A KITCHEN FOR COOKING, ENTERTAINING AND LIVING
Rhona and David Randall’s 1986 home near Basingstoke, North Hampshire originally had a kitchen with a separate utility room attached, which meant that their kitchen space was somewhat limited to being a functional kitchen and not the kitchen, dining, living space that they could use to entertain friends and family in.
They had looked at competitive kitchen companies and then by chance saw Beau-Port’s sign as they were travelling from Basingstoke to Alton, so they decided to pop into the company’s 2000 sq ft showrooms at Bentworth.
“We were pleasantly surprised to find such a good and large showroom that has so many different style of kitchens on display” commented David. “We had some thoughts about the type of Shaker style kitchen we wanted and the sort of layout we would like and Mark came up with some excellent design ideas and suggestions”
Rhona and David Randall commissioned Beau-Port’s head designer Mark Johnson to install the company’s Wimbourne handmade in-frame painted furniture, with birch veneer interiors, oak drawer boxes with soft-close runners and dovetail joints, with American Copper pull handles and knobs, New Kashmir white granite worktops, splash back and up-stands, a Villeroy and Bosch Butler sink including waste kit, with a Franke Filter Flow Corinthian tap in Silksteel and appliances.
Beau-Port managed all aspects of the project including the required building works.
“Mark’s idea of taking down the dividing wall between the kitchen and the utility room has really opened up the space and given us the room to have a kitchen with enough space for a good size dining table that can seat 10 people around it, ideal for when we have family gatherings, and we now spend a lot more time in the kitchen,” continued David.
It was important to then create a new utility space for the family within the newly enlarged kitchen dining room, and Rhona commented:
“Mark then designed in a Utility/Laundry Cupboard that is now hidden away behind bi-fold doors and is a much better use of space and now has our washing machine, tumble dryer and water softener. It was also his idea to take off the kitchen door leading into the hallway, which now gives a better flow to the room. Mark then designed in another bi-fold door to hide away the big fridge freezer and to use part of that area for coats.”
Beau-Port’s head designer Mark Johnson has many years of experience and an excellent eye for colour, selecting the right tones to create the perfect look and feel for any room. Rhona and David had looked at a number of possible colours for the kitchen units and had narrowed it down to Farrow and Ball's "Borrowed Light" and a darker colour "Parma Grey" but had not decided which to use. Mark suggested both could be used - the lighter tone for the main kitchen units with the deeper richer Parma Grey for the dresser, bi-fold doors and shelf support.
THE DESIGN PROCESS
“We had a number of meetings with Mark at the showroom and at our home and he is so calm, collected and logical in his approach and good to work with. He has created a lot more usable space for us, as the previous kitchen had a lot of wasted space. He has also made the most of every area of the kitchen. Mark was keen to make sure we covered every aspect of the project and helped us with every detail down to the selection of the handles. The planning of the project and scheduling were excellent and he always kept us informed.”
Beau-Port’s Head Designer Mark Johnson commented on the his design ideas:
“When I visited the client’s home they wanted to get away from the 1990’s look kitchen and create a larger space. They needed to incorporate the utility without really knowing it was there. Everything hinged on if the dividing wall could come down without major steel work. We engaged a structural engineer to complete the investigations and calculations. On closure inspection the wall was not structural, so it was an easier process. This allowed me to create two walk-in niches either side of the room with the remainder of the wall left intact, approximately 700mm deep. We then designed 4 sets of bi-folds to match the kitchen to hide the boiler, washing machine & tumble dryer on one side and fridge coat storage on the other. This allowed me to then complete the main kitchen area with all the desired features. This meant a large table and chairs could fill the middle of the room and make a wonderful family room.”
“Beau-Port’s installation team were excellent,” said David. “They are all so good at their various jobs, so polite, neat, tidy with no need to clean up after them.They were so careful with every aspect of the project including the tidy way they took down the dividing wall of the old utility room, block by block, and the precision of the kitchen fitting team is excellent.”
Rhona is enjoying the new space and light and commented: “The overall effect is a bigger, lighter room making the most of the morning sun, the whole room feels light, airy and also very homely. We also like the use of big, easy to access drawers in the design, which are so much better than inaccessible wall units.”
“The overall cost for the kitchen furniture, was very good value for money. Beau-Port’s prices for a high quality in-frame hand built kitchen were very reasonable and about the same cost as a quote from John Lewis’s for a more basic non in-frame shaker style units,” said David.
“We would also use Beau-Port for other projects in the house for bedroom and study fitted furniture and for when we re-do our dining room at some point and we would certainly recommend BP to friends and family. Everyone who has seen our new kitchen has been very impressed. Mark had lots of good ideas, is patient and explains things very well”