Reclaimed oak and teal blue kitchen by The Main Company


The designer: Alex Main at The Main Company

The photographer: Chris Snook Photography

The story: Established in 1978, The Main Company is a family-run brand known for its inspirational projects and products, made by hand by master craftspeople in its North Yorkshire workshop. As one of the largest suppliers of reclaimed timber in the UK, most of the wood used for its kitchens, flooring and cladding is over 100 years old.

Designer Q&A:

Q) What was your brief from the client?

Located in Chelsea, London, the client wanted to showcase their personality in this cottage by introducing a contemporary and punchy new kitchen, paired with contrasting organic tones, to create a design that would stand the test of time. The final look incorporates the best of city living, offering a functional yet stylish open-plan kitchen diner – perfect for cooking and socialising with plenty of storage. Part of the challenge was the galley layout, which brings its own opportunities and expectations, so we needed to maximise space where we could while still providing ample space for entertaining.

Q) How did you answer the brief?

Starting with the layout, we made efficient use of space by installing floor to ceiling storage in one corner of the kitchen, whilst keeping the rest of the kitchen minimal with open shelves rather than additional upper cabinets. This allows for plenty of storage for the homeowner without cluttering the space and making it feel smaller. We also added a peninsula island, allowing the homeowner to cook and prepare food while talking to guests at the table – plus it also provides additional worktop space, which was needed.

To create the timeless design, we paired the neutral walls with bold, teal blue kitchen cabinetry to add a contemporary edge. We then contrasted this with organic elements in the form of reclaimed Weathered Barn Oak timber cladding on the peninsula, paired with reclaimed wood shelving and upper cabinets to allow for a cohesive space.

Q) Which products did you use and why?

We used reclaimed timber within the kitchen design, as we wanted to inject personality and warmth into a cooler colour scheme. To create symmetry, we also installed similar timer flooring in the dining area to complement the cladded island.

For a contemporary edge, we chose Caesarstone ‘Raw Concrete’ engineered quartz worktop, which adds an industrial touch and beautifully complements the tones of the wood. To match the worktops, exposed stainless steel appliances were installed from Fisher & Paykel alongside metal pendant lights and knurled hardware.

Q) Which design elements make the scheme so successful?

The materials and use of space are what really make the kitchen unique. As the homeowner wanted a cooler colour palette, there was potential for the space to feel unwelcoming, so we needed to add warmth to give the kitchen a cosy feel.

Reclaimed wood is always hugely popular with our customers, as it’s a great way to add character as each piece of wood is totally unique. The cladding and shelving really helps to lift the space and add softness to an otherwise modern and minimalist aesthetic.

Storage was essential to the project, so we introduced a number of different storage solutions which enabled maximum efficiency. From open shelves displaying tableware and personal possessions to floor-to-ceiling cabinets, to a functional peninsula, the variation gives the space personality and allows light to move throughout with ease.

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

As many of us spend most of our lives in our kitchen, it is arguably the most important and busiest room in the home – so it needs to function effectively to ensure your daily routine is as easy as possible. When it comes to designing your kitchen, it’s important to remember that it needs to be personalised to you and how you use it. From cooking to socialising to working from home, establish how you use the space before you start with the design – and the rest can be planned from there.

The details:

Kitchen and flooring by The Main Company

Appliances by Fisher & Paykel and Bora

Sink and tap by The 1810 Company and Quooker

Hayley loves: The warmth, character and sustainability that the reclaimed timber adds to this kitchen.

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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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