Taking inspiration from their time living overseas, John and Leona have designed and built their ideal home back in their native Ireland. ‘The style is modern open plan living with influences from our time living in London, NYC and Brisbane. The kitchen has a vaulted ceiling and the house has been orientated so you can see the sunrise through the large unrestricted kitchen feature window and sunset through the large double windows at the front of the house,’ says John.
With some initial styles and concepts in mind, the couple visited a number of showrooms and researched extensively before visiting Dorans. ‘We did a lot of on-line searching on Pinterest and Houzz mostly and did visit several showrooms before meeting Eamon Doran of Dorans Kitchen & Home. Dorans came to us from the recommendation of a family member who had their kitchen designed by them. This gave us a chance to see the quality of their work and we just knew they were the right fit as soon as we met Eamon and the team. We had such a large space to design our kitchen around and Dorans was the only kitchen company who produced a liveable kitchen space that was really functional, well-planned and visually ideal as the hub of our home. From their initial design we were confident that we would get the kitchen we wanted.’
A generously proportioned space, the open plan layout has been designed with sociable living to the forefront. As well as performing as an efficient working kitchen, the room also had to provide an ideal layout and ambience for entertaining. ‘The kitchen is definitely the hub of our home, it’s where we spend a lot of our time so it had to be a welcoming space with a large central island to give us a casual dining area as well as a functional cooking space.’
To begin with, John and Leona weren’t quite decided on what they wanted in terms of design and finishes. ‘We had a couple of different styles we leaned towards but working with Eamon at Dorans allowed us to pinpoint what we wanted. The design was more of a collaboration process and several changes were made before we came to a final design, which Dorans facilitated, ensuring we had exactly what we wanted from the final design. Eamon had some very useful ideas regarding lighting and layout, which we adapted into the design to really make the most of every aspect of the room. The lighting is really effective and works well to highlight the cabinetry and vaulted ceiling.’
Designed in line with the lofty ceiling and centred around the large feature window, the cabinetry has been specified to follow the unique shape of the room. ‘Eamon and Declan and all the team at Dorans were excellent. Our entire experience was literally flawless. Both the design and installation were carried out very professionally. The workshop the installers set up on site would do your heart good; it was organised, methodical, functional and in the end delivered a high spec kitchen we are very proud of.’
How did the design evolve? The design process started at the first consultation. John and Leona had designed and built their own home and so had a certain idea of what they wanted to achieve with the kitchen when they came to us for a consultation. Although they had a couple of styles in mind, they hadn’t fully decided how to proceed. I took time to discuss their likes and dislikes to get a thorough understanding of how they wanted the kitchen to function and flow. The feature window at the sink was key to the success of the overall scheme, with the glass meeting the work surface for a seamless and panoramic outlook.
What are the most unusual design features? The ceilings are high which enhances the feeling of space in this unusually shaped room. To maximise the ceilings, we designed the cabinetry 2.8m high to work in harmony with the architecture of the room. Giving the design a seamless finish, the windows are set at worktop height with the work surface flowing into the window reveal. Accentuating the pitched ceiling, we designed a lighting scheme with uplighting around the top of the cabinetry. We scaled up the island while ensuring a seamless finish with no joins, surfaced with a full jumbo slab of Silestone. Sections of cabinetry have been framed with simple chamfered pilasters to complete the look.
What design features did you suggest that had not initially been considered? We suggested the bespoke lighting scheme to highlight the cabinetry, the high ceilings and unusual shape. Further enhancing light in the room, we designed the cabinetry with glass boxes, breaking up the solid painted finish and providing areas for display. A section of shelving in weathered oak adds further interest and makes good use of the corner next to the fridge freezer.