Rencraft: Back to Black for this elegant bespoke kitchen
By Linda Parker
This large new-build property needed a kitchen that exceeded expectations, with dramatic details and luxurious finishing touches. John Stephens, MD and Lead Designer at Rencraft created an elegant, show-stopping layout that ticked all the right boxes.
Q: What were the stand out priorities in your brief from the client? (who in this case, was the developer)
A: This kitchen was part of a multi-room commission from a local developer who we have had the pleasure of working with on a number of occasions. This particular build was a large, Georgian style, gated mansion. Our client wanted to finish the property to the highest specification possible and installing an in-frame, British-made bespoke kitchen was a key part of that brief.
Q: How did you set about this design? Were you given a strict budget?
A: One of the factors that made this project so refreshing and enjoyable was the developer’s desire to make the property the absolute best it could be. While budget was obviously a consideration, design and quality were also paramount. Our client took a very personal approach to the kitchen. For example, he accompanied us to visit with a couple of our stone suppliers so we could select the exact piece of granite for the worktop. It was exciting to work with someone who was as concerned as we are about each detail as it enabled us to explore and weigh up many different options.
Q: Explain the reasons behind the choices for cabinetry and work surfaces…
A: In such a large space, it was important to get the proportions right. This is best reflected in the worktop. There are three different levels, a 30mm wet area around the sink, 60mm worktops with upstands along the back wall and around the hob and, finally, a raised 80mm area on the island with room for four bar stools. The cabinetry has been hand-painted in Railings by Farrow & Ball, which taps into the current trend for darker cabinetry painted in a single shade. Traditional in-frame doors have been used with a bevelled detail, which complements the chamfer detail on the corner posts, and walnut interiors add to the sense of luxury.
Q: What other rooms were Rencraft involved with?
A: This kitchen is part of a six bedroom, new-build property in highly desirable part of Kent. The kitchen itself is situated in a large, open plan area with space for a twenty seat dining table and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, which provide direct access to a large patio and beautiful views of the garden. As well as designing, manufacturing and installing the kitchen, Rencraft were commissioned to provide a walk-in pantry, utility room, bespoke bar area and cabinetry for the master bathroom – so we can link features of the design of each area throughout the home.
Q: What design elements do you think make the scheme so successful?
A: At first glance this may seem like a big, bold and opulent space, but it’s actually the finishing touches which make the kitchen truly stand out. Details such as the walnut interiors, the carefully sourced granite worktops and the panes of antique mirror in the tall units – which balance with the splashback. All these little details work together to make a kitchen that has been finished to the highest quality, which reflects the developer’s overall ambitions for the project.
Q: Now the project is finished, what aspects are you and the client most pleased with?
A: The amount of positive feedback we have received for this design has been absolutely amazing! The developer was one of our first clients to embrace the trend for a single, bold and dark colour across all of the cabinetry. The end result is stunning, and in fact, for us a ground-breaker as it has inspired many of our other clients to have the confidence to choose single, dark shades for their kitchens. A trend we predict will continue for years to come!
Q: What is your best advice for someone who is planning a new kitchen (or who may be looking at a new home in a new development), what should they look for?
A: If you’re buying a new build property off-plan, ask the builder who is designing the kitchens. Find out as much as you can about that company … if you have a developer who is investing in a quality kitchen, then that says a lot about the quality of the build overall. Likewise, you will soon know if you are dealing with someone who is just trying to finish their project as quickly and cheaply as possible! If you get in early enough you may be able to meet with the kitchen designer and have an influence over the look and feel of the final design. If you’re working on your own project then I think my advice would be the same: get to know your designer, make sure it’s someone you have a good rapport with. Someone who listens and who you can trust to develop your ideas in conjunction with their own while inspiring you as well. Visit their showroom and their workshop if you can, to see for yourself the standard of the product they provide. Don’t be tempted to skimp on quality. A kitchen is an important investment. A well-made one can add value to your property and provide years of enjoyment to you and your family, so it’s worth taking the time to get things right.
We Love: The dramatic colour scheme and of course, the grand statement of the 60mm deep granite work surfaces. Perfect!
Range cooker Sub Zero & Wolf
Instant boiling water tap Quooker
Integrated appliances Miele
Similar bar chairs – take a look at a great selection at My Furniture
Similar pendant lighting, such as the Japan design from Dar Lighting.
Award-winning British designers and manufacturers Rencraft have been making the finest bespoke kitchens and furniture in their workshops at Chart Farm, near Sevenoaks in Kent, for almost 40 years. Bespoke, handmade cabinetry by Rencraft www.rencraft.co.uk Unit 9, Chart Farm, Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0ES. 01732 762682