The Perfect Blend – By Touch Design


The designer: Richard Swift from Touch Design ( Swift

The story: Originally trained as a cabinetmaker, Richard Swift has been designing, producing and managing high-end kitchen design projects in the UK and USA for the past 15 years. Richard is kitchen design manager at Touch Design Group, an Exeter based design studio and manufacturer of kitchens, furniture and architectural joinery.

Designer Q&A:

Q) What was your brief from the client?
The clients, who live in a period Devon property, asked us to design a contemporary kitchen environment as part of a refurbishment that included a modern glass extension. The kitchen was to sit in both the period and new parts of the house. They wanted contemporary, but were keen to avoid a clinical look. They were also keen to incorporate texture into the design and happy to look at a mixture of materials and surface finishes. They also wanted a marble worktop and to incorporate a refurbished black AGA.

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Q) How did you set about answering that brief?
Part of my job as design manager for the kitchen department at Touch Design Group is to source materials from throughout Europe. I showed the clients some rough sawn smoked oak veneer that I had sourced from an Italian veneer company and they liked the colour and texture. We then set about creating a palette of materials that complemented this and the other specified materials such as marble worktop, limestone flooring, black AGA and period Farrow & Ball colours.

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Q) Which products did you use and why?
I used a bespoke MFC carcass with Blum soft close hinges and the Blum Legrabox box system in grey. Doors are matt lacquer and smoked rough sawn oak veneer with smoked oak veneer inserts.

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Q) Was there any renovation work involved?
The property had a complete refurbishment with the addition of a contemporary extension that included the living dining and kitchen areas of the house. We also worked on a separate utility room and cocktail bar area made of copper, smoked oak and Corian.

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Q) What elements do you think make the scheme so successful?
Managing to design a contemporary kitchen that sits comfortably in both the old and new parts of the house. Although a contemporary design, the materials and forms are quite timeless.

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Q) Any advice for someone who may be planning a new kitchen?
Establish a clear budget and design brief. Do your research and find a kitchen designer who is able to listen to your needs. Pinterest is an excellent tool for inspiration. I often find that clients are worried by what others may think. They can often get fixated on certain materials or design trends that may look great in a magazine or showroom but often don’t translate well into the actual kitchen interior.

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The details:
Cabinets and handles by Touch Design,
Drawer runners, drawers, drawer boxes and hinges by Blum,
Appliances by Siemens, Miele, Best, Liebherr and AGA,,,, and
Sink by Kohler,
Tap by Grohe,

Hayley loves: the way the smoked oak veneer has been cut into strips and mixed up to create a mismatched banding effect

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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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