In 2016 we were delighted to welcome Jack and Helen Cain back to Great British Kitchens & Interiors.
In the beginning…
20 years ago we installed a traditional farmhouse kitchen for the Cain family. We used shaker style doors in oak, adding intricately moulded iron handles to give the kitchen a country feel. An exposed brick entrance and storage unit harmonised with the oak and extended the rural feel into the adjoining room.
At the time this style of kitchen was bang on trend, providing a warm and ‘cottagey’ feel to kitchens all over the country regardless of whether they were in town or more rural locations.
Fast forward 20 years…
We were pleased to meet the Cains again and enjoyed a catch up over a cup of tea. Jack and Helen explained that while they were still delighted with quality and durability of their kitchen, after 20 years of a traditional kitchen they were ready to update to a fresher, brighter and more modern look.
The start of our journey was to take a detailed brief of what Jack and Helen wanted from their new kitchen. We discussed styles, finishes and appliances to ensure we fully understood what didn’t now work with the old design and that we had a good feel for their new requirements.
We then began to look at where we could take the project; the best use of space and how to create a unique environment for the Cains to make their next 20 years of memories in.
Practicality and functionality
The first step in our design process is to ensure that the kitchen’s ergonomics are correct – we want all our kitchens to be a pleasure to use as well as a pleasure to look at.
With this kitchen we kept fundamentally to the same layout as before, but with a few key changes to exploit modern design and build techniques to create a more spacious feel without losing storage capacity.
We relocated the hob from the corner of the kitchen to the back wall and replaced the integrated extractor hood with a sleek, shaped-glass Miele unit, creating a feeling of greater space in the room. In doing this we lost a little cupboard storage, which we more than made up for by installing a chef’s pantry to the left of the oven.
We also replaced the brickwork unit and bottle rack at the entrance to the kitchen with storage drawers and extended the counter top to allow for a small breakfast bar seating area, perfect for Jack and Helen now the kids had flown the nest.
Dramatically different design
Once the layout is defined, we then move onto the subject of colours and styles, which often requires considerable discussions with the clients and several alterations as tastes and preferences develop throughout the process.
The final design for the Cain’s kitchen is a dramatic departure from their original, traditional style.
The cabinets are all flat-doored, creating a sleek, contemporary feel. Jack and Helen opted for an acrylic veneer finish, durable and easy to maintain, with light grey base units and white wall units – reflecting the light from the kitchen window and giving the room a clean, bright and open feel.
We painted the door trims in a darker colour, using Farrow & Ball ‘Moles Breath’, creating a wonderful contrast to accentuate the doors and add a visual ‘frame’ for the units.
The dark granite worktops also emphasise the simplicity and freshness of the doors, while its polished finish helps to bounce light around the room.
A dose of colour is introduced at the back of the room with the stunning red splashback, giving the room character and animation. This accent colour is also used for the breakfast bar stools.
The exposed brickwork has been replaced with crisply painted walls, ensuring a unity of style from the moment you step into the kitchen.
The result is a thoroughly modern kitchen design retaining the quality and functionality of its predecessor.