RETAILER CASE STUDY: Simon Taylor Furniture

Simon Taylor Furniture created this bespoke steel and ash kitchen diner for a family in an apartment in a Grade II listed ex-stately home in Purley on Thames.

The challenge for Simon Taylor Furniture was to create a sleek kitchen design while softening the look of the overall space to both complement the older aspects of the room and to be a comfortable family dining area. For this, they combined three essential materials: brushed stainless steel and glass with stained ash for the accents and also the main dining area.  

They designed and manufactured all the tall kitchen cabinetry that houses dry goods and integrated cooling appliances, including a wine climate cabinet, all with brushed stainless steel fronts and handles with either steel or glass-fronted top boxes. In keeping with the four-metre-high ceiling, these were designed as three-metre structures and are all top-lit with LED lighting. Overhead cabinets are also brushed steel with glass fronts and all feature LED strip lighting within the interiors. LED spotlighting is used at the base of the overhead cupboards above both the sink and cooking runs. Base units all feature steel fronted doors and drawers, and all have stainless steel handles as well.

Between two original floor-to-ceiling windows to the left of the room is a specially-built tall steel double-door dresser cabinet with central pocket doors that fold back into recesses to reveal a bar and concealed flat-screen TV. 

At the centre of the room is a long steel island with a Topus Concrete worktop by Caesarstone – a work surface with a double pencil edge that is featured throughout the kitchen. The island is attached to L-shaped bench seating with pilasters in stained ash for the dining area to complement a bespoke freestanding stained ash dining table, also designed and made by Simon Taylor Furniture. 

Along the industrial-style cooking run, surrounded by stained ash under-counter base cabinets, are a range of cooking appliances by Gaggenau. These include a 400mm domino gas hob and a further 400mm domino gas wok, which surround a 600mm induction hob with a downdraft extractor. To the left of the surface cooking area is a tall bank of two 760mm Vario ovens in stainless steel and glass. An additional integrated microwave with matching glass-fronted warming drawer by Miele is installed under the counter within the island run. 

Facing the door from the hallway and positioned centrally between the tall steel cabinets is the sink run, featuring a stainless steel undermount sink by The 1810 Company and a tap by Grohe with an integrated dishwasher by Miele in the units beneath. 

Directly above is an antique mirror splashback beneath to reflect the natural light in the room, and above that is a stained ash overhead cupboard to accommodate all glasses and stemware. This features four stained glass panels designed by Simon Taylor Furniture and inspired by Tiffany. The owners wanted the stunning panels to be a feature of the room when they are backlit at night.

The Property

Grade II listed Georgian home in Berkshire. Formerly a stately home dating back to 1800, the property had been previously converted into luxury apartments.

The clients

A couple with three children, living in the ground-floor flat, which has retained its original features throughout.

The Brief

When the property was originally converted, the ground-floor drawing room salon had been reconfigured to become the kitchen and the owners wanted to use the same enclosed space, but to bring the look of the room completely up to date as a new contemporary kitchen diner.

In direct contrast to the ornate cornicing in the original ceiling, the owners also wanted the new space to have a state-of-the-art industrial style, reminiscent of a restaurant kitchen.

About Simon Taylor Furniture

Simon Taylor Furniture was set up by Simon Taylor (pictured) in 1985 as a cabinetmaker

to produce custom-made furniture. Initially catering for private clients, he then made fine furniture for Linley. As kitchen and bathroom commissions expanded, he built a large cabinet workshop in Bierton, just outside Aylesbury. The company employs 22 staff and specialises in completely bespoke furniture, working with clients from initial design through to installation by its own fitting teams.

The island is stainless steel with a concrete worktop
This steel dresser houses a bar and flat-screen TV
Specially made dining table in stained ash
This modern kitchen offers a contrast to the original ornate cornicing

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