Sim­ple plea­sures

Tra­di­tional crafts­man­ship and beau­ti­ful ma­te­ri­als are the cor­ner­stones of this lux­u­ri­ous modern de­sign

Homes & Gardens - - DREAM KITCHEN - DE­SIGNER

Can you de­scribe the project?

Orig­i­nally 13 rather squalid bed­sits, this is now a five-bed­room fam­ily home that has been ex­tended to cre­ate a large open-plan liv­ing space, lead­ing seam­lessly into the gar­den. My client, Ja­son Be­van, is well versed in this kind of project and it shows in the de­tails. The picture win­dow, smooth slid­ing doors and long roof lan­tern, per­fectly poised to bathe the kitchen in light, all help to el­e­vate this space to lux­ury sta­tus.

What was the brief for the kitchen? Ja­son wanted a kitchen that was modern, but with a crafted, hand-built el­e­ment res­onat­ing with qual­ity and time­less­ness. Al­though the ex­ten­sion is new, he wanted a nat­u­ral di­a­logue with the rest of the house, so we worked with his in­te­rior-de­sign team at Stu­dio K De­sign to en­sure con­ti­nu­ity and flow.

How did you plan the lay­out?

The din­ing area was sep­a­rated us­ing a wal­nut open-shelved di­vider, so Ja­son re­quested an is­land with seat­ing to pro­vide in­for­mal din­ing in the kitchen. The L-shaped is­land means the break­fast bar has di­rect gar­den views and also cre­ates a more in­ter­est­ing lay­out. A stan­dard rec­tan­gu­lar de­sign could have been quite dull by com­par­i­son. Around the perime­ter, we

de­lib­er­ately left a space be­tween the sink and cook­ing ar­eas. It pre­vents the scheme from feel­ing cramped and avoids hard to ac­cess niches that can re­sult when mov­ing from tall to base units.

Why did you use Small­bone’s Orig­i­nal Hand Painted range?

It was launched in 1978, but has re­mained one of our most en­dur­ing de­signs be­cause of its flex­i­bil­ity. You can add flour­ishes or com­pletely strip away the bead­ing and de­tails to cre­ate some­thing far sim­pler. We took the lat­ter route to achieve the tra­di­tional ar­ti­san her­itage of in-frame con­struc­tion, but with a clean, con­tem­po­rary feel.

Is there a se­cret to achiev­ing such a lux­u­ri­ous look?

It’s not ex­actly clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion but, the longer I do this, the more I find that the sim­pler de­signs are bet­ter. Armed with so many in­cred­i­ble ma­te­ri­als and fit­tings, it’s easy to get too clever, and that of­ten re­sults in an over-com­pli­cated space. A sim­ple de­sign can look plain on pa­per, which can be when peo­ple panic and start adding ex­tra de­tail. You need to keep the faith and trust that the re­al­ity will be beau­ti­ful.

How did you stay within bud­get?

This is a high-end kitchen, but we didn’t have an un­lim­ited bud­get. That’s not nec­es­sar­ily bad, be­cause it helps fo­cus the mind. The choice of stones is one ex­am­ple. The pricier Stat­u­ario mar­ble has been used in smaller amounts, but I think the ef­fect has far greater im­pact than if it were used every­where. It’s the econ­omy of good de­sign – ev­ery­thing has a job and does it well.

The longer I do this, the more I find that the sim­pler de­signs are bet­ter.”

A pared-back pal­ette of mar­ble, wal­nut and soft greys achieves a modern yet time­less beauty.

Vin­cent Glue, se­nior de­signer, Small­bone of Devizes, 020 7589 5998, small­

Open shelv­ing in the is­land takes its de­sign cue from the wal­nut di­vider sep­a­rat­ing the din­ing area.

Vast ex­panses of glass en­sure plenty of nat­u­ral light floods in while of­fer­ing views of the gar­den.

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