Traditional craftsmanship and beautiful materials are the cornerstones of this luxurious modern design
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, smallbone.co.uk.
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.