At the Heart of Hampstead Heath
With a background in rental properties, the owners of this North London home knew exactly where to turn for their new kitchen. “neillerner kitchen design have produced the kitchens in our last three houses,” says the client. “The product, service and after care is truly excellent, so it was a no brainer to go back to them again for the latest one!”
Surrounded by Hampstead Heath in a very peaceful location, this house was built in 1916 in a style that feels like a country cottage. The owners wanted to mirror this feeling in the kitchen but when they moved in, the ground floor was made up of lots of small rooms so many of the views of the heath were actually blocked.
To open up the kitchen and make it into one larger space with enough room for a family dining table, they took down a large chimney breast, and removed an old porch, second staircase and passage that went nowhere. They also opened up the link between the kitchen and former breakfast room, converting it into a comfortable family room with exposed wall made of reclaimed brick for added character.
As someone who enjoys cooking and entertaining (twenty four for dinner is a regular Friday night occurrence), this client had a very clear list of requirements. She worked closely together with Neil and his team at the beginning of the project to plan the space in detail, so that every area of the kitchen works well.
The large central island forms both the main preparation zone and the sociable area with its sweeping breakfast bar, bridged across one side. In addition to the cooking zone with its hob, built-in ovens and integrated fridge running along one wall, there are further sections of tall storage cabinets, a double pantry cupboard and integrated freezer, plus a drinks station close to the dining table, with roller shutters to conceal a coffee machine, mugs and glassware. Perfect for concealing teenage mess!
For the units, Neil suggested a blend of softly coloured Cashmere doors with rich brown Woodlands worktops and an Acacia Grey breakfast bar for added warmth and contrast. They also used the Acacia Grey to frame some of the wall units in the living room, introducing more character and balance to the design and this was continued through to other areas – such as the bespoke shelving to house the client’s vintage model car collection – to give additional continuity to the overall scheme.
"With a new client, I always encourage them to take their time, to fully understand and feel happy with their kitchen design. Once the kitchen is on site, any major changes could be very costly and disruptive so we aim to cover all bases well in advance to avoid any unforeseen issues arising. This client has had several kitchens from us before and the formula clearly works because we are delighted to say that they keep coming back for more!" — Neil