Case study: A kitchen designed for entertaining

Searle and Taylor designer, Gavin Alexander, describes how he and MD Darren Taylor created a modern kitchen where their clients could cook and host parties.

Darren Taylor and I worked on this project together. I designed the handleless kitchen using furniture by Austrian brand Intuo, and Darren designed a number of complementary bespoke aspects, using the same materials.

We shared design responsibility for the bespoke gin cabinet. The kitchen has matt glass doors and drawer fronts in a Lava colourway for the island, sink run and overhead units. These were combined with tall cabinetry in an oiled walnut veneer. 

To break up the linear look, we suggested adding an 80mm circular walnut breakfast bar with a turned, tapered half-leg base at the end of the island and this was designed by Darren and made bespoke. The worktop used throughout is Trilium by Dekton, which is featured in 80mm thickness on the kitchen island and 20mm on the sink and hob runs and is also used as an upstand. The sink run includes a Franke copper grey one-and-a-half bowl undermount sink and a Quooker Flex boiling water tap. 

Appliances for keen cooks

The clients wanted the entire surface of their 3.1 metre kitchen island to be kept clear for when they entertain, so the flush-mounted 800mm Gaggenau induction hob is situated in front of the bronze mirrored glass splashback. Directly above it is a Westin 800mm built-in extractor at the base of the overhead cabinetry. Housed within the walnut units is a bank of Gaggenau Vario 200 ovens, including a 600mm pyrolytic oven, a combination steam oven and warming drawers in the anthracite colourway. A Gaggenau integrated dishwasher is also included. 

The full-height Siemens 760mm larder fridge and tall 610mm freezer are all integrated behind furniture doors for a seamless look to the kitchen. Internal storage includes heavyweight pan drawers and Intuo’s Legra pull-out shelving for dry goods, herbs, spices and condiments.  

Finished in the same oiled walnut veneer is the requested gin cabinet – a bespoke built-in unit designed to look as if it is freestanding. To the left of it is the tall Gaggenau Wine Climate Cabinet and to the right is a decorative cabinet for glasses and the client’s extensive gin collection, backlit with LED lighting and with a bespoke door front to match the wine cabinet.

At the centre, we designed full pocket doors that fold back into recesses to reveal a bar area with bronze mirror back panel and shelves in front, a 20mm Dekton Trilium work surface with a single-bowl Franke sink and a Quooker Flex tap with Cube function for hot, cold, boiling and sparkling water. A further Gaggenau combination microwave oven is installed within the unit and cupboards beneath feature Intuo fronts in matt glass, as before. 

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