Case study: Traditional with a contemporary twist

Phil Beechinor of Alexander explains how he set about fulfilling its clients’ strong vision for a practical kitchen for cooking and entertaining in this 1920s property.

The client wanted a complete restyle of the room, integrating the living space, while incorporating traditional elements to complement the property.

A shaker style was chosen as a nod to the traditional style of the rest of the property, with modern colours chosen to give the kitchen the contemporary twist required.

The Property: A 1920s house with many period features blended with a contemporary décor. The redesigned space is the family kitchen, dining and social room. The previous style was black monochrome with white marble floors, which didn’t fit with how the rest of the house had been decorated.

The Clients: A busy working family of four. The parents work from home a fair bit, with two children studying at university so work-from-home space was a key requirement. The clients also have two large dogs so wished to move away from the previous gloss and white marble textures that would show up paw prints and hair.

The Brief: A redesign of the space to suit to the new décor of the property as well as a lot of the period features like high ceilings and classic style windows. The clients wanted to create a blend of contemporary and ‘old’ that was both functional and practical. The chimney breast was required as a nice focal point and for the range to be positioned below.

With two parents and two children working and studying, this busy family needed a lot of work-from-home space. With this in mind, the breakfast bar was equipped with power sockets and USB charging. The island was also required to delineate the cooking area, while providing a space to perch while cooking for a glass of wine, etc. 

The client also wanted the option to socialise in small and big groups, with a formal dining table to work from and for more formal dinners. 

In terms of storage, all four in the home are foodies, with two vegetarians, so plenty of storage was required. The previous kitchen had no high-wall units for storage. They wanted to incorporate a small amount for the extra space, but wanted to do so in a way that wouldn’t clutter the kitchen, by using the space just either side of the chimney breast. 

There were a few definite inclusions for this project, with a couple being the built-up chimney breast and the range area and the way the peninsula island separates the cooking space.

With this in mind, we had the main cooking area and U-shape of the kitchen. To incorporate all the required storage in the form of pantry and integrated appliances, we put in a cabinet run heading towards the dining area. 

This design also addressed the way the client wanted to separate the cooking area, but also ensured the two spaces weren’t too disjointed. And to help with their requirement for socialising in small and large groups, we left plenty of floor space to ensure the room did not feel cluttered. 

In terms of installation, the main issue was a lot of plastering to ensure the walls would look great for the final finish. Additionally, the Karndean flooring spanned the whole room, so getting that right and completely level took great care from our fitters. 

The built-up chimney breast gave a great focal point to the space. This was made with in-built storage and served as a nook for the required wall units to be fitted either side. 

As there were quite a few foodies in this house, storage was key. A built-in pantry was incorporated in the tall storage, with features like pull-out spice racks and space for cookbooks on the end of the peninsula – a nice addition for the many chefs in the household.

The setting of this property made it a great project to have worked on. The clients had a strong vision, which helped and the combination of colours and traditional features also works fantastically.

Installer Comments

The kitchen itself was a relatively straightforward fit. The challenges for this kitchen were really in getting to the point of fitting, with a vast amount of plastering and preparation undertaken. 

This clients wanted a single flooring type, where previously they had two different styles. This required a lot of preparation as the room is so vast. They wanted it to have a ‘parquet’ appearance using Karndean, so getting this to look great over such a vast space also required some hard work. 

The clients wanted to incorporate some traditional elements, one of these was the mantle that had to be built to their requirements. This includes storage either side, which is a nice feature. 

When it came to working through the challenges, our fitters have great attention to detail and talent to complete the most intricate parts of the project.

The clients had some unique wishes that made it a little different. When working on a project with unique elements, it makes the end result a little bit more interesting.

About Alexander

Alexander showroom in Worthing.

Alexander’s long history dates back to 1976 when founder Terry Linkhorn operated a local showroom in the Worthing/West Sussex area. Its aim was to provide  an honest and comprehensive design service for home renovations. 

In 1994, Terry partnered with now managing director Phil Beechinor, introducing its award-winning complete renovation options that its clients love to this present day.

Today, it operates from two showrooms in Horsham and Worthing. Run by managing director Phil Beechinor and director Aron Linkhorn, son of founder Terry, it stands by its founding ethos of quality service, workmanship and products across all its projects.

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