Real-life kitchen stories

Gardiner Haskins

Alison & John from Portishead tell us about their new Modern Crown Imperial handle-less kitchen

Previously, Alison & John had extended out to the back and their old kitchen was part of an open-plan layout. When they decided to add a two-storey extension to the side, the garage was rebuilt in line with the front of the house. This laid the foundations for the large new kitchen at the rear of the property.

It is an unusual layout but works beautifully with the open plan. The layout hugs the back of the house in a rectangle shape with the living extension to the side of it also at the rear. The kitchen shape is long but quite narrow and so, from a design point of view, the kitchen designer Alec had to think outside the box.

Alison and John were open-minded with no clear vision as to what they wanted. To begin with they came to Gardiner Haskins after a friend’s recommendation, and they also approached another company at the same time. Both companies came up with completely different ideas, but Alison and John warmed to Alec straightaway. He thought about the practicalities and functions of how they were going to use the kitchen day to day rather than designing standard layouts without any thought to the whole process.

“Alec was inspirational in his design approach and it was clear in the way Alec communicated, the expertise also came across,” said the couple.

Entertaining and chatting while cooking was important. Alec could see straightaway it would be pointless designing a kitchen with the hob and sink positioned against the back wall away from family, guests and the view of the garden. The magnificent kitchen island enables all of this to happen in a space that cleverly houses the induction hob, sink, recycling, dishwasher and deep drawers for plenty of pan storage and features a hidden plug socket popping up when required.

In addition, the dining table is incorporated at the end of the kitchen island in front of the bifold doors and fits seamlessly into the design. The tabletop is made from the same material as the kitchen cabinet doors, so it ties in perfectly with the minimal palette. Plus, the table also features a hidden storage cupboard underneath, large enough for a decent amount of storage while still able to sit the family comfortably.

Alison says her favourite feature is the worktop surface. It’s a textured matt quartz. You can see why it’s so loved – the tactile surface is crying out to be touched! John loves the downlight feature highlighting the open shelves at the end of the kitchen which draw you in as soon as you walk into the kitchen. These are unusual as there are double downlights highlighting the beautiful open shelving. In the evenings when they are relaxing, the ambient lighting creates gorgeous pools of light without the need for the pendant lighting over the island.

Small appliances such as the kettle and toaster are tucked away in one of the many storage cupboards in the kitchen island when not in use. Even the sockets are cleverly tucked away and can be pulled up straight from the worktop in a concealed unit, keeping the sleek, stylish feel and reducing the clutter so it’s easy on the eye.

Dreaming of transforming your kitchen? Book your free planning and design consultation at Gardiner Haskins Interiors Kitchen Showroom today by calling 0117 929 2288.

Kitchen designer: Alec Yull
Photography: Carine Butcher

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