The Tardis Touch
Location: North East Hampshire village in Jane Austen country, very historic area and pretty village.
So how do you create more space in a kitchen without extending it? The answer is to seek out the design skills of Beau-Port Kitchen’s expert designer Mark Johnson, who helped to transform a kitchen into a lighter, brighter more practical space with additional storage without having to call the builders in. A combination of skilful design, bespoke kitchen furniture, creative solutions to find more storage space and the introduction of clever lighting and reflective work surfaces have given their client a greater sense of space, light and a lot more storage.
“It all started when we needed to replace our old kitchen floor and realised we would have to take the whole kitchen out and reinstall it,” said Kate of Hampshire. “That was the starting point of the project as we then thought it would be the ideal time to replace the existing kitchen, which on reflection needed updating.”
The kitchen is located in the oldest part of a pretty village house, in the heart of the Hampshire countryside, that dates back to 1840, complete with timber beamed ceilings and opening out onto a long dining area with patio windows at the end and relatively low ceilings - so getting more light into the kitchen area was one of the design challenges as well as all the odd angles of a property of this age.
“I was struck by how Beau-Port gave us the confidence that they could accommodate all the odd angles in our home, as other kitchen companies did not give us that level of confidence. Mark listened to what we wanted, not like the other kitchen companies we spoke to who tried to imposed their own views,” continued Kate. “We were very impressed with how Mark worked with the low ceilings and beams, especially to get a tall fridge unit in by carefully cutting the top of the unit around the beams that slanted down in a very precise way so it fits perfectly.”
Limited space in their previous kitchen had always been an issue for Kate and Beau-Port was restricted to keeping the same footprint of the kitchen and at the same time to create additional storage space and work space. “Mark managed to create a lot more storage space by reducing the depth of the plinths and gaining greater depth to the cupboards, squeezing out every little bit of space and that is the great thing about having the kitchen bespoke and tailored,” said Kate.
Mark Johnson of Beau-Port used his decades of kitchen design experience to find solutions for all the various space issues in the kitchen including a concealed push open drawer for baking trays just under the oven, fitting a small microwave in a wall unit to give more work top space and utilising the small space above to create a cupboard above to store Kate’s tea towels. Mark also included a wide cutlery drawer into the design, instead of two separate drawers and this again has created more space as well as cupboards that are accessible from the dining area.
“We liked Mark’s approach, coming at it with much more of a designer’s eye for detail and that’s why we chose Beau-Port. He kept coming up with great ideas like the little skirting detail with the pretty plinth feet that look like the skirting of old dressers, a very nice detail. We were also aware of all the ‘bottlenecks, in the kitchen and Mark’s design helped to avoid these by moving things around in a clever way,” continued Kate.
Making the most of the limited light at the working end of the kitchen was also something that Mark addressed with good lighting including beaded lights on the floating shelves and also the white Ceasarstone engineered granite worktops with flecks of small mirrored stone and the Opticolour White Rainbow Sparkle splash-backs with subtle glitter both added a simple contemporary look, helping to give a more spacious feel to the kitchen.
Beau-Port designed, managed the manufacture and installed this attractive Shaker style bespoke kitchen as well as managing many other aspects of the project including the electrics, plumbing, lighting and fitting of a water softener. “It was so good to work with a company that could supply and manage all aspects of the refit including the appliances too,” said Kate.
“It was a great team effort with Mark’s design and project management - in fact there are a lot of clever people on Mark’s team. Every day there was someone here, moving the project forward and Mark was charming and very helpful. We are delighted with the finished job and the sense of spaciousness that we now have in the kitchen as well as all the extra storage. We would highly recommend Beau-Port to anyone thinking of getting a new kitchen”