FURNITURE MAKER'S KITCHEN
A kitchen full of unique details and quirky features in solid hardwood
When Fiona first approached us, it was during the March lockdown of 2020. Amidst all the turmoil of that time, it was a delight to hear her amazing brief. She wanted a kitchen designed around her love of traditional furniture making, but with references to Japanese design, where she had fond memories from teaching English as a graduate. The phrase she kept using was for the design to be like "a huge piece of furniture." Off-the-shelf alternatives just didn't make her heart sing, and that's why she reached out to us: because we are, at heart, furniture makers.
Fiona expressed that the things that would really bring her joy were beautiful, thoughtful, crafted details. She loved the idea of discovering little features as she used the kitchen, and being able to show friends and family the unique parts of the design that showed her personality and individual style.
To create a design she'd fall in love with, we knew that we needed to start with the parts she'd interact with the most - the cabinet doors and pull handles. As the space had such fantastic, high ceilings, we proposed to create three levels of cabinetry, with individual but complimentary doors for each level. The pull handles for each were made by hand, and had their own little personalities, from the wide bar with tactile finger grooves below the worktop, to the hexagonal brass pulls at eye level, to the vertical slim lathes of solid hardwood in the highest cabinetry.
As Fiona loves to cook (most of our clients do!), we wanted to make the space a pleasure to use, so we incorporated a slim shelf above the splashback for essentials like salt and oil, as well as postcards and keepsakes. Special drawers were lined for utensils and cookware, and the cutlery drawer had a pull out tray that allowed access to more storage beneath.
But the main event was the truss shelf that spans the open side of the kitchen like a portal frame. This beautifully detailed piece of Japanese-inspired design gives space for Fiona to display her collection of Asian ceramics, which is a real conversation starter when friends are around. Nestled amongst the ceramics and collections are three Japanese shoji paper lanterns, designed and made by us right here in the workshop, which light the space in an intimate glow and make this space the heart of the home.
"It was such a special experience to have you design something just for me. And I love it - it's like a huge pieces of furniture, and I keep discovering new details."