Emma Fraser
— Design Assistant

February 14th, 2017

Lochside Conversion – Designer Q&A

Emma Fraser, Design Assistant / February 14th, 2017

Exterior 1 Exterior 2

What was the brief?

Our clients first approached us over two years ago to design a kitchen for their stunning church conversion. Nestled away on the West Coast of Scotland this project was well suited to our artistry.

Our task was to design a kitchen for a large open plan living and dining area for a modern church conversion. We had to remain sympathetic to the surrounding landscape and architectural materials to create furniture which worked in harmony.

As well as the large kitchen area we were also commissioned to create several other pieces of furniture including bunk beds, bathroom furniture, a utility room and a walk in wardrobe.

Who uses the space?

This is a holiday home for the client and their family and friends, so there can be a vast range of age groups which all use the space at the same time. As they have busy lives involving extensive travel, it is a home for them to come together, rest and enjoy each others company. The space had to be practical as a family kitchen but also set the scene for some spectacular entertaining!

What was the most important element of the design?

From our very first meeting it was clear that the most important part of the design would be the material choice. Inspiration was pulled from the surrounding landscape to create a colour scheme which was as subtle and enchanting as the encompassing lochs and mountains.

Why choose a gas hob?

From the outset, our client had pictured a monolithic stone island within which they pictured flames erupting from the surface – quite the dramatic image. We loved this idea of creating a bit of theatre in the kitchen so a gas hob was a perfect choice, not only aesthetically but this was also the preferred way of cooking for the client.

Why choose two different worksurfaces?

Although we wanted the island to grab all the attention, we had to balance this by using a more neutral coloured material on the remainder of the cabinets. We opted for a Silestone, mainly for its practicality but also the subtle colouring of “Kensho” works sympathetically with the natural stone. As well as colour we chose different thicknesses for the materials, broadening the contrast between the two areas even further. The natural stone has a built up edge profile of 50mm, while the Silestone is thinner at 20mm. These small details create interest and depth within the larger strokes.

Explain the stone construction on the island in more detail.

The sheer size of the island posed its own challenges when we looked at how and where we would position joins. After spending so much time finding the material it was important that these finer details were given the same importance. With this specific material we were fortunate in that it could be book matched across the whole worktop, creating a stunning effect which radiates from the centre of the island. The edges were mitred perfectly to create a pristine almost invisible join where the material connected on the corners.

What were the biggest challenges and how were they overcome?

Choosing the perfect stone for the island was by far the biggest challenge. A lot of emphasis was on this single feature and it had to be perfect. We visited many suppliers and trawled through their warehouses to seek out the sparkling jewel for this crown.

Describe the cabinetry style in more detail.

The cabinetry is a contemporary construction using concealed soft-close hinges on the doors and soft-close runners for the drawers. The doors themselves have been shaped to incorporate a finger groove, negating the requirement for an applied handle. This keeps the amount of visual contrast to a minimum and creates a sleek look with uninterrupted lines.

What finishes did you use on the cabinetry?

We used a mixture of spray painted and oak veneered finishes. The painted finishes were used on areas that required a bit more subtlety such as the tall fridge and freezer housing, the sink cabinetry and island. As the kitchen ran through quite a large space we didn’t want it all to look like kitchen cabinetry. This is why we chose oak for the perimeter furniture, with a white hand waxed finish applied to appear more weathered.

What taps did you use?

We used the Quooker Fusion Round, the ultimate in convenience as it combines both boiling water and mixer tap facilities in one sleek unit; no more clutter around the sink! Quooker also offer the Fusion design in a simple mixer tap configuration, so there were no difficulties in finding a matching tap for the second sink.


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