Second Nature – Remo Matt White Kitchen By Fineline

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The story: This modern townhouse was being opened up to turn it into a social living space for a young family to grow. The room would incorporate three different areas while still allowing the house to flow. With the space now opened up and with the modern ‘clean-lined’ brief from the client, it was time to get creative with the layout.

Gareth Hill FinelineThe designer: Gareth Hill of Fineline (www.finelineinteriors.co.uk)

Designer Q&A:

Q) What was the brief from the client?
The existing kitchen was one that had been deemed modern 20 years ago and it looked like it came out of the 60s – a woodgrain slab vinyl door with a metal ‘J’ handless trim. There were also dark grey laminate worksurfaces and freestanding appliances everywhere so the room was dull, bland and lacked any character. The clients wanted the kitchen to be the main part of their young family home so it needed to be brighter, more inviting and much more sociable to fit their busy family life.

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Q) How did you set about answering that brief?
Directing the clients towards the handleless ranges that we offer, they instantly fell in love with the Remo design. They felt it was so clean and modern and it fitted with the theme they wanted to set for the rest of the house. The room was being opened out, however defining a living space, kitchen space and dining area was vital to the design so an L-shaped room was created to keep the utility side of the kitchen separate to the social side. However, by changing the room shape dramatically it was still vital to create a working triangle, keeping the ovens, hob and fridge in close proximity to each other. The island is the focal point to the room and the hob is situated so the owners can absorb the views and light now gained from the huge patio doors looking out onto the decking. Positioning was key, as we didn’t want to disrupt the flow of the room, however we wanted it to be that striking feature you first see the kitchen. A breakfast bar was added in Corian, encouraging guests and family members to sit, but functionality and longevity of the choice of worksurface was the main factor. The Second Nature Remo range fully incorporates the clients’ needs, as it allows them to decorate, change the flooring and wall tiles over and over to make the room feel brand new, without changing the kitchen space.

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Q) Which products did you use and why?
We chose the contemporary matt white handless design with white 30mm quartz and 75mm Glacier White Corian worktops for the breakfast bar. These allow the clients to accessorise and decorate as they wish. Wall to wall units in Remo matt white surround the American-style Samsung fridge-freezer and make it into a feature wall encompassing a wealth of high-spec appliances from Neff. We chose Corian for the breakfast bar, as it’s easily repairable if scratched or chipped, especially with young children. The Neff downdraft extractor supplies the splashback required for having such seating in close proximity while adding extras practicality with its lighting and high extraction rate.

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Q) Was there any building/renovation work involved?
Walls were removed to create the open space through to the dining and living rooms while patio doors were installed to gain access to the decking outside. The original back door and window have also been blocked up and the sink relocation and electrical supply to the island were also needed.

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Q) What elements do you think make the scheme so successful?
The fact that the room flows so naturally – everything is in close proximity in what is such a huge space. The clean, modern look invites you study it, look at it in awe without it being too much on the eye. The colour palette works perfectly. I take pride in saying this is a timeless kitchen design. As you first walk in, you see the feature back wall accompanied by the stunning streamlined island to the right. In front, two large patio doors overlook the decking out back while to the left lies a grand dining table and living space.

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Q) Any advice for someone who may be planning a new kitchen?
CAD is so far advanced these days that getting the right company/designer is key, as they will be more likely to explore all avenues before settling on the design that best suits you and your home. A CAD drawing is far easier – and cheaper – to change, than if you rush into things and make the wrong decision. Personally, I believe the colour palette should be fairly neutral in a modern space, as this allows you to accessorise and decorate several times over the years, giving the kitchen a fresh new look without going through the expense of changing it.
A classic kitchen however needs to be inviting, softer on the eye and a lot more detailed – a warmer colour palette perhaps. Also, have a clear idea on what works originally in your current space and why you would want to change it. Study what other people have done with their space, as you will gain a much better understanding of what works and what doesn’t rather than looking in a brochure. The companies that produce these brochures use either CGI images or photos of real life displays where they have had no boundaries or constraints when designing theirs.

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The details:
Remo matt white cabinetry by Second Nature, www.sncollection.co.uk
Quartz and Corian worktops by Bluestone, www.bluestone-uk.com
Sink and tap by Blanco, www.blanco-germany.com
Appliances by Neff and Samsung, www.neff-home.com and www.samsung.com

Hayley loves: how the space is now completely multifunctional, with room for all the family’s activities. I also love the exposed brickwork, which ties in with the current trend for all things industrial.

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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 / hayleygilbertblog.wordpress.com

  Email:  Hayley Gilbert

  Website:  http://www.hayleygilbert.co.uk

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