We were so thrilled to win the Sub-Zero & Wolf Kitchen Design Contest for Best Traditional Kitchen and we celebrated the win by sharing a tour round the kitchen on Instagram. Since not everyone uses Instagram we thought we would share the tour here as well. The winning kitchen is the Ashurst House project designed by Peter Humphrey, Founder and Design Director of Humphrey Munson.
The key design goal of the homeowners was to install “an extremely well-made kitchen with quality appliances that would stand the test of time”. The kitchen design had to be timeless with all aspects using the best quality materials and appliances. The new kitchen is accommodated within a beautiful timber-framed orangery, and includes a bespoke refectory table that we constructed on site due to its size. The project involved a major extension and remodelling project that resulted in a very large space that the homeowners were keen to utilise and include amongst other things, a walk in larder and a large island unit to act as the hub of the kitchen. With 3 children under 11, the homeowners’ third design goal was to accommodate their different needs including family cooking and meal times, but also space for homework and playtime. Ensuring the space was adaptable was also vital for entertaining their large extended family, as well as friends and hosting parties and celebrations.
The main challenge of the space was a logistical one; the space was exceptionally large so we had to carefully divide up the kitchen into distinct areas that were functional but also aesthetically on point. It was clear that an island would be needed to divide up the space and create a workable cooking and food preparation zone. This large island, incorporating a breakfast bar, prep sink and plenty of worktop space sits opposite a range cooker flanked by sets of deep pan drawers. These two pieces form the heart of the kitchen, supplemented by a separate refrigeration area, larder and scullery.
As with every design, ensuring a clear symmetry to the project was a key consideration. We look at every angle and assess the overall balance of the kitchen so that when it’s installed, it looks and feels perfect. The design of the orangery allows light to flood in along one length of the kitchen so we wanted to ensure that light source was utilised to maximum effect. Installing the distressed mirror splashback situated behind the range cooker allows the light to reflect back over the island unit, as do the hammered nickel pendant lamps.
Bearing in mind the scale of the kitchen, and the needs of the homeowners, we felt that providing a separate scullery with a butler sink and dishwasher was important to provide a distinct area for washing up and kitchen chores. This was a huge hit with the homeowners: “it’s great when we have dinner parties as I can stack up all the dirty plates and dishes round the corner out of sight”.
The Wolf range cooker and electric steamer, together with the Sub-Zero refrigeration drawers, fridge freezer and wine preservation units were chosen as the homeowners had requested state of the art appliances that would stand the test of time. Sub-Zero and Wolf have an international reputation for excellence that is unsurpassed but the products themselves also have a design aesthetic that is very much in keeping with our design goals.
With clean lines and a strong professional design style, the Wolf dual fuel range gave the homeowners the perfect look for their kitchen, but the space and flexibility of the range cooker added a whole new dimension. Details such as the smooth sliding racks, a bottom rack that slides all the way out for easy access to large roasts, not to mention the self-cleaning feature, ensured that the Wolf range was top of the list. The Wolf Electric Steamer cooker sits alongside the range cooker and provides a wealth of options from simply steaming asparagus, to slow cooking roasts and stews; an irresistible option for this busy family with young children.
The Sub-Zero fridge-freezer and refrigeration drawers were selected due to the two-compressor, dual refrigeration system which ensures no unwanted air, moisture or aromas pass been the freezer and the refrigerator. The reputation of Sub-Zero precedes it but the high expectations were far exceeded by the superior performance and functionality of these cornerstone kitchen components.
The two Sub-Zero wine preservation units were chosen for their exceptionally high specification and raft of design features, including independent temperature zones and the overall capacity of up to 132 bottles. However the stand out feature was the UV protection in the glass doors. This was a key ‘wow factor’ for the homeowners who were keen to preserve their wine collection in the light and airy Orangery space.
Each Sub-Zero and Wolf product blends seamlessly into the space and mirrors the understated luxury of the kitchen design. The kitchen design incorporates elements such as the hammered nickel pendant lamps that perfectly compliment the sleek stainless steel used in the Sub-Zero and Wolf products.
The sheer scale of this project, together with the exceptionally high specification of the design make this kitchen genuinely thrilling. Every element, from the polished nickel handles, to the integration of the Wolf steamer cooktop, has been precisely considered. This meticulous attention to detail ensured the kitchen design is absolutely true to the homeowners’ original design brief and utilises all the innovative expertise our years of experience have provided.
This kitchen was designed in-frame. The painted cupboards and fascias were made of tulipwood (poplar), a North American hardwood featuring a smooth and knot free surface. The carcasses are constructed using a solid birchwood ply renowned for its durability. Drawer boxes are made of solid oak and traditionally joined using dovetail joints and mounted on concealed soft close runners. This kitchen was handmade in England at our workshop in Felsted, Essex by the finest craftsman using traditional joinery techniques.
To see photos of the awards ceremony at the Sub-Zero & Wolf showroom in Knighsbridge take a look here.