Zoned to perfection
16:13 24 October 2016
How one family’s individual needs have created a bespoke kitchen design that balances the requirements of cook, host and busy home life.
Bright, natural light. Space to cook, relax and entertain. Helen and Nigel Millington had a pretty clear vision of their dream house with the perfect family kitchen.
When they fell in love with a beautiful 18th century cottage in South East Warwickshire, they knew that even though it provided much of what they wanted they would have to implement a couple of tweaks to create the dream home they always wanted.
By extending the rear of the property, they have achieved a beautiful juxtaposition of a 250 year old cottage and the bright, spacious bespoke kitchen they had always dreamed of.
“We wanted a really social party kitchen that also worked as a professional catering space,” says Helen. “We enjoy having friends over for dinner, and have a busy family life too. So I think space and light is what we wanted most. The old kitchen was so small and dark and there was no work space or storage so everything was out all the time”.
For the family kitchen to work on all accounts, careful zoning was key. Four carefully defined areas allow chef, family and guests to enjoy the kitchen equally without getting in each other’s way. The fridge is centrally located, for everyone to reach without crossing paths.
The preparation area is situated beneath the flood of light that descends from the ceiling atrium window, and with a dedicated prep sink and easy access to the oven and hob, there is plenty of working space and cavernous storage ensuring everything is close at hand.
The wet zone houses the dishwasher and sink, providing an area for dirty dishes to be placed out of sight of the dining area.
Along the entire end wall is the breakfast and drinks zone with coffee machine and toaster balanced by the wine fridge and drinks area either side of the American fridge-freezer, where varying levels and contrasting materials create design interest.
To get the best results from their new kitchen, they enlisted the help of Angela Bower, of Shipston-on-Stour based Bower Willis Designs Ltd.
Design technology played an invaluable role in the bespoke design process. Angela used CAD to mock up what the space would look like. “It was amazing,” Helen enthuses. “Because the extension had not yet been built, it was difficult to get an idea of space. But being able to see Angela’s ideas plot through on the software, we could actually stand in the room and decide what worked best.”
The relationship between client and designer was further enhanced by a shared love of cooking. “It makes a difference, when you speak the same language and can communicate exactly what you need. There’s an extra level of understanding on how the room will be used.”
Helen’s husband Nigel is quick to agree. “I still come down each morning and feel ‘wowed’ by it,” he says. “I’d say the only downside is that we don’t use the rest of the house much anymore!”
Bower Willis Designs is a kitchen design company in Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire. Call 01608 690870 or visit www.bowerwillisdesigns.co.uk for more details.