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Profile: A Contemporary Take on A Classic Kitchen Design
Cool colours, clean lines and oak flooring combine to create a calm mood in this kitchen
written on: 08-09-2021 17:40pm
After moving from London, Geira and Axel Muller initially rented a very dated 1970s-built house in Surrey, because they were tempted by its beautiful lakeside location. When they decided to settle in the county, they began looking for a house to buy, somewhere with a fresh and less tired appeal to make a permanent home to share with their children. “But we just couldn’t find anywhere else that overlooked a beautiful lake and woodland,” recalls Geira. “So eventually we decided we would try and buy this house and renovate it entirely.”
- Owners/residents: Geira and Axel Muller and their children; Esben, and Amalia
- Kitchen feature: Bespoke Architectural furniture painted in French Grey Mid 162 by Little Greene offers a symmetrical, linear design with an elegantly modern and clean look. A custom-made extractor hood adds a Scandinavian-inspired, simple focal point in place of a traditional chimney breast
After (rather protracted) negotiations with the previous owners, and the local planning department, Geira and Axel were ready to move ahead with their plans to remove internal walls and extend the ground floor. Inspired by their Danish roots, their idea was for a much larger and open-plan living space suited to their family life. “We wanted to create a strong sense of space and light, especially because the house felt it was definitely missing those qualities before,” explains Geira.
The time spent in planning, tells Geira, proved useful in the end, as it gave the couple plenty of time to develop their ideas, particularly those for the kitchen furniture. “We wanted a pared-down look with light colours to reflect our Scandinavian taste,” says Geira. “Nothing too sharp and urban, but equally nothing too country.” But after looking in dozens of kitchen showrooms, Geira felt no nearer her goal. Until, that is, she opened an issue of EKBB magazine and spotted an elegant design by Martin Moore, and headed off to meet designer Pam Baker at the Esher showroom. “I enjoy cooking and Pam completely understood the need to combine an unfussy look with a very practical working space with maximum work surface,” says Geira, who particularly likes baking. “It is now a very calm space with a perfect sense of balance,” she says.
Q & A – Pam Baker, designer at Martin Moore - How did you begin to design the project? Geira and Axel were very specific that they wanted a clean, uncluttered aesthetic, so the furniture reflects this. It features slender mid-rails to accentuate the linear design, while drawers have flat fronts without beading for a modern look. And the details count too; cylinder knobs are simple and contemporary. Instead of wall cupboards, we included a simple cook shelf and another that sits both sides of the bespoke extractor hood for a considered finish.
- Can you tell us about the layout? As the new design is open plan, there was limited wall space to play with. So the peninsula is deliberately large, to provide sufficient storage and work surface. The old kitchen had an island which the children used to run around – now the peninsula delineates the kitchen space, so the children are less likely to get under Geira’s feet when she is cooking. We were able to tuck the large fridge and freezer into a recess around the corner, so they are easy to access, but are not the first things you see when you enter the room.
- And the colours and materials? The light grey furniture and white walls accentuate the calm mood, while the oak flooring adds warmth to the scheme. The worktops are made of Corian for a totally seamless, clean look. It is fused on site so that joins are not visible, which is ideal for the worktop of such a large peninsula like this.
Credit: Darren Chung (Images), Amelia Thrope (Words) Published: As featured in EKBB Magazine, Issue 240, April 2016