This West London Victorian town house has been completely transformed by its owners. A classic country style kitchen has been extended and remodelled to create a super contemporary glass house effect. Matt finishes, handleless cabinetry, clean lines and accents of walnut veneer create a striking yet incredibly simple design which works in complete harmony with the mature and pretty garden outside. Perfect for entertaining, Ben Hawkswell from Roundhouse Design talks us through the kitchen design process.
What was your brief from the client?
The brief was to offer a more contemporary finish and layout that worked with the clients’ remodelling work - a previous extension and garden doors were being re-envisaged, however the floor space essentially stayed the same. The architect McDaniel Woolf used Crittal style glazed panelling and metal frame detailing to create a striking new structure and retained the rafter detailing to the ceiling. The brief was to complement this with a modern finish and high specification appliances, but the client was open to ideas on the layout.
How have you incorporated texture into this design and what was the reason behind this?
Both the clients and I were excited to use our Riven Smoked Walnut Veneer - a take on the classic black walnut but with darkened detailing and a subtle saw-tooth texture. While less textured, the Dekton Keranium work surfaces still offer a tactile finish.
Why were Miele appliances selected?
We were impressed with the streamlined design and versatile functions of the Miele Ovens with intuitive M Touch displays, which had been demonstrated to the clients at the Miele Experience Centre in London and the Roundhouse Richmond showroom. We created two large cooking zones and incorporated a Miele Steam Combination Oven into one of them, which met the clients’ brief perfectly. The Miele Induction Hob was chosen for its generous six cooking zones that can be precisely and efficiently controlled, as well as for its sleek flush-fit finish.
The room is flooded with natural light, how did that impact on the kitchen planning?
It was important to gauge the materials used - we felt the setting would allow us to use a darker veneer, but that it had to be framed by lighter finishes. We could have used the veneer anywhere, but the opportunity to use it across the wall cabinets and tall units let us show off the horizontal veining very well.
What does the rest of the house look like and how does this effect the design of the kitchen?
The house is of Victorian era, and many original features have been retained. The kitchen space flows through into a living area and the traditional covings were kept. A grand drawing room and study elsewhere in the house are also styled more traditionally, so there is a different story in each part of the house.
How does the kitchen reflect the personality of the owners?
The clients had a keen eye for detail and a great understanding of design, and this was reflected in their desire for high standards in innovation, quality of materials and a clever functional arrangement.
How do you make a kitchen functional as well as beautiful? Functional aspects can be contained and hidden behind doors - for example the double door pantry offers a multitude of functions and small appliances, with a pleasing door and drawer design. Everything is in its place and there is a place for everything.
What advice would you offer readers starting out on a kitchen journey?
A little research is good time spent - looking through magazines or Pinterest will help you build ideas of what you do or don’t like, ready for the key questions presented by your kitchen professional. Think about how you use your kitchen and what your priorities are, such as space for an island or pantry. It is definitely worth researching appliances in advance as you may discover something new and then these can be incorporated into the plan from the beginning of the design process.