The client already had an attractive country kitchen, but it was in laminate. Although it looked nice at a glance, it hadn’t stood the test of time – the frames had moved, the hinges were broken – and it needed replacing. The client realised that a new laminate kitchen would also deteriorate in a few years, and decided to invest in something a lot stronger. Looking for quality and durability, they came to Bear and Woods.
The client liked their existing country kitchen, and wanted to upgrade to a better-quality version. They didn’t want us to make many changes, as the current style and layout worked for them. However, as we talked through things with the client, a few nags with the current kitchen came up. Of course, we wanted to sort these out and create the best possible design for them.
In keeping with the original kitchen’s style, the client chose traditional raised panel units, hand painted in Dimity by Farrow & Ball. The kitchen worktops brought in a little contrast: blue pearl granite for the kitchen island, and oak block worktops around the kitchen run. Top-quality appliances completed the kitchen upgrade, including a Rangemaster Professional + FX cooker, a Belfast sink with an instant hot water tap, and an integrated bin, dishwasher, and fridge-freezer.
Although the client didn’t want many changes to the layout of their existing kitchen, they did mention a few little things that could be improved. Currently, their microwave was under the kitchen worktop, which was very inconvenient as they had to keep bending down to reach it. We built this into their design, integrating the microwave at a useful height just above the worktop – a practical solution that prevented the microwave from taking up worktop space.
The client also told us that they had young grandchildren, and didn’t want them bumping into sharp corners. This became a key part of the design; we built curved doors all around the kitchen island to prevent any accidents, and matched the style with the wall units. The result is an elegant finishing touch to a sophisticated kitchen.
To suit the elegant country style, the client wanted thick kitchen worktops with ornate profile detailing. As granite worktops normally come in 20mm or 30mm thickness, we put two 20mm slabs together to achieve a thicker look; a technique known as “20/20”. The double edge profile – lambs tongue on top of roundover – worked well as its ornateness disguised the fact that it was actually two pieces of granite put together. We matched this profile on the timber worktops, which already come in 40mm, for a consistent look throughout. A small detail, but it makes a difference.
It wouldn’t be a Bear and Woods kitchen without the bespoke touches that make our work so special. We fitted a faux chimney breast with an overmantle, complete with storage units and a decorative pediment. It was a feature the client had their heart set on – and something that can only be properly achieved with a team of bespoke kitchen designers.
Good bespoke kitchen designers can even create features you haven’t even thought of. When the client mentioned they would like a wine rack, we designed integrated wine racks on both sides of the kitchen island; one chilled and one unchilled, so the client could store both red and white wine. It’s a small but useful feature – and it’s the level of attention to detail that you get when you come to Bear and Woods.