kitchen is now where Rachel and Keith spend much of their time. Each has their favourite elements. Keith is impressed with the overall flow of the design, and the smart, practical larder cupboard, with its warm, oak-veneer interior. Rachel loves the larder, and her view of the garden, but top of her list are the speed and convenience of the Quooker boiling water tap, and the glamour of its gleaming gold finish. Both are delighted that entertaining has become so much easier and more enjoyable,
“It’s a bright, light, sociable space now,” says Rachel, “When we used the dining room for big gatherings, whoever was cooking, would be isolated in the kitchen. Now there’s room for everyone to sit comfortably, chat and move around easily. We’ve got the best kitchen we could possibly have.”
Looking to modernise your kitchen? Make it happen with Gardiner Haskins. Visit our Bristol showrooms for some inspiration or call us on 01179 292 288.
Designer: Alec Yull
Kitchen type: Modern
Cabinetry: Stoneham Kitchens Fusion in Classic White
Work top: Carrara Misterio quartz
All imagery contained in this case study were taken by Colin, PhotoWord.
When they moved into a ground-and-first-floor maisonet...
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