Colourful Kitchen – by Nicholas Harris Interiors


Nick Harris headshot

Nick Harris

The designer: Nick Harris from Nicholas Harris Interiors (

 The story: Nicholas Harris Interiors are a family run business situated in rural Kent. They specialise in design, installation and build projects with over 21 years’ experience. Working closely with leading British furniture manufacturer Crown Imperial for more than two decades, Nick Harris chose the Crown Rialto collection for its choice of vibrant colours and finish options to achieve a showstopping retro kitchen for their client.

 Designer Q&A:

Q) What was your brief from the client?

The brief was to create a light and spacious open plan kitchen/dining area from initially two separate rooms in a 1930s home. The wish list included a family-friendly space that was a social meeting place, a cooking hub, a focal point table and from a style perspective, they wanted to achieve a vibrant retro theme using distinctive cabinetry and appliances. Overall, the owners wanted us to create a practical working kitchen that had the ‘wow’ factor and offered versatile storage for a clutter-free look.

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Q) How did you set about answering that brief?

I worked closely with a local builder, as the first priority was to remove a dividing wall. Thereafter, to design a stylish U-shape working kitchen with ample space for their dining table as the social centre for the young family. The new kitchen design allows for easy free flow of traffic and is light and spacious using high gloss and vibrant metallic finishes to enhance its individual style. Interior storage achieves the clutter free appearance by incorporating internal Blum pull-outs for easy organisation of cooking essentials and crockery, in a mix of both units and drawers to ensure ergonomic access.

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Q) Which products did you use and why?

I used British manufacturer Crown Imperial and chose their Rialto High Gloss collection in predominantly Oyster with contrasting Metallic Red accessories, as these paired seamlessly with the client’s choice of retro appliances. The Rialto range was selected particularly for its practicality with a young family, as it’s easy to wipe clean, hardwearing and low maintenance.

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Q) Was there any building/renovation work involved?

To create one large kitchen and dining space I worked with a local builder who removed the dividing wall and this gave us a fantastic blank canvas and large area to achieve the client’s design brief.

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

The client enjoys cooking culinary delights and socialising together as a family, so with this in mind I designed separate dedicated cooking and preparation zones so the younger members of the family could easily and safely get involved away from the hot appliances! The linear bank of units was versatile to the client’s needs, providing a mix of open, glass and closed interior storage ensuring easy access to the designated zones. Undercounter lighting really created an ambience and paired with the Rialto metallic red accessories, achieved a dazzling effect.

Crown Imperial 1

Q) Any advice for someone who may be planning a new kitchen?

Before our first client visit we always suggest creating a wish list of must haves, considering style, storage, cooking, seating and lighting so we work quickly to identify your priorities. Tell your designer a bit about your lifestyle and family so they can gain an insight into how you live and would like to use your kitchen space. In an open plan kitchen, for a quiet dining experience consider appliances with a low decibel rating.

The details:

All drawers are on BLUMOTION by Blum,

Kitchen furniture by Crown Imperial,

Induction hob, single ovens and extractor by Neff,

Dishwasher and fridge freezer by Swan,

Galaxy black granite worksurfaces by Canterbury Stone & Marble,

Sink by Franke,

Taps by Hansgrohe,

Pendant lighting by Nud,

Undercounter lighting by Hera,

Flooring by Karndean,

Hayley loves: the contrast of the red and oyster coloured cabinetry, which is highlighted further by the client’s choice of appliances and accessories.

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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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