A place where cooking is key, but also brings together all the other elements of family life

Since establishing their kitchens and interiors business 13 years ago, Mark and Clare Johnson of Beau-Port Kitchens and Interiors have witnessed the growing trend for combining the traditional separate dining and living rooms with the kitchen. "Today people want to have one open space that brings together the kitchen and dining area and additional relaxing zones if possible, rather than separate boxed off rooms such as a traditional dining room, which appears to be a thing of the past and was often only used for special occasions and became a waste of space," commented Mark Johnson.
"We have found that our clients are now wanting a more open plan style of living with specific areas for cooking, dining and relaxing - a space that is more social and great for entertaining," continued Mark.

Beau-Port has been working closely with a number of clients who want the flexibility of an open plan living/kitchen/dining area - from those who have average sized homes and have combined existing rooms or added extensions, to clients who already have larger spaces to work with. One recent Beau-Port client, who already has the benefit of a spacious kitchen with combined dining area leading to a family room, wanted a designer who could face the challenge of creating a kitchen in a space that has five doorways leading into it - including a large set of patio doors.

Kathryn from Hampshire, is delighted with the design that Mark came up with for her Beau-Port Shaker style kitchen and commented: "We needed drastic help, I could have researched kitchens for the rest of my life, but what I needed was an expert like Mark who helped to guide us and find the best way of laying out a room with so many doors in and out of it and so many walkways through it. The previous kitchen had real 'bottle necks' and Mark cleverly designed the layout to give us more fluid space all the way around the kitchen, with nothing obstructing the walkways through the area into the family room and outside."

Mark's design expertise extended into the Courtier's utility and laundry room, with a highly original solution found for a moveable wooden laundry trolley, clever concealment of their water softening unit and even a 'bedroom' area for the family pets as well as a useful work bench. "There is so much that I love about my new kitchen," said Kathryn. "The central island works so well, the glass splash backs, floating shelves with under lighting that really create a nice atmosphere in the evenings and the two lovely dresser units designed by Mark with one just by the cooking prep area that conveniently houses my recipe books. Another clever idea of Mark's has opened up the narrow corridor leading into the kitchen by removing an old broom cupboard and making it into a phone booth with our vintage phone."

"Mark's problem solving and attention to detail was enormously helpful and his very calm manner meant everything ran so smoothly as he coordinated the whole project, making it seem effortless and Clare and their son Jacob were also so efficient and helpful. I wouldn't go anywhere else for a kitchen than Beau-Port."

KATHRYN