Luxury kitchen design studio Hinged UK renewed a celebrity chef’s kitchen used for everyday cooking and family gathering, but also as a film set.
BBC Food Insider and celebrity chef Rich Harris is known for two best-selling cookbooks and contributing to the country’s leading food retailer, Waitrose. Because the kitchen is the most important part of the house to Harris, the chef requested a blend of individuality and neutrality that balances both practicality and design.
Hinged UK needed to develop an area with products that met the needs of a busy chef, family man, looked good on camera, and offered enough room to fit a camera crew.
The location of the project and layout of the house were major hurdles, says Hinged UK. First, Harris’ Berkshire home is about 225 miles away from the Hinged UK’s Cornwell-headquartered studio, leaving little room for mistakes—in measurements and coordinating with contractors.
“This posed a potential risk of miscommunication within the project,” writes the Hinged UK design team. “To ensure each step of the project was coordinated, every change and action accounted for, the Hinged Team carefully monitored correspondence, and liaised with fitters and electricians working on the project throughout. In order for the fit to run smoothly, we made sure everything was well prepared in advance.”
To top it off, the design firm says the kitchen’s proximity to the laundry room resulted in the not-so-aesthetically pleasing area to be visible—a total no-go for filming.
“The layout causes the laundry to be exposed, on display right beside the kitchen,” the design team says. “To accommodate for this and ensure the space was kept neat and uniform, I designed a bespoke housing unit to ensure all appliances were enclosed and shut away.”
The matte blue handleless cabinets in the shade Inchyra Blue by Farrow & Ball not only hide the laundry appliances, but hold the built-in KitchenAid cooking appliances. All cabinetry needed to be custom for this reason.
Hinged UK designers say that due to the heavy use the kitchen would experience, a durable and resistant surfacing material was a necessity. Designers chose a ½-inch thick Neolith surface in the Estatuario pattern in a matte silk finish.
Dean Martin, director of Hinged UK, says Estatuario is extremely popular in the UK.
“One of the major flaws in most countertops is their poor resistance to temperature,” says Martin. “There are not many options on the residential market which can withstand extreme heat. Neolith’s high degree of tolerance sets it apart, making it perfect for a professional chef in a home setting.”
Neolith’s surfaces are made of sintered stone, a material composed of granite materials, glass minerals, and natural oxides. Granite materials, such as quartz and feldspar, provide strength and hardness, while glass minerals add chemical stability, and natural oxides bring in chromatic properties, the company says.
“The strength, durability and simple maintenance required made this surface a great option for Rich Harris’ kitchen,” Hinged says. “Neolith worktops are also compatible with the gas hob and undermount sink chosen, which made them a perfect choice for this unique project.”
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Estatuario Silk takes center stage on the waterfall island. The island was used as an anchor of the kitchen and was designed so a crew could film from one specific side of the island. But the waterfall design created another area where special attention was necessary.
Fabricator Duke Stone needed to create a seamless, continuous surface and accurately cut out slabs to fit the KitchenAid gas range and an undermount sink. For added functionality, drainage grooves were also carved into the Neolith surface.
The striking white marble appearance of the Neolith sintered stone surfaces pop in juxtaposition with Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra Blue. The all white walls and unvarnished wood flooring helps to add more contrast, says Martin.
According to Farrow & Ball, this dark blue gray shade pairs well with contemporary homes. Since Harris’ kitchen is adjacent to a wall of windows, the color can change its appearance depending on the lighting.