White Handleless Shaker in Hatton

Client Interview

Can you describe your new kitchen to us?

We’d always dreamed of having open plan living so we decided to reorganise our internal layout and extend the back of the whole house into the garden. We moved the kitchen from the front to the back of the house and used the new extension as an orangery. It took me about a year to get my head around what we were doing and it felt like a huge change but thinking back now, I wonder why we didn’t do it ages ago.

In terms of styling, I didn’t want anything too niche or fashionable because I was worried that it’d date. And I like to mix things up with old statement pieces and neutral, contemporary styles. I feel that I’ve got a kitchen that’s been designed especially for me. It’s a very interesting room with all the light that bounces around from the mirrors.

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      The kitchen feels so light, how did you achieve this?

      The house faces South West so there’s lot’s of natural light until the early afternoon. A friend has a small mirror in her kitchen and Angela told me that she has a mirror splash back, so we decided to go for it. I can be washing up and still see what’s going on around me. It’s not like standing facing a wall, you can still speak with people and you feel part of the room. And it makes the room look huge because you can see the reflection all the way through the back of the house to the garden. There are fantastic pictures of the garden at different times of day - it’s very exciting.

      The combination of handless units with shaker style doors is quite unusual, how did this come about?

      We love this look. Handleless kitchens are very contemporary but flat doors looked too modern, so Angela suggested using shaker doors to give a traditional twist. There’s dark oak behind the rail which gives great contrast against the white, and marrying the two together gives a contemporary feel without being too modern. Handleless also avoids cluttering the clean lines design and solves the problem of worrying about what handles to have. I’ve got a lot of things going on in the kitchen anyway and to have more going on with the handles wouldn’t look right.

      What difference has the kitchen made to the way you cook?

      I like to cook, and I’ve just started baking again. That was a big request with the new worktop; space. In our old kitchen I had a little table in the corner for rolling pastry but now I have plenty of space on the island. From the oven to plating up, to the table, it feels so natural and couldn’t be easier.

      Are there any decisions you’re particularly glad you made?

      We’re particular happy with the size of the worktop on the breakfast bar which creates a lovely flow to the room. Last weekend, our boys came home for Sunday dinner and were sat chatting at the breakfast bar while I was cooking. There were two laptops out, several bottles of beer, a granny sat at the end, I had a roasting dish with several other pans on the go, and I still had room to work all the way around.

      And the storage is amazing; the slider pan drawers are great and there’s a pull out larder so all the food is in one place which makes cooking much easier. In fact, all the cupboards are cavernous. We use stacking racks inside the cupboards which are very deep, and with the swing out Le Mans corner cupboard, you’re using every bit of space. There’s no dead space at the back that’s out of reach.

      The display shelf above the mirrors is an interesting feature, can you tell us about it?

      We’ve got a lot of dishes that we wanted to display but the wall behind is only soft plasterboard and the floating shelves themselves are very heavy. So I found a photo online where they’d hung a floating shelf using brass rods from the ceiling. Angela managed to source them for us and we’ve hung them from the joists so they’re totally secure. I can put my favourite pieces on that heavy shelf with absolute confidence.

      How have you found living with the kitchen so far?

      It’s very easy to keep clean and there are no nooks and crannies. Our old kitchen units had vertical grooves down them where dirt and grime built up, but cleaning in the new kitchen is so much easier, you just wipe along. It hasn’t become a chore yet!

      And what did you think of the whole experience?

      We’ve never done anything like this before and although I have a creative mind, I found it very difficult to get my head around how the room would look once it was built and where we wanted things to be. I didn’t find it easy to think ‘right, we’re going to change the house around’. I needed to see one thing sorted before I could move onto the next step. For example, before the walls were built, I couldn’t imagine where the radiators would go. We looked at lights for about two weeks and each little step has taken a while to sort out. The patience we got from Angela and Jeremy was extraordinary.

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