Creativity with Copper
By Linda Parker
Mark Taylor, MD of Mark Taylor Design, created a stunning kitchen which combined copper with a blue painted finish, for a modern four-bedroom home in Surrey. This British design company, specialising in bespoke furniture, cabinetry and joinery and celebrated their 20th anniversary last year. We look forward to many more years of superlative design from this very skilled team …
Q: What were the priorities from your clients for this particular project?
The owners of this stunning home, which also features a swimming pool and gym, were looking for a fresh, modern, open-plan kitchen and living area with a ‘wow factor’. They wanted to create a sociable space – somewhere that all the family could come together to use, and which incorporated a large island for eating and a central point for cooking and entertaining. They also wanted a TV and seating area that linked to the outdoor space. They looking for a clean, contemporary look and were keen to incorporate state-of-the-art appliances. We suggested a Caple wine cabinet and sophisticated integrated appliances such as Siemens induction hob and Neff built-in ovens.
Q: How did you set about answering that brief and what were your first thoughts when you saw this wonderful space?
The aim was to keep the base units and fridge freezer housing as simple as possible – we suggested a discrete finger pull and push to open drawers to achieve this. The island, because of the huge expanse of marble, needed something special so we incorporated an eye-catching copper-clad firebox into one end of the island. The digitally controlled Bio Fire Box is ignited remotely and is pre-programmed with six heat/flame settings, which can be adjusted with a remote control or iPad. The copper clad fire box creates a fabulous image when walking into the kitchen and the end seemed a little plain in contrast. So … I came up with the idea for the copper clad base for the seating area. Luckily, the client agreed and this has turned out to be the ‘wow factor’ view from the other end of the kitchen.
Q: Explain the reasons behind the choices of cabinetry and work surfaces, regarding colour, style and texture …
Typically, light blue cabinetry with a very light marble work surface could look cold. However, the copper-lit skirting and uplighters on the fridge freezer unit add warmth in the evening and the copper skirting, copper island and dark grey timber floors add overall warmth to the look for both day and night.
Q: What design elements do you think make the scheme so successful?
The kitchen itself has been designed to use and enhance the natural existing space of the room and the way the home is lived in. The approach to the kitchen, from the front door, gives a fabulous image of the copper surrounded oil fire on the island. From this the large rectangular island with no break leads your eye to the stools seating area and beyond to a view of the garden through the picture windows. The ‘working area’ in the kitchen keeps the oven, hob, fridge, small prep sink and even the wine fridge all close, meaning that everything is within easy reach when cooking.
Aesthetically the warm oak floor leads through the kitchen to the soft seating area beyond the island. This helps to integrate the two areas at floor level whilst the three large lights above the island define the island ‘working area’. The hidden handle detail again helps maintain a visual flow of uninterrupted horizontal surfaces.
What is your best advice for someone who may be planning a new kitchen?
Consider precisely how you plan to use your kitchen and what will each zone be used for – i.e. cooking, prep, storage, living space etc. If you have young children, functionality will be a dictating factor. For example, flat fronted furniture is easy to wipe down so is a good choice for easy cleaning while different height work surfaces make the kitchen usable for all ages. Your designer can always build and expand on what may be at the start, a very loose or vague brief. Initial meetings are a great opportunity to get to know the client and get an understanding of how they live, especially if that initial meeting is in the space that will become the kitchen.
Images from magazines, Instagram and Pinterest provides everybody – clients, furniture designers and interior designers – with great sources for inspiration. It is also worth finding some literature on preferred appliance types and styles, such as range cookers/AGA verses a built-in, a bank of high performance ovens, or American-style fridge freezers versus integrated European models.
We believe that a truly bespoke kitchen and living space is probably the only way to optimize every possibility available for that particular area. This doesn’t mean cramming tiny cupboards and drawers into every nook. Instead, it actively encourages people to make demands on their space, and to use their kitchens to suit their way of living, not just to assess the space and fill the voids.
We LOVE: The contrast between copper and pale blue, the copper accents and the meticulous attention to detail in the interior drawer fittings.
Bespoke Kitchen by Mark Taylor Design with flush pull doors and push drawers. Painted in James 108 by The Little Green Paint Company. Work surfaces, Calacatta 70mm marble with mitred finishes and 200mm upstand. 01628 486707 www.marktaylordesign.co.uk
Appliances: Extractor, Elica; Induction hob, Siemens; Fridge and wine cabinet, Caple; Built-in oven, microwave and dishwasher, all Neff; Sink, Blanco; Taps, Grohe; Boiling water tap, Quooker.