KITCHEN

Crafts­man­ship flows through this kitchen’s ex­tra­or­di­nary curves, which echo the unique con­tours of the house it­self

Homes & Gardens - - CONTENTS - DE­SIGNER Martin Hol­l­i­day, founder and de­sign di­rec­tor, Chis­el­wood, 01522 704446, chis­el­wood.co.uk.

Beau­ti­ful curved cab­in­tery cre­ates a strik­ing rhyth­mic shape and an er­gonomic flow.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE PROJECT?

Aptly named In­curvo, this house in the Chilterns has re­cently won sev­eral awards for its un­usual, rhyth­mic shape and im­pres­sive eco cre­den­tials. It has been a real labour of love for its own­ers, who had al­ways lived in the area and wanted to cre­ate a gen­uinely wel­com­ing home – not just a show­piece. They ap­proached us three years be­fore the foun­da­tions were laid, af­ter see­ing one of our projects in a mag­a­zine and ap­pre­ci­at­ing its in­di­vid­u­al­ity. Their kitchen was de­signed and signed off be­fore the house was built.

WHAT IN­SPIRED THE KITCHEN’S STYLE?

We orig­i­nally started down quite a tra­di­tional route for the cab­i­netry. The own­ers’ pre­vi­ous kitchen had been clas­si­cally de­signed, but for here the ar­chi­tects, Adrian James Ar­chi­tects, pushed for a more con­tem­po­rary look that would go with the prop­erty’s curves. The res­o­lu­tion is ac­tu­ally per­fectly pitched be­tween warmth and mod­ernism.

HOW DID YOU AR­RANGE THE LAY­OUT?

There’s barely a straight wall in the house, so a curved lay­out was fun­da­men­tal. The shape of the is­land evolved on plan and re­flects the form of the build­ing, in mi­cro­cosm, but it also

works to cre­ate an in­tu­itive and er­gonomic flow through the kitchen area. Ad­join­ing the kitchen is a fully fit­ted util­ity room, which al­lowed us to keep this space open and invit­ing.

WHICH MA­TE­RI­ALS DID YOU CHOOSE FOR THE CAB­I­NETRY?

The doors fea­ture spe­cial­ist multi-lam­i­nate ve­neers by an Ital­ian com­pany called Tabu. They are tinted to achieve a pre­cise, uni­form colour and are in­cred­i­bly sta­ble, which is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant on the rounded doors. The stain­less-steel plinths co-or­di­nate with the steel ap­pli­ances but they are also a prac­ti­cal fea­ture – fine ve­neers should never go right down to the floor as a wet mop might dam­age them.

AND FOR THE REST OF THE SUR­FACES?

Se­lect­ing the work­tops was a tough process. We started with the round break­fast bar sur­face, for which we sourced an in­ter­est­ing riven gran­ite that picks up on the browns of the ve­neer work and pro­vides tex­ture. The fea­ture splash­backs are made from nat­u­ral reeds en­cased in acrylic with LEDS be­hind that glow through at night. The rest of the work­tops and splash­backs are plain com­pos­ite stone in a muted shade.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE LIGHT­ING?

The own­ers par­tic­u­larly dis­like down­lights and, apart from a few care­fully po­si­tioned state­ment pen­dants, they didn’t want to see any light sources at all. The so­lu­tion in­volved cre­at­ing drop bulk­heads, pre­cisely shaped to the curves of the ceil­ing, with a con­cealed light­ing chan­nel around the perime­ter. Thank­fully our com­puter-con­trolled ma­chines can achieve mil­lime­tre-per­fect tem­plates, while VBK Light­ing De­sign worked out the com­plex electrics and con­trol pan­els. The care­fully man­aged light lev­els play a piv­otal role in this house’s suc­cess. It is a dynamic, even ground-break­ing, prop­erty but in­side it just feels like a nice, com­fort­able home.

The kitchen con­nects to sev­eral other ar­eas, in­clud­ing a liv­ing room and a dining space with floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows that over­look the newly cre­ated lake.

Nat­u­ral reeds, found in abun­dance in the Chilterns, are en­cased in acrylic to cre­ate a strik­ing striped pat­tern on the splash­back.

TOP A sub­stan­tial bow-fronted larder cab­i­net of­fers easy-ac­cess stor­age for dried and tinned foods. ABOVE The ad­join­ing util­ity room pro­vides top-to-bot­tom stor­age, plus an ex­tra sink and re­frig­er­a­tion. BE­LOW The award-win­ning In­curvo house.

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