Having lived in their home for 35 years, James and Ann initially planned to revamp what had been a relatively narrow kitchen space with a small separate adjacent room. After much consideration, they finally decided to undertake a complete rebuild of the property to recreate their dream open plan home. ‘We travel across Europe a lot with work which has been our source of inspiration for the new layout’. Working mainly with the original footprint of their existing property, they set about designing a period style house with two L-shaped buildings interlocking to form a beautiful courtyard. One side of the property is the main house, with the second L-shape as an annex for the couple to eventually retire to.
Meeting with Eamon Doran of Dorans Kitchen & Home relatively early in the build project, Ann and James had done their research, looking online for ideas and in magazines for kitchen design inspiration. ‘From our initial visit to the showroom, I knew we were in the right place.’ says Ann. ‘Eamon fully understood our desire to build a period style property with sliding sash windows and a timeless classic design.’
Dealing with Eamon, the couple spent time talking through everything they wanted to achieve with their new scheme. When designer and client have a mutual love for design, amazing things happen so the sky was the limit with this scheme. ‘As farmers we spend a lot of time at home and on the surrounding land; we have put a lot of thought into planning how we can use both the indoor and outdoor space. We wanted a kitchen that would be the heart of the home, maximising the views of the courtyard and the surrounding areas. We lean more towards timeless styles rather than modern finishes and therefore we wanted classic curved edges for the cabinetry.’
With a sociable open plan layout for the kitchen and dining area, leading through double doors to the sitting room, the footprint gave Eamon a blank canvas to design the layout. ‘Eamon thought of so many unique ideas for the room and utilised every space, even incorporating a window seat and workstation beside the dining table. We spend so much time in the kitchen that it was important for us to make this a warm, welcoming and furnished space, as well as a practical kitchen, and the window seat and island do exactly that. The island is the perfect spot for a morning coffee before the busy day starts.’
Ann and James adore everything about their new kitchen that is difficult for them to choose a standout feature. ‘It’s better than we ever dreamed it would be!’ The workmanship really stands out, highlighted beautifully in the bespoke double larder and ornate overmantel taking pride of place. ‘I love the glass-fronted cabinetry which displays my crockery collection.’ says Ann. ‘The side-by-side eye level ovens, another brilliant suggestion by Eamon, are a great addition and making cooking so much easier.’ So much more than a functional kitchen, this bespoke scheme truly reflects the owner’s style. ‘I love it all but most of all I really enjoy the feel of the room and how we use the space as a family. I can stand at the sink and look over the courtyard or enjoy the views from the island – it’s perfect!’
How did the design evolve? James and Ann had just started building their new home when they came into the showroom, based on a recommendation. They had some really lovely ideas of what they wanted in terms of style and finishes. Ann really wanted to achieve a modern take on a homely country kitchen so we discussed every aspect in detail. The scheme evolved very organically as it was apparent from the first consultation that we had very similar taste in kitchen design.
How did you incorporate storage into the design? As a busy home, Ann wanted to ensure that everything had a dedicated place and the counter tops where clutter free, so bespoke storage was a must! We have added undercounter storage on both the main cabinetry and in the island, in both cupboards and drawers to utilise the space to maximum capacity. The chef ’s pantry then adds further storage for every day essentials, which are at hand easily while cooking and during busier times of the day. The hidden workstation also gives extra storage for mail and household items while keeping them out of sight. We then finished the design with backlit glass fronts on selected cabinetry to display Ann’s collection of crockery she has collected from across Europe over the years.
What details were added as the design concept progressed? We tweaked the colours and decided to add a contrasting tone to the island, which really enhances the island as the focal aspect of the room. We also introduced the cornice detailing around the kitchen in keeping with the period style of the rest of the house. To further enhance the homely cosy feel to the open plan space Ann wanted, I suggested adding in the window seat and hidden workstation to really give the room a multifunctional space that the whole family could enjoy together.
If you've been impressed by this case study, and would be interested in discussing ideas with our designers at Dorans Kitchen & Home, now one of the leading kitchen suppliers in the UK and Ireland, you can contact us on (028) 30848917.