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Candid, honest, useful advice on all things kitchens, furniture, design, and wood, from the younger brother at H. Miller Bros.

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How to design a Mid-Century kitchen - a case study

October

2023

Hey design-lovers,


We get lots of enquiries from people who want a kitchen designed in a particular style, or to suit the specific period of their home. It’s an interesting brief, and one we really enjoy designing to. But it can also be a daunting prospect for the client...


‘Do I need to bring information/ideas to the discussion?’

‘Will this particular style work with my home?’

'What if I don't like the design?'


These are great questions, and they all hint at a common theme – ‘How does the design process work?’. I’ve written a whole article about the process we’ve created to guide people from our first discussions with them, through the design and specification, and through to their completed project, and you can read about that here: https://www.hmillerbros.co.uk/process.


But I thought it might be interesting to see how the process works in a case study….



Lynsey and Leigh's Mid-Century Kitchen

 


Lynsey and Leigh Bradley live in a lovely Victorian double-fronted home in Southport. When, in 2022, they were carrying out major refurbishments to the ground floor, they decided it was time for the kitchen they'd always wanted. They approached us with a delicious brief to create a Mid-Century kitchen that was stylish, sophisticated, and infused with the sense of optimism and fun that defines the Mid-Century aesthetic. Challenge accepted!


All our projects start with a thorough briefing exercise where we pull together all of our clients wants, needs, red lines and nice-to-haves, so we understand what's important to them, and what will make a space they'll fall in love with. From our earliest conversations, Lynsey and Leigh spoke about how they wanted their new kitchen to be a space where they could spend time as a family (both nuclear and extended). It needed to be a place to cook, eat, socialise and celebrate. A key consideration was that the kitchen should flow into the dining room and living areas, to make a cohesive, connected set of spaces. 


We began to put ideas together and a theme that emerged was the 'architectural drawing' aesthetic - black ink on graph paper, with different line thicknesses used to define and articulate. We imagined the kitchen to be like the elevation of a building, with areas of light and shade, articulated structure, and a sense of hierarchy amongst the elements. This translated into the design by means of black-stained strips of wood sandwiched vertically between the cabinets like the lines on the graph paper, a semblance of balconies and overhangs in the sections that were recessed back from the full-height cabinets, and light boxes perched up high, like the glow from a warm living room when viewed from outside.



We created flow between the kitchen, eating, and living spaces using a number of techniques and deign details. We designed the peninsula so that it had two levels, with a worktop and hob on the kitchen side, and a step down to the dining room side, where we set a vinyl record player into the iroko cabinet top.


Here's what Lynsey said about the process:

 

"Hugh and Howard’s approach was unlike anyone else we’ve worked with. They’re totally bespoke, completely attentive to minor details, and really keen to get an understanding of everything we wanted at a granular level."


Plants always bring a kitchen to life, and Lynsey and Leigh have a collection of lovely specimens, so we designed a hanging shelf, and nooks between the light boxes, where they could sit, hang, and populate. In the island end, we created open shelves where records, books and the accoutrements of family life could sit on full display.



When we were first researching worktops for the project, we knew that terrazzo would look amazing, and Lynsey and Leigh had given us signals that they were up for something brave. When we found the pink marble pebbles set into dark green resin, there really wasn't a decision to make. They love it. We love it. It just makes you smile every time you look at it. 


We’re really proud of this project, and Lynsey and Leigh are delighted with the results. When we realised the photos on our Instagram, it started to pick up a lot of admirers, and the project was eventually published in The Gardian, and you can read the article they wrote here...


You can also see more photos from this project here: https://www.hmillerbros.co.uk/kitchens/mid-century-kitchen


If you'd like to speak about your own project, I'd love to hear from you. Click below to arrange a quick chat.


Cheers,

Hugh

Not sure how to get started...?
- arrange a quick chat...

If you want to find out how we can help you create a beautiful, unique kitchen, it's really easy!...

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Find out more about some of unique projects, and the clients who commissioned them...

MID-CENTURY KITCHEN

MID-CENTURY KITCHEN

A mid-century kitchen in a Victorian town house

PUMP HOUSE KITCHEN

PUMP HOUSE KITCHEN

Forest green cabinets with a pink maple pantry...

SIATAMA KITCHEN

SIATAMA KITCHEN

A blend of Japanese jointing with Scandi design

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