De­signed for liv­ing–and for life

Karon Read, one of Nep­tune’s lead­ing kitchen de­sign­ers, re­veals the se­cret to cre­at­ing a kitchen that will stand the test of time

Country Life Every Week - - Event -

We’re all wellac­cus­tomed to the phrase ‘the kitchen is the heart of the home’, and, for most homes, it is very true. Al­though any form of in­te­rior—or ex­te­rior—re­dec­o­ra­tion can be trans­for­ma­tive, a kitchen ren­o­va­tion can have the big­gest im­pact on how our en­tire home feels and on our ev­ery­day lives, not to men­tion the sig­nif­i­cant value it can add to your prop­erty.

Among its edited col­lec­tions of fur­ni­ture, light­ing and ac­ces­sories for the home—all de­signed with ele­gance and time­less­ness in mind—bri­tish in­te­ri­ors brand, Nep­tune, has also be­come widely known for its kitchens. Its prod­uct de­sign team has slowly and care­fully de­vel­oped four col­lec­tions over the years: Chich­ester, Suf­folk, Hen­ley and Lime­house. each one has its own dis­tinct char­ac­ter and a num­ber of unique de­tails, such as the the con­tem­po­rary Lime­house’s spice stor­age drawer and the clas­sic Chich­ester’s pull­out vegetable trays, but they all share the same de­sign ap­proach.

Nep­tune’s ethos is all about things be­ing made prop­erly, at ev­ery an­gle.‘we don’t be­lieve in short­cuts,’ ex­plains John Sims- Hilditch, co-founder of Nep­tune. ‘ev­ery­thing we make is constructed with pre­ci­sion de­tail, be it a kitchen cab­i­net or a lamp­stand. The fact that the back of a cab­i­net will never be seen doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be given the same treat­ment as the front. Front, back, in­side and out all use ro­bust join­ery, such as dove­tails and mor­tise and tenon joints, and show an in­cred­i­ble level of crafts­man­ship. These are de­signs that are in it for the long run and that are built on a foun­da­tion of strength, hon­esty and re­li­a­bil­ity.’

Karon read is one of Nep­tune’s top kitchen de­sign­ers and she is pas­sion­ate about longevity in kitchen de­sign: ‘When you’re about to em­bark on a kitchen ren­o­va­tion, it’s so easy to get caught up in the aes­thet­ics. Al­though they’re cru­cial, what’s ac­tu­ally more im­por­tant is mak­ing sure you’re in­vest­ing in what’s go­ing on be­hind closed doors. re­do­ing your kitchen is a big un­der­tak­ing and it’s some­thing you want to last the course.

‘One of my big­gest bits of ad­vice is to thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gate the qual­ity of the cab­i­netry and the ma­te­ri­als that are be­ing used to be sure you’re choos­ing some­thing that won’t let you down in a few years’ time. There’s an aw­ful lot to con­sider be­fore you com­mit to a new kitchen, which is why we of­fer a lengthy ini­tial de­sign con­sul­ta­tion in all of our stores [Nep­tune of­fers this ser­vice for free], so that our cus­tomers have am­ple op­por­tu­nity and time with us to dis­cuss all the op­tions and all the things that might not have oth­er­wise been con­sid­ered.

‘There’s a lot to get right, but, when you do, it’s just in­cred­i­ble. You’ll be sur­prised how much joy you can get from a beau­ti­ful hinge or a lay­out that gives a room a new lease of life. Good de­sign re­ally does make a home a hap­pier place. It makes such a dif­fer­ence.’

Nep­tune’s Hen­ley Kitchen in solid oak and hand-painted in Snow. It’s one of its four kitchen col­lec­tions

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