The Entertaining Kitchen

29 Apr 19

The owners of this North London house love nothing more than entertaining and had struggled with a narrow galley kitchen for far too long. The only way to get the space they wanted was to build an extension, but an area this large can present its own challenges in creating a workable kitchen.

Martin Moore designer David Sant has long experience with big spaces and suggested from the start that the kitchen be sited to one side of the room, centred around a new chimneybreast to give a central focus. This leaves the rest of the space available for flexible use, whether set up as a dining room or cleared for a big gathering of family and friends.

“We also had to be careful not to overfill the space with cabinetry” said David, commenting on the size of the island.

The temptation in such a large kitchen can be to install the largest island possible, but he advised the clients against this for two reasons; the first was based around the longest possible stone worktop that can be installed without joins (around 3.2 metres, which was the final size of this island) and secondly, because an island forms an immoveable barrier which, if it is too large, creates a lot of unecessary walking around it.

The chimneypiece, a Martin Moore signature, offers an updated version of the classic hearth cooking zone. A long ‘Cook’s Shelf’ behind the hob is the perfect place to store salt, oils and other necessities close to hand.

It’s an easy swing around from the hob to the sink on the island, complete with its must-have boiling water tap. Behind the tall doors that flank the cooking zone, this kitchen is brilliantly organised for ergonomic flow. Everything is designed to be close to hand; from the bank of ovens (which includes a warming drawer) to the tall fridge freezer and fully kitted-out larder cupboard.

The clients had spent a lot of time researching kitchens and had already chosen cabinetry in Martin Moore’s New Classic design. This contemporary classic look has been beautifully showcased by a palate of cool greys. The porcelain floor is a picture-perfect facsimile of grey-stained timber planks, but far more durable as the surface of a party room.

Warmed by natural light which floods the extension on two sides, this sophisticated urban interior gives more than a nod to the Art Deco. This is highlighted by details such as the upholstered chairs and banquette, the antique mirror glass wall panels in the dining area and the Bianca Eclipsia natural quartzite slabs used on the island and behind the hob. A decision was made to contrast it with plain white composite on the hob worktop. “When using exotic materials”, says David Sant, “less is definitely more.”

As with every one of Martin Moore’s kitchens, this project was entirely custom-designed and built to order in their Yorkshire worktops. This flexibility allows even the most unusual spaces to be made a functional part of the design. Here, one of the windows ended up sited too close into the corner to allow the kitchen cabinetry to run across as planned. David Sant’s clever solution was a comfortable seating area in the corner. As well as adding interest to the room, it has become a favourite place for the clients to sit and enjoy morning coffee. Lift-up storage under the cushions ensures that every inch of space is optimised.