Another stunning contemporary kitchen. We refurbished a large Victorian house for these clients in North London, including a new loft extension.
The existing 20 year old kitchen was falling to bits & looked badly dated. The brief was to make the whole room look clean, contemporary & elegant. And they wanted to have a dining table at the garden end of the room.
Every new room starts off with working out the constraints to work round. The main one here was a large wall boiler that the customer didn't want moved (too expensive & too many knock on problems). So somehow this had to be included in the kitchen & ideally hidden. The clients also had 3 freestanding white appliances they wanted to keep (to save costs), but to build in so they looked integrated.
As always the first step is to work out a finished design, for the clients to agree on & us to quote on for the works. Often these go through a few revisions between 1st & final draft; clients usually start to think harder about what they want at this stage.
Next comes the bit clients all hate, work starts on site. Especially if they are still living in the property! No matter how well we seal rooms & use dust sheets, dust has a way of getting everywhere.
The old kitchen was ripped out & skipped. The 3 appliances we were going to re-use had to be covered with polythene & stored in another room. The floor was made secure & boarded over for a level new tiled floor. The lath & plaster ceiling had to come down as it was loose, and a new plasterboarded ceiling installed. The walls needed plaster skimming. New plumbing & electrics had to be run for the whole kitchen, with fused spurs for all the appliances. 2 new rows of low voltage spot lights were installed in the ceiling.
Then the kitchen fit started. This is where clients feel like they've past the worst, they can at last start to see progress. The base & wall units go up pretty quickly, when using solid carcases. The wall units on the sink side had to be made deeper than usual, to accomodate the wall boiler. This was hidden & housed in a larger than standard wall unit.
The 3 freestanding white appliances all needed to be built in to look integrated. To do this you have to use special hinges for this purpose, and allow for the worktop being 5cm deeper than usual to do this (which means all the units along the sink wall had to packed 5cm off the wall).
Once the main units are in, we next get the granite company to come & template the kitchen. Between templating & fitting the granite there is usually a 10 - 14 day delay while they manufacture the worktops. If clients are still living in the house we would usually fit a cheap laminate worktop, & often re-use their old sink & tap, just so they can start to use the kitchen abit.
Once the granite has been templated, we laid new electric underfloor heating & tiled the floor with 50cm square limestone coloured floor tiles.
One of the first conversations we have with clients, as well as the overall design of the kitchen, is how the finished kitchen will look. It was decided from the start that we would use walnut base units. But light had been an issue in the old kitchen, which is long & narrow.
The end result was the walls were painted white, the wall units were gloss white & the base unit end panels were gloss white. The new tiled floor had limestone coloured tiles. All of this was to bounce light around the room as much as possible. The walnut & dark granite were to contrast this.