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Kitchen Tour: A Small Kitchen Packed With Functionality and Style

A combination of practical ideas and innovative design helped to create a bold kitchen for two very keen cooks

Houzz UK Editorial Staff. I’m a freelance journalist with more than 13 years’ experience… More

The couple who own this bright and practical kitchen knew exactly what they wanted from their cookspace, and their architectural background helped them convey their ideas to the designer, Tom Jones-Marquez of Bath Bespoke. “It was very much a collaborative effort,” he says. “They presented us with a set of rough ideas they’d drawn out on CAD [computer-aided design], and we discussed them, revised them, and bounced ideas around for a good month or so.” The result is a bright yet functional kitchen in which the couple can indulge their passion for cooking.

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Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here A couple who both have a background in architecture
Location Central Bath
Property Grade II-listed townhouse with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms
Kitchen dimensions 27 sq m
Designer Tom Jones-Marquez of Bath Bespoke

The owners wanted to create an extremely practical kitchen. “They’re big cooks and wanted something that would be durable and stand up to heavy usage,” says Jones-Marquez. “Everything is to hand, and there are elements of a commercial kitchen.”

The design team built birch plywood units combined with a Formica fascia. “We use birch plywood as much as possible in kitchens,” says Jones-Marquez. “It’s really stable and waterproof, and it doesn’t suffer from wear and tear like other materials.”

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For the walls, the clients were keen to use an innovative material called Valchromat – a dyed composite board that comes in a variety of colours.

“It’s an interesting and durable material,” says Jones-Marquez. “It has its own unique texture – it feels very smooth, but you can see the fibres of the composite within it. We sand it with a 320 grit and apply a lacquer for protection.

“The shading depends on the extent of the sanding,” he adds. The client chose a daring orange colour, which gives a warm contrast to the cool stainless-steel worktops, as well as the pale wood and white units.

Orange covering used on walls and back of island, Valchromat.

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The 250 x 80cm island is super-functional and houses an under-counter oven, drawers for cutlery, utensils and pots and pans, and an induction hob. To the left of the drawers there’s also storage for bins. On either side, the fascias have been left bare to give the island some balance.

The worktop is made from a high-grade stainless steel. “We bent the steel to form an upstand, which prevents any cooking spills landing on the floor behind,” says Jones-Marquez.

Slide&Hide oven, Neff.

Find out how to perfectly pair two different cabinet colours

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The worktop was also moulded at the front to form a waterfall edge profile, which stops oils and fluids dripping over. “It’s something you find in commercial kitchens,” says Jones-Marquez. “It also allowed us to do away with an overhang, so the worktop sits neatly flush to the units.”

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The client came up with this simple yet clever idea of incorporating gaps between the drawers. “It makes them more ‘grabbable’,” says Jones-Marquez.

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On the back of the island, the team used Valchromat again to create some handy extra shelves for herbs, spices and dried ingredients.

A hanging board is positioned on the wall behind the prep area, with magnets for knives, hooks for utensils and even a paper towel holder. “Everything is where the owners need it,” says Jones-Marquez. “The space is very much designed for hardcore cooking.”

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The sink area is kitted out with an integrated dishwasher on the right, a double sink cabinet and some drawers. Most of the crockery is stored in the wall cabinet above, which the team fitted with a wide sliding door that doesn’t open out into the room.

The team also made a little shelving unit from birch ply for sink paraphernalia.

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The sink is seamlessly integrated into the work surface, and LED lighting under the cabinet illuminates the whole area.

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The 900mm stainless-steel fridge fits in with the design of the kitchen and has plenty of space for all the couple’s fresh ingredients. The team made a bespoke larder next to it, with pull-out drawers inside, and above is a shelf for extra storage.

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Jones-Marquez and the team also restored the sash windows as part of the project.

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The clients asked for a cosy seating area to be incorporated next to the fridge, with room for books and storage below the seat. Again, the seat is made from birch plywood and Formica, and LED lighting ensures it’s bright enough for reading.

What do you think of the clever design in this small yet functional kitchen? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.
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