When Eamonn Agha of Huntsmore was asked to design a bespoke kitchen for a family in Wandsworth, the focus was firmly on creating a space that worked brilliantly for entertaining.
Choosing a bespoke kitchen meant he was able to overcome the kind of challenges period properties can throw up – in this case a natural step down.
Huntsmore was well placed to deal with this issue and designed a welcoming, flexible and usable space. Eamonn started the design and project management practice back in 2014 and the company now works predominantly in Notting Hill, Holland Park and Kensington, managing the end-to-end design process from initial ideas through to the final build.
The kitchen in Wandsworth was part of a full ground floor renovation and side return extension to a Victorian terraced house.
“Our client wanted a breakfast bar/kitchen island but did not want it installed in the middle of the room,” Eamonn says, “as they felt it lacked a sense of uniqueness and would take up too much space.”
In the end the natural ‘step down’ proved integral to the design. A kitchen island with a full-height bar area was created looking into the open-plan dining space. Tongue-and-groove panelling was selected to give a rustic edge to the bar area, and a double fridge freezer was concealed by floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, offering the family maximum storage and balancing the room while not taking up too much space.
Aesthetically the family liked a farmhouse-style interior, so chose an exposed brick wall and Shaker-style doors. The upshot is a sociable place that works well every day and also when there are larger gatherings.
“Delivery of projects is very important,” Eamonn says. “We do the design work, but the key thing is getting that delivered. Other design practices focus more on the design than the execution of the build and that’s not what the customer wants at the end of the day. You can design something that isn’t going to work from a construction point of view, but that helps no one.”
Tile-wise Eamonn was keen to keep things traditional, but with a twist. He specified Fired Earth Suede tiles in white, but rather than a brick format he laid them in a herringbone pattern, using a slightly darker grout to accentuate the pattern and give a contemporary edge.
“The tiles themselves are quite plain,” he says, “as we didn’t want anything too patterned on the wall, so choosing a plain tile and using the way we have offered the perfect balance.”
The floor was a different story and here Eamonn wanted to introduce some pattern.
“We chose Trellis tiles from Fired Earth because the blue works perfectly with the cabinetry and it’s quite a classic, traditional pattern so it worked well with the whole style of the kitchen
“We often use Fired Earth, particularly paint, bathrooms and tiles. We like the great selection of tiles, and we love the quality and palette of the paint. The pairing of the two together is brilliant.”
All in all, Eamonn is thrilled with the project.
“I like the deep colour,” he says. “I also really like the bar area section which is something you don’t often see in these kind of projects. Typically, you’d have cabinetry running down one wall and then an island unit in the middle. Here, the kitchen is quite tucked away but it is still a reasonably large so services everything the family might need.”