Darren Taylor in the Searle & Taylor Winchester showroom with his newly painted kitchen display  in Farrow & Ball’s Duck Green

Darren Taylor in the Searle & Taylor Winchester showroom with his newly painted kitchen display in Farrow & Ball’s Duck Green

I have actually been busier than ever since getting over the initial shock of having to close my showroom due to the Covid19 health emergency. We closed the doors on Monday 23rd March after the announcement that evening by our PM, Boris and since then I have abided by the Government’s sensible approach of staying inside and social distancing when out and about.

This situation has made me think differently about my business and rather than fighting something that I really can’t do a lot about, I have instead decided to put this unprecedented downtime to good use.

I firstly needed to manage the expectations of our clients who were part-way through our installation process. They have all been hugely supportive and understanding of a situation that is out of all of our hands and, of course, they will be my first priority as soon as we are allowed back.

Since then, I have been working very hard every day installing a new display in my shop window. Thankfully I was able to take delivery of the new cabinetry and appliances just before shut-down following a major alteration of my ground floor showroom. We had recently  removed part of an internal wall to knock-through a new doorway to access my new first-floor showroom. This features two large stunning kitchen displays by ELK – Extreme Logic Kitchens and a future blog regarding this amazing Hampshire-based artisan brand will be coming soon.

I tend to perform all my own remedials, repairs and occasional installation work to support my past client’s kitchens as part of our after-sales service so consequently, I am fully ‘tooled up’.  After nearly 30 years in the business I also have the skill-set to fit my own kitchens and  I really, really enjoy it.

Being able to spend time alone with very little interruption, I have managed to single-handedly install what is a vast and heavy kitchen display together with most appliances. This furniture is part of an even larger overall display at the entrance of my showroom with tall bespoke cabinetry on either side of the doorway and a circular island in the centre. Each morning I have driven to work and parked opposite my showroom in the Hotel Du Vin car park, nipped across the road, opened up and then locked the door behind me in order to work safely alone whittling and fitting the new furniture.

When I finished building it and doing all I could, I then trusted my painter with a key and left him alone to hand-paint the complete display. This has changed from pale blue to Duck Green, a rich dark and sophisticated colour that Gavin, my design manager of 17 years spotted in Farrow & Ball in Winchester. He was spot on, and I am really pleased with it.

I just now need to wait for a delivery from blacksmith, Ged Kennett who is still managing to hand-make bespoke handles as he works on his own and will post them very soon. I am also going to install a highly fashionable and stunning quartz worktop and splashback by Radianz called Denali Cloud, which is off-white with a slight grey vein – a really popular look for kitchen worktops right now.

I have also installed a bank of new Miele Generation 7000 cooking appliances including the German brand’s fantastic combination steam oven above a single oven, which is housed above a large gourmet warming drawer; an excellent combination.

As soon as the new worktop is fitted, I can then install the appliance that I am most excited about: the new, award-winning Panorama Vented Downdraft Induction Hob by Belgian brand Novy. This is a powerful and quiet all in one appliance that incorporates the extraction tower within the hob itself that rises from the surface when cooking begins and disappears back into the surface when cooking has ended. I will be setting this to demo mode so that the glass tower will be continually going up and down for all passerby’s to admire.

I can’t wait to be open again and show the people of Winchester my handywork.

Until then, stay safe.

The new display at the entrance of the Searle & Taylor showroom

The new display at the entrance of the Searle & Taylor showroom

Our Winchester Showroom:

19 Southgate Street
SO23 9EB

Opening times for Our Winchester Showroom:

Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm
Saturday: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Sunday – CLOSED

Call Our Winchester Showroom: 01962 850 851  
If you are making a special journey to visit us, we recommend that you get in touch, so we can be sure that one of our kitchen designers is free to speak with you. Call us now to book an appointment, or use the form on our Contact Page to submit your kitchen design ideas.

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