Working alongside interior designer, Emma McGrath, we were commissioned to design a traditional handmade Signature Bespoke Shaker kitchen for our clients, one of whom is six foot four in height. The open plan kitchen with space to accommodate a 10-seater dining table and chairs, was to comprise an extension to a stylish 1950’s bungalow on the outskirts of Winchester. The look had to be timeless, neat and streamlined, featuring both hand-painted and natural lacquered oak cabinetry, together with a large hand-painted kitchen island as the central hub of the room. This was to complement a huge double-sized reconditioned AGA, which had been specially finished in Teal by Francesca’s Paints. Above the AGA is further overhead cabinetry that conceals a powerful 110cm twin motor built-in extractor by Westin.
A particular requirement by our client was the finished height of the worktops. Because he is tall, he had previously found that standard-sized kitchen units were just too low for him and therefore not ergonomic. A reason for choosing Searle & Taylor was that our Signature Bespoke furniture can be designed and made to any size and height and we duly built the cabinetry to perfectly suit his needs. This meant that it was to be 950mm high, 50mm higher than standard. To maintain perspective, we chose not to increase the height of the 120mm plinths because it would look incongruous in the kitchen, so instead we increased the height of the base cabinets to 800mm and raised the height of the top shallow oak dovetailed drawers from 120mm to 170mm. This resulted in the usable internal space of the drawers being 130mm instead of the usual 80mm, making them a much-favoured feature.
Our clients enjoy entertaining and have collected a number of dinner services and sets of wine glasses over the years. A stipulation within the design was to have a special freestanding dresser built to accommodate them. This faces the kitchen island and features two tall cupboards on either side of an overhead cabinet, all with decorative backlit glass inset windows to showcase the glassware. Beneath the worktop are three deep dovetailed drawer boxes for tablecloths and napkins above further cupboards to store dinnerware.
The kitchen island was designed for food preparation and storage and is hand-painted in Cardinal by Francesca’s Paints. Within the 30mm thick Denali Cloud Quartz worktop is a one and a half bowl undermount sink by Franke and a filtration tap by Perrin & Rowe. Beneath is storage for pull-out bins and utility items, together with a 60cm integrated dishwasher by Siemens. Facing the dining area are three dovetail drawer boxes either side of a Siemens built-under integrated fridge, there is also a recess each side of the island for two handmade oak trays one end and large oak chopping boards at the other. All handles for the kitchen are by Hafele, chosen for their simplicity.
To specifically fit within a recessed area and to be a truly functional piece of furniture, is a specially-designed consumables cabinet. This was made to accommodate a breakfast station with pocket doors and a pantry with interior spice racks on either side of a large 910mm wide Siemens A cool integrated fridge freezer, which has a French door style. Further storage drawers with different depths were designed on either side of the fridge freezer.
Designers: Gavin Alexander and Darren Taylor
Photographer: Paul Craig
“We used Searle & Taylor kitchens of Winchester to design and make a full bespoke kitchen for our home in Hampshire as part of a large extension.
“We wanted the worktops to finish higher than a standard kitchen, so they created larger cabinets rather than simply increasing the plinth so as not to waste valuable storage space. We worked with owner Darren Taylor and his designer Gavin who both understood our requirements and advised us throughout the design process. They also worked alongside our fantastic interior designer, Emma, who helped with colours and finishes.
“The installation was meticulously fitted by their recommended installer called Stuart Johnson who was a joy to have working in our kitchen. We used father and son team Gary and Adam Roberts to hand-paint the kitchen in the special paint that Darren recommended for durability. We chose strong colours of teal and aubergine for the cabinets and it looks fantastic and matches perfectly with our specially commissioned AGA from Rural Ranges in Bridport.
“We are over the moon with our new kitchen and would have no hesitation in recommending Searle & Taylor to anyone embarking on a new kitchen - they really do know their onions!”
Our Winchester Showroom:
19 Southgate Street
Opening times for Our Winchester Showroom:
Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm
Saturday: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Sunday – CLOSED