Coastal inspired design by Stoneham Kitchens


The designer: Phillip Haines at Stoneham Kitchens (

The story: Stoneham Kitchens specialises in luxury designs. Based on the borders of South East London and Kent, it has over 150 years’ experience in hand crafting bespoke kitchens, built in Britain using a blend of the best traditional techniques with state-of-the-art technology. This property is beach facing with the kitchen looking out to the sea. Stoneham designer Phillip Haines took inspiration from a traditional bright blue beach hut to achieve the coastal look and feel.

Designer Q&A:

Q) What was your brief from the client?

The owner of this detached seafront home in Folkestone, Kent, felt it was important that her new kitchen was sympathetic to the picturesque coastal location of the property. She specifically wanted the space to be both welcoming and relaxing, taking inspiration from the look and feel of a traditional bright blue beach hut.

Q) How did you answer the brief?

Having listened to what the client was trying to achieve, we then selected colours and finishes that lent themselves to the coastal maritime theme. The orientation of the layout was designed to take advantage of the natural light and the open sea views, as well as providing a sensible workable kitchen where the client could entertain her family.

Q) Which products did you use and why?

We used Stoneham’s Bewl range for the cabinetry, finished in a rustic oak enhanced grain and painted in Crown’s Starry Host – a sea-inspired shade of blue. The choice of colour and texture of the furniture perfectly complemented the coastal surroundings. Most effective was the wooden SPEKVA Brasilica Safari washed, white oil worktop used for the kitchen island, as well as two large floating shelves positioned above the sinks and main worktop. The warmth of the timber evoked the natural touch of driftwood found on shores. To top off the shelving, the owner decorated these with rustic potted plants to bring an element of the outdoors inside.

Q) Was there any building or renovation work involved?

A full strip out of the original 1980’s kitchen was required. Whilst the kitchen was in a very good condition, the client was looking for a fresh new design to enjoy for the next decades to come. The room was fully modernised with new services, flooring, ceiling and decoration.

Q) What elements do you think make the scheme so successful?

Definitely the combination of the bright blue colour scheme and textures such as the weathered worktop. To finish the overall look, the clever use of natural looking décor, such as the rattan pendant lights, wicker stools and baskets really helped to bring together the coastal theme.

Q) Any advice for someone who may be planning a new kitchen?
As a starting point it is always worth looking at resources to give you inspiration for your kitchen and the overall style you want to achieve. Request kitchen brochures from kitchen manufacturers to explore their collections, look at previous case studies, as well as social media and home-related sites such as Houzz and Pinterest to view their kitchen galleries. This will all help with ideas, which can then be developed with your preferred kitchen manufacturer. Book a visit to sit down with a kitchen designer – they will ultimately help you by providing expert advice, ideas and guidance on all aspects of your project. Lastly, make sure you have a budget in mind and a little extra for contingencies – it is often the case that when your old kitchen is removed, it uncovers other issues that may need attention such as electrics and plumbing.

The details:

Interior fittings by Blum,

Appliances by Miele and Caple, and

Lighting by Sensio,

Hayley loves: the textural appeal of these cabinets as well as the bold use of colour, which creates a calming coastal feel.

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About Hayley Gilbert

Hayley Gilbert is a freelance interiors journalist with 20 years’ experience in the industry. Specialising in all things kitchens, Hayley has contributed to a wide range of consumer titles such as Beautiful Kitchens, EKBB, KBB, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and Ideal Home, as well as national newspapers including The Sunday Times.... @HaylGilbert /

  Email:  Hayley Gilbert


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