Real Life Kitchens - Designing Caroline's bold kitchen
When Caroline bought her beautiful Westminster flat, she was looking for a sleek new kitchen design to replace the dated space she'd inherited.
We interviewed Life expert designer, Daniela, to discuss the project...
Daniela, could you tell us a little bit about the client's property?
"Caroline's stunning property is a Victorian Ashley Gardens mansion flat in the heart of Westminster. It was built in the 1890's, so as you can imagine, the five-bed flat oozes character and elegance!
"For the time being, the flat is home to Caroline's daughter as she studies in the area, so Caroline wanted to create a kitchen that was functional and beautiful, that helps to fulfill its purpose now, but with striking decor that Caroline herself will love in the future when she uses the flat as a holiday home."
What were the main requests the client had for her kitchen design?
"In terms of appearance, Caroline was looking for a bold aesthetic- something striking with the 'wow-factor.' We worked together to find a daring look that she loved, opting for a sleek, handleless slab door in Graphite. I love how the dark tone contrasts perfectly with the clean-white walls for a contemporary, monochrome look.
"We chose the stunning Strata Granite Silver Waves worksurface to compliment the design, continuing this across to a focal splashback that frames the range, instantly catching the eye."
"When it came to the functionality of the kitchen, it was important to Caroline that the space had a range, a washer/dryer, a dishwasher and a microwave. The original shape of the room meant that the range fit perfectly into the already-existing alcove, but we needed to find space for the rest of the appliances. We decided to integrate these into the kitchen units, with the island creating the all important storage space we needed to store away the dishwasher and washer/dryer behind efficient touch-to-open doors.
"We also integrated the microwave into the refrigerator surround so the worksurfaces could remain clutter-free, and we installed a hidden bin so the floor space wasn't compromised."
What was Caroline looking to improve on from her previous kitchen?
"First of all, it was definitely the look as Caroline inherited a kitchen that was very dated when she purchased the flat. Secondly, the actual usability of the space and the kitchen needed to be examined. She wanted something beautiful but also practical, with an island/peninsula that would give her the extra worksurface she'd always dreamed of.
"It needed to be practical for her daughter whilst she lives there, with space to cook, but also somewhere to relax and socialise at the end of the day."
Do you have any advice to give those who are planning a kitchen with a similar space?
"I would say that it's important to work with what you have, whether this is the space or features. This kitchen was a challenge in terms of the tight space and the positioning of the windows, but we planned Caroline's dream kitchen around what we had and maximised all of the space available for appliances, storage and worksurfaces.
"We also worked with the character of the room, using the chimney breast/alcove as a design feature for the range, rather than seeing it as a hinderance. I love how it's turned out and I'm so glad that we decided to use the stunning Strata Granite Silver Waves."
Have you been inspired by Caroline's kitchen? Would you like Daniela, or another of our Life expert designers to bring your kitchen dreams to life?
Book a personal consultation via our website here, or call 0203 972 0150, or pop along to our Waterloo showroom to explore for yourself first.
If you can't get to our showroom, don't worry- you can get all the kitchen inspiration you need from our Life brochure.