Although the couple’s previous kitchen had stood the test of time impeccably well, Eugene and Mary felt it was time to give their interior an update with another custom designed scheme in a more modern yet still timeless style. ‘I own a building company and have worked with Dorans Kitchens on numerous projects over the years and we have a great relationship with them. It was actually Dorans who designed and fitted our original kitchen, which we’ve had for 24 years. The old kitchen still looks as good as the day it went it, which is testament to the great quality of kitchens Dorans produce. It was in such good condition that we’ve been able to reuse it in two of our rental properties,’ says Eugene.
Having had such positive experiences with Dorans over the years and getting such longevity from their last kitchen, the couple didn’t hesitate in arranging a consultation with owner and designer, Eamon Doran for their makeover project. ‘After over 20 years with the same kitchen, we decided to update the room, retaining the same original kitchen footprint and adding new doors leading out to the patio.’ Working within the original kitchen dimensions, Eamon came up with a unique design centred round a beautiful curved central island – the one design feature the couple requested from the outset. ‘Our last kitchen was beautiful but more traditional so we wanted to go for a completely different look with a curved island and breakfast bar to give the room a really attractive focal point.’
Leaving it up to Eamon to suggest ideas for overall layout, internal storage and door design, the couple were impressed by the amount of concealed storage built into what is the same sized room as they had all along. ‘Eamon suggested going full ceiling height with the cabinetry along one wall, which works brilliantly. Here we have the ovens, warming drawers and lots of great storage including the pantry. It makes such great use of space and the full height furniture totally transforms the room. It gives the kitchen a really finished feel rather than having space-wasting gaps between the top of the units and the ceiling. Tall furniture can sometimes be imposing in a space but Eamon achieved a really good balance with the cabinetry proportions and the new doors, where there was originally a window enhances the feeling of space.’
In the original drawings, the furniture had a more linear profile to contrast with the curved island but Eugene and Mary preferred the softened appearance of the island, so Eamon added curved edges to the furniture to continue this theme throughout. ‘The curved doors really enhance the design, especially in the larder with the shaped oak shelving. It just gives the room a really good sense of flow.’ Enhancing this sense of flow, the deep plinths, coving detail, bespoke wall panelling and matching custom designed radiator cover completes the look to ensure a beautifully coordinated finish.
Did you make any design suggestions your client had not considered? Yes, the main design element in the brief was for a feature island but the rest of the design and layout was up for discussion. I suggested replacing the window with the glazed doors and came up with the layout for the full ceiling height cabinetry running along the full expanse of one wall, which houses the appliances and food storage. I also designed the wall panelling and radiator cover to continue the furnished feel throughout the room. The feature plinth was another detail added to enhance the finish and complement the coving along the top of the cabinetry.
What are the key design elements? The feature shaped island with matching ceiling drop is a defining feature in the space. My clients like the curved detail of the island so much that they asked us to continue the theme throughout the rest of the kitchen. The curved larder is another key feature with oak internals comprising curved shelving, deep drawer boxes and spice racks on the backs of the doors. The full wall of ceiling height cabinetry with glass- fronted sections along the top really maximises storage and furnishes the room.
How did the design evolve? The entire design evolved from the central island. Having a feature island as a focal point in the room was one of my clients’ main priorities. We discussed removing one of the windows in the room and adding the full height glazed doors to open up and bring more light into the space. The initial kitchen design had more square profiles but my clients requested softening the overall look, so we incorporated the curved features to give a more sweeping contour in keeping with the island. The island design didn’t change from the initial concept.