John Angus
— Edinburgh Showroom Manager & Designer

November 26th, 2016

Baronial Villa Project – Designer Q&A

John Angus, Edinburgh Showroom Manager & Designer / November 26th, 2016

Describe this project and what was so special about it?

Appointed as main contractor, we were charged with gaining the necessary permissions to re-instate a sash and case window where previous owners had fitted French doors, carrying out all building work as required, arranging all necessary tradespeople to prepare the site for furniture.

The scheme itself is contemporary shaker style cabinetry doors  – a more slender doorframe creating a classic yet modern feel – within a traditional framed construction. The door furniture – handles, hinges and drawer cover caps were all copper plated. The finish was a combination of painted cabinets – Farrow and Ball Skimming Stone for peripheral furniture and Hague Blue for the island and waxed Oak finish for the bookcase/shelving and cabinet interiors.

We also designed and made an impressive Dresser cabinet for the dining room, which matched the styling of the kitchen whilst including antique mirrored panels within the centre upper doors.

Lastly, we created a large window seat to house the absolutely massive cast iron radiator. This was finished in skimming stone with a stunning antique copper mesh to allow heat to circulate properly.

How has kitchen design changed over the past decade?

The kitchen is now, arguably, the most important room in the modern home and this has had a huge effect upon kitchen design.  Nowadays the majority of our projects see the kitchen as part of either a dining room/ living room or living/dining room.

What are the key things to get right in designing a kitchen?

Identifying, from the outset, what it is you want from the room and how you intend to use it.

Taking the time to look at the appliances that are best suited to your personal style of cooking.

Careful consideration should be given to 3 main areas:

  • Preparation
  • Cooking
  • Storage

Alongside these key points it is important to have an idea of the style of furniture you are aiming for.

Looking at how the kitchen will sit within your property as a whole also plays a significant part in the design process (for whilst you can achieve stunning results by juxtaposing a sleek, contemporary finish within a period property it is equally possible to create a jarring effect if the design is not fully realised)

Being realistic about your budget – particularly when the kitchen forms part of a wider scheme. Set a figure aside for the kitchen and be honest with your designer about the available funds –  Remember, specification is what dictates cost. The more information your designer has from the beginning of the process the better tailored your kitchen design will be.

When it comes to planning a new kitchen, what are the most common mistakes?

Insisting that an island can be accommodated – unfortunately sometimes the dimensions/layout of the room simply don’t allow for it!

What colour and fabric trends can we see emerging in kitchen design?

I see a continuation of specialised finishes for door furniture – copper, brass etc –

I don’t envisage a huge departure from the subtle neutral colours schemes we’ve seen over the past few years but perhaps the introduction of a bit of bravery with strong accent colours appearing within cabinet interiors and wee nooks.  I’m always keen on a splash of tangerine against a soft grey/waxed oak but that could be a nod to the (currently less than) mighty Dundee United football team.

What’s your best storage tip?

If possible, finding space within your scheme for a walk-in pantry – a traditional concept but, for me, the most effective way to store pretty much everything!

Failing that, a tall larder cabinet with workspace, vegetable/bread pull outs and power for small appliances (Mixer, toaster etc).

How do you solve the problem of couples who don’t agree on kitchen design?

Identify the things that are of most importance to each individual and endeavour to include a balance of as many of these features/appliances as possible.  There have to be concessions to all and I wouldn’t be doing my job if I ignored or dismissed the input from all parties.  In honesty, I find it very rare for couples to strongly disagree on what they want from their kitchen, it tends to be on the smaller details that niggles arise and, thankfully, these tend to be pretty easily resolved.

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