How a made to measure kitchen can make life easier and enhance your enjoyment of cooking.
Whether you’re a modest home cook or a professional chef, having a kitchen that has been designed and purpose built to suit your individual needs will make cooking more enjoyable, and ease the stress and strain of working by having everything immediately at hand.
This was certainly true for a retired couple in Wellesbourne for whom cooking and quality ingredients have always been important, in both their professional and personal lives. With a much loved Bower Willis kitchen in their existing home, when the time came to downsize, their biggest disappointment was leaving their dream kitchen behind. So before even moving in to their new build home, they once again called in Bower Willis Designs to recreate the feel and functionality of their old kitchen, albeit on a smaller scale.
All aspects of the kitchen are designed with cooking in mind. The cavernous butlers pantry with its parliament hinge doors offers a convenient preparation area inside, equipped with toaster and housing the bread bin, it is the perfect space for preparing breakfast with the convenience of being able to then close it away afterward. With dry ingredients neatly flanked on all sides, it is a well lit and usable space.
A purpose built cupboard also houses the food processor and blender, again with electrical sockets inside for keeping those essential everyday gadgets tucked away from sight yet accessible at all times for easy, immediate access.
Even the worktops and kitchen island have been built at the perfect height for baking. “We had the island dropped to a lower height as I find modern worktops too high for a comfortable working position. I’m not particularly tall and having it 60mm lower makes it perfect height for rolling, kneading and whisking.”
Bower Willis agree that it’s all about making things exactly right for each person, and by taking a simple elbow height measurement can calculate the perfect worktop placement for your new kitchen.
“I love to cook, and Angela understands kitchens and designs from a cooks perspective. She understood the layout that was going to work for me, and knew my height in terms of shelves and where to position things. I decided I didn’t want any low cupboards, and with drawers being so good these days, there’s no need to bend and root around for things. It’s all very easy to use. It’s a cheerful room to work in, and very functional with everything easily at hand. It works!”
Technology has been used thoughtfully throughout the kitchen to make life easier and improve cooking results too. The Quooker boiling hot water tap safely and efficiently dispenses cold, hot or boiling hot water for effortless blanching, wilting spinach, peeling tomatoes, washing, and it conveniently makes an immediate cup of tea.
The combination steam oven is coupled with conventional oven with grill and warming drawer, induction hob and gas wok burner to provide the best of all worlds.
Remote control ambient lighting provides total control, allowing preparation areas to be brightly lit for safe working, while the dining area can be bathed in a relaxing low level glow. And the kick board plinth vacuum, placed just beneath the integral rubbish bin, allows anything that gets missed on the way to the bin to be easily swept and vacuumed away.
And for a durable working surface, Silestone is the choice of cooks. A manmade compound of 96% quartz and 4% resin, it is incredibly hard and resilient. Unlike Granite or Marble, it does not stain, mark or scratch and is available in a host of colours and patterns. In fact, use of a chopping board is only recommended because it is such a hard cutting surface that it will blunt your knives.
The kitchen features Callerton Deco Walnut Chelsea Trio units with an Oak banding to complement other furniture in the room and echo the dual wood internal doors that feature throughout the home, which have the same combination of horizontal and vertical grain direction. The units are finished to match Farrow and Ball Elephants Breath, with a lacquer mixed into the paint for durability; Bower Willis Designs can colour match your units to any colour, fabric sample or swatch you choose.
“Angela’s very good at developing an empathy with her client to establish what they want from their kitchen. Having worked with her before, it would have been foolish to go anywhere else. She knew exactly what I wanted.”
Continuing further into the home, Bower Willis have also designed and built the shelving either side of the modern gas fireplace in the living room, recessed neatly in the alcoves either side and balanced in design to house the unique objet d’art. “I knew what I wanted but didn’t know how I could get it looking right. With their usual attention to detail, Angela and Kate actually measured all my pieces of artwork and worked out how the shelving would work to house them all - everything fits. The shelves have beautiful under lighting too, which really show things at their best.”