For a truly individual kitchen designed to suit both your style and your needs, there is nothing better than bespoke, says Merlin Wright, Design Director at Plain English
Choosing a bespoke kitchen means that the designer will consider your needs and your space without the restrictions of fixed sizes or a formulaic look. It should also mean that the cupboards are of a quality that will age well and last indefinitely. At Plain English we are inspired by the simple ‘below stairs’ joinery of the 18th century, which suits most spaces and can look plain or quite grand depending on the architecture and the client.
There is no formula for a Plain English kitchen; it’s more a sensibility. For some projects – usually the smaller urban ones – it makes sense to go for quite a fitted approach. With larger spaces it can be more interesting to mix fitted and freestanding elements, and to leave space for art and antiques and other items that add personality to the room.
Lighting is a critical element that can destroy the atmosphere of a room, so plenty of warm, adjustable lighting from multiple sources will allow the mood to be controlled.
Colour is vital but is very dependent on the scale and aspect of the room, so it’s a good exercise to paint large samples on lining paper to see how they all relate. I like to take colour schemes from paintings as the balance and proportions of the colours have been carefully worked out by the artist. Quality paints are important and sometimes we use contrasting colours and finishes for different elements, such as islands and tall cupboards.
Lastly, hardware and fittings are like the buttons on a coat and can make or ruin the look if they are an inappropriate scale or finish.
Images: Alexis Hamilton Photography