Kitchen – Mr and Mrs Riser

The Client Brief

Initially on visiting the showroom, Mr and Mrs Riser had already chosen a very traditional style kitchen with another company. They were clearly not entirely sure that the kitchen they were about to buy suited their needs.

One glance at Ream’s Metris display – full of sleek contemporary curves, voluminous yet discreet storage and gorgeous chandelier extractor fan – changed their outlook on kitchens entirely! It was love at first sight – the only question was: could it work in their house?

The client’s kitchen space is broken into three areas and an extension via a conservatory was underway. The original kitchen design worked predominantly in the original kitchen section with the chimney breast, which was to be utilised for a range cooker. The client was curious about whether a better layout for the kitchen could be achieved but was not sure how to best use the space available.

Ream’s brief was to take a fresh look at the project and determine whether the desirable Metris furniture could work within it to combine a pleasing aesthetic with practical demands.

Project Cost

The client’s original kitchen budget was around £25,000. However, such was the appeal of the Ream’s design and Metris offering, the budget was increased to £34,200. Building works were being carried out by the client’s builder so this budget covered our dry fit, all furniture, appliances, installation and VAT.

Products & Materials

Mr & Mrs Riser were enchanted by the high specification finish that Metris furniture facilitates with its uniquely distinctive surfaces, textures and colours. Working with Ream’s designer, the full design capabilities of the Metris kitchen were unveiled, opening up new opportunities that the client had previously been unable to see.

We selected Corian work surfaces as they are able to mirror the curved furniture shapes so well.

To balance the modernity of the rest of the kitchen, we worked wood into the design via a seating area. This brought warmth into the design and was enhanced by the use of Metris Hi Gloss Minty Zebrano doors to the island and matt doors in a Wenge finish. Using a third Hi Gloss Vanilla on the feature wall hung units created a distinction between the kitchen and the social area. Overall, the use of natural colours and materials created a link back to client’s original choice of a traditional kitchen.

Problems Overcome

We advised that a more practical and appealing layout, both ergonomically and visually, could be achieved by making better use of the total kitchen area and adjoining conservatory; working in this enlarged space, enabled the creation of a communal area that would involve those preparing and cooking food in the kitchen. As a result, we proposed bringing the main kitchen facilities up towards the rear of the property and integrating the kitchen in such a way that whichever doorway you entered by, the communal and welcoming presence of the kitchen was felt.

We also suggested removing the overbearing view of the chimney breast from the whole design and achieved this by cladding all around the breast on three sides and utilized the resulting area for further storage. It was a difficult process, especially since every unit was a bespoke creation to ensure that it balanced practical storage with the desired aesthetic.

The cooking facilities were then split to be eye level ovens and hob within the Island – the client loved the idea of an induction hob once it was demonstrated in the studio. Putting the hob in the central island meant that effective extraction would be paramount in the new design layout. Working with the onsite builders and a Gutman hood, we managed to provide extraction via ductwork to the outside of the building (not just recirculation) and a system that would handle the volume required whilst not interfering with the client’s eyeline.

Finally, seating was important to the client so we worked in a dedicated area for stools, using natural wood to create a welcoming feel.

The Result

Mr & Mrs Riser were not your everyday clients. The design process was a pleasure but quite unusual in that we were dealing with a client who had spent months looking at traditional layouts and styles. To then change their minds on the basis of seeing a modern layout in the Ream showroom, gave us a significant challenge: to create the same ‘wow’ factor that they had in the showroom into their own home. The client’s trust in our skill and expertise gave us a free hand in the design process, which, in turn, enabled us to create a whole new look using a raft of kitchen products that they had not even previously dreamed of.

The stunning look we achieved used the whole space effectively, seamlessly integrating storage, preparation, cooking and seating areas.

On completion, the client said: “Throughout the whole design and installation process Ream has remained 100% professional. They are very customer orientated and responsive. I am a very busy woman and the Ream team were always willing to accommodate my schedule as best as possible – and the thing which I most admired was that they always turned up when they said they would!

When I visited their showroom in Gillingham, I instantly fell in love with Ream’s Metris display. My new kitchen is amazingly accurate to the display which was exactly what I wanted, fulfilling our specification perfectly.

I love my new kitchen! I never imagined that I would have something so unique and creative in my own home – it’s beyond my wildest dreams, maybe too good for Chatham!”

Award Winning Design

Later in the year, Ream entered this design into Kbbreview Industry Awards 2011, category: Designer Award for Kitchens (project cost over £25,000). Following entry, Ream were proud to be announced as a finalist in this prestigious national award scheme for kitchen design.

This annual event, which at this time had been launched for its 17th year, showcases the best talent in design. The award for this category honours the skill of the kitchen designer in aesthetic and practical results, but also their use of budget, problem solving and meeting the client’s brief. While cost was no object in this category, judges are keenly looking at value for money, and whether the designer has successfully met the all-important brief while still managing to exceed expectations. Judges are looking to see that the budget has created something unique, rather than simply spent on expensive products.

Our unique design gained us a much sought after and desired finalist position, which is a great privilege within the kitchen industry. Andrew Davies, the editor for Kbbreview stated, “It’s always a shame that we have to pick only a handful to be finalists but those that are in that list should feel incredibly proud.”

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