Some projects will instantly reveal the optimum layout in a flash of immediate inspiration, but others like this project in Kent require a ‘back to the drawing board’ approach. Reconfiguring a series of rooms and incorporating an orangery style extension provided the starting point for Peter Humphrey, Design Director and Founder of Humphrey Munson, who radically reimagined the single large room into a kitchen, scullery, utility and walk in pantry. At the initial design meeting, the homeowners’ expectations of what was possible went out the window as they were guided through this new design concept: “the radical change that Peter made to the layout of the kitchen has completely transformed it. Everything else about the project is great – the overall design, the quality of the cabinets and finish etc, but it is the change to the layout that has given us a kitchen well beyond anything we could have expected when we first visited the showroom.”
Chosen for their warm undertones, the paint choices of H|M Trim on the perimeter cabinetry and H|M Top Hat on the island work perfectly with the H|M dark Portobello oak accent wood. An abundance of natural light from the orangery (designed, manufactured and installed by Westbury) really helps to bring the outside in and create a calming, natural look and feel for this space.
Creating a warm and welcoming setting that the family had dreamed of, the kitchen space now feels calm and uncluttered and has been designed with entertaining in mind. The informal banquette seating at the end of the island is intended for everyday family meals or when a couple of close friends come over for dinner as the formal dining area is located just off the main kitchen. A separate scullery designed by Peter Humphrey ensures that both informal and formal dining areas can be easily cleared away out of sight.
In terms of the design details, a false chimney provides a focal point for the room and crucially conceals the heavy duty bespoke H|M Westin extraction positioned directly above the Gaggenau induction hob and teppanyaki. The chimney is flanked on either side by tall cabinetry housing two Gaggenau single ovens, a Gaggenau combi-steam oven and Gaggenau combi-microwave. At either far end is a Gaggenau integrated refrigerator and Gaggenau integrated freezer. The island is used as the main food prep area with an under-mounted Kohler sink, Perrin & Rowe Phoenician tap with rinse and a Quooker hot tap finished in polished nickel. Beneath the counter to the left of the sink is a Gaggenau dishwasher and to the right, a Gaggenau vacuum seal drawer and pull out bin.
On the other side of the island is a breakfast bar with two Vincent Sheppard stools that guests can sit at and enjoy a drink whilst chatting to the cook. The other side of the supporting pillar is the Langham dining table finished in Portobello Oak to match the cabinetry interiors and Havisham dining chairs. The upholstered banquette seating built into the island provides a comfortable place to sit whilst watching television from the nearby TV unit, or for children to finish homework before dinner is served. The TV unit has bi-fold doors to conceal the television when not in use. Beneath is an integrated Fisher & Paykel cool drawer used for drinks storage which means the host can grab a bottle of wine or soft drinks quickly rather than walk across the kitchen for them.