Clever, Colourful, and Very, Very Simple – By British Standard Cupboards
By Linda Parker
We caught up with the very proud owner of a new kitchen, with cabinets from British Standard Cupboards.
The British Standard Cupboards range by Plain English is a clever concept, offering customers high-standard, off-the-shelf cabinetry, made in the same workshops as their sister company’s Plain English collection. British Standard Cupboards can be ordered on-line, the website guides purchasers through the design and planning stages, in a clear and very helpful manner. Back-up advice and help is available, of course, or an independent kitchen designer can be brought on-board.
Q: What were your stand-out priorities when you started this kitchen project?
‘Our project involved creating a large family kitchen room within a contemporary extension. The whole project was designed and built from scratch, and took nine months from start to finish. The new wooden clad building replaced a rectilinear conservatory adjoining the main house. Our overall ambition was to avoid a narrow, corridor-type feeling. At every opportunity we wanted to lead the eye out of the kitchen space into the garden and surrounding woods.
Q: How did you set about fulfilling those ideas?
Firstly, our architect designed a non-rectilinear room with one wall kicking out towards the garden; they also included high level glass along the entire length of the kitchen, framing views up and outwards into the woodland above. The kitchen needed to be ‘family practical’ without dominating the space… so we went with minimal tall cupboards with as much of our ‘stuff’ and equipment integrated into the cabinetry as possible. We took advantage of the open space, by keeping things big, but also by leaving very generous walkways around the units to help the fluidity and flow – with minimal clutter.
Q: Explain the reasons behind the choices of cabinetry and work surfaces …
Aside from the practical floor-standing cupboards, we wanted an island unit which was oversized and striking enough to pass as a stand-alone piece of furniture in its own right. The Carrara marble worktops are light and elegant, giving a timeless and luxurious feel to all the cabinetry. Unusually perhaps, we also like the patina and character which develops on the marble through unavoidable, every day wear and tear.
Q: What design elements do you think make the scheme so successful?
Scale and simplicity are the overriding themes; we were lucky to be working with an unusually large space, enabling us to avoid the usual confines of cramming kitchen units into prescribed corners. Selecting bold, warm colours alongside natural materials like oak and marble avoided the clichés predominant in a lot of modern kitchens. At the same time, we created a contrast with the contemporary aesthetic and clinical feel of the surrounding architecture.
Q: What is your best advice for someone who may be planning a new kitchen?
It’s been said many times, but still bears repeating … carefully consider exactly what your kitchen means to you rationally and emotionally; then work out what you can afford and build your dream within those boundaries!
We Love: The cheerful colours, the fuss-free design, and the amazing wide, high-up windows that allow a satisfying glimpse of the countryside.
These British Standard Cupboards are handcrafted in Plain English’s workshops in Suffolk. Individual cabinets come fully assembled in an elegant shaker style and undercoated in ‘Broken White’ eggshell allowing them to be finished in absolutely any shade imaginable. Cupboards start at £400; an average sized British Standard kitchen costs in the region of £7,000. For further details visit www.britishstandardcupboards.co.uk 020 7870 7688
Kitchen cabinets painted in Mid Lead (grey) and island in Yellow-Pink, both by Little Greene. www.littlegreene.com
Double oven by Siemens, www.siemens.co.uk
Integrated fridge by Miele, www.miele.co.uk
Induction hob and dishwasher by NEFF, www.neff.co.uk
Sinks by Franke, www.franke.co.uk
Marble supplied by Marble Works Bath, www.marbleworksofbath.com
Timber flooring by Dennebos, www.dennebosflooring.com
Central pendant light by Davey Lighting, from Original BTC, www.originalbtc.com
Cabinetry from British Standard Cupboards: www.britishstandardcupboards.co.uk / 020 7870 7688