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Appliances Design Extensions High-end appliances High-end Kitchen Kitchen Luxury appliances Luxury Kitchen Premium kitchens Super-premium kitchen Template

Langstaff-Ellis Case Study: Creating a subtle and minimalist interior

There’s a real satisfaction for the team at Langstaff-Ellis when we take on the challenge of creating something that is a little bit outside the ordinary. In the case of our client’s kitchen extension in Harpsden, South Oxfordshire, we were given the task of designing an interior that took architectural influences from both the Bauhaus and a beautiful German kitchen exhibited at the Schoenfeld Design Centre in Berlin.

The resulting minimalist kitchen is deceptive in its simplicity, the beauty of the detailed Walnut Sap-Wood cabinetry hiding the complexity of the internal design and the modernity and size of premium appliances.

A sink unit and workspace runs beneath three large steel-framed Crittall windows; features that define the space with doors and partitions continuing throughout the house. Our cabinets compliment this architectural feature with their subtle slatted design, lending a pleasing cubic symmetry to the space.

Highly decorative sap-wood walnut has been used precisely because of its lack of symmetry, breaking up the otherwise straight lines and surfaces to display beautiful asymmetric contours within pale and dark chocolatey hued wood.

The walnut contrasts strikingly with the sweeping lines of the two impressive worktops, each cut in one piece in premium quality Unistone Cendre Velluto quartz. Within the sink unit rests a custom stone sink from the same material set off by aged brass fittings, lending tactile contrast to the finish.

On the opposing wall, we have created a breakfast bar cabinet boasting the same quartz surfaces and bespoke sink, cleverly concealed behind subtle bi-fold doors. Within the unit, to cater for our client’s coffee fix every morning, is a clever pocket door opening system, with an integrated Nespresso accessory drawer. This is simple to access, cleverly optimizing dead space at the top of the cabinet.

Dominating the room is a large island with the same beautiful walnut cabinetry and room to comfortably seat six people. Sitting flush in the island is a top of the range Bora Professional Hob, its stylish controls integrated into the woodwork below. Working with the builder on the services plan enabled us to build in ducting for the downdraft extraction through the floor and out of the building.

On the end wall hidden behind a simple door in keeping with the minimalist design, is a premium quality Gaggeneau 400 series fridge freezer and larder unit, this sits adjacent to a large top of the range Wolf oven and our own custom made spice racks.

The simple look of the kitchen with its striking wood and contrasting plain surfaces conceals a host of functionality within a truly stunning space. However, our work on the project didn’t finish at the kitchen. Subtle design continues into two bathrooms.

The first extends the minimalist theme found throughout the home, and here the cleverness of the design is extraordinarily concealed. Sitting above the bespoke sink unit are matching gunmetal framed mirrors sitting flush with the wall. Look carefully and you find each has a small handle, for these aren’t just mirrors but the doors to large cabinets engineered to an exacting degree by Langstaff-Ellis into the wall itself.

The sink unit below is also completely bespoke, with paired sinks crafted from Silver Shadow marble. The cabinetry sitting flush with the sinks is made from a completely waterproof enhanced timber known as Tricoya.

In contrast, the sink cabinet in the second bathroom is colour matched to the pale pink walls using a specialist Tadelakt Moroccan render creating natural texture and variations against the warmth of the silver shadow sink and worktop. Again, there is a flush mirror cabinet set into the wall, this time with an unfinished brass frame offsetting the antique brass of the tap.

Commenting on the project Ed Birks of Langstaff-Ellis said,

“It’s a pleasure to work with a client who has a very clear vision. It gave us a number of complex challenges to overcome, not least of which were the technical aspects of setting the large bathroom units into the walls. The results though are spectacular, we’re proud to have matched our client’s vision with a complex but subtle example of engineering, cabinetry and interior design.”

For further information about creating a premium quality interior please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

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Extensions Kitchen Shaker Template

Shaker Design, Classic Contemporary Elegance

There is something calming about Shaker furniture, the classic lines and expert cabinetry have a warmth that makes any kitchen feel like home. As a design style, Shaker has so much to offer the modern kitchen, but the history of the style actually stretches back to an American ascetic religious movement of the 19th Century.

The Shakers or United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing as they were correctly known had guiding principles of simplicity unity and honesty. Furniture was therefore created along lean minimalist lines, with no unnecessary embellishments, creating pieces that perfectly fulfilled function, form and proportion.

At a time when the predominant European design aesthetic was for heavy, dark, ornate furniture the Shaker style, particularly for furniture sold by the New Lebanon community from the 1860’s onwards, was embraced by homemakers in the New World.

One of the aspects that characterised Shaker furniture was the quality of craftsmanship with an emphasis on high-quality joinery, something that we emulate today with our modern Shaker interpretations.

The original furniture would be made in cherry, maple or pine and then painted in one of four prescribed colours, blue, green, red or yellow however as furniture makers in the 21st Century we have the leeway to take the original aesthetic and reimagine it with interpretations that work perfectly to create contemporary luxurious kitchens.

Just like the Shaker craftsmen, we also believe in exemplary craftsmanship, in creating functional but beautiful furniture that is built to last the test of time.

One of the keys to this quality is in the part of the furniture you don’t see. Shaker cabinetry is created using in-frame design, a type of cabinetry construction where the door of a cabinet is inset within a wooden frame and the frame is fixed onto the front face of the carcass giving it long-lasting strength.

The fundamental build quality of a Shaker kitchen, therefore derives from its in-frame woodwork, something that we apply rigorous quality checks to, and with the precision we apply to our cabinet making at Langstaff-Ellis the calibre of our craftsmanship would be recognisable to our 19th Century forbears. While they would certainly recognise the characteristic beaded doors, functional lines and traditional detailing in our designs we hope they’d also appreciate our subtle adaptations for contemporary homes.

Our modern Shaker interpretations provide contemporary luxury options, including EuroCave wine cabinets, Quooker boiling water taps, Fisher & Paykel appliances, Bora hobs, Aga ranges and Belfast sinks, and where the Shakers themselves insisted on wooden door and drawer pulls we can offer a variety of stylish handles such as Butler + Punch.

Finishes aren’t limited to primary colours either, in fact our modern Shaker kitchens can be painted in any colour you choose including fashionable greys and darker hues as well as stunning neutral tones to complement your home’s unique aesthetic.

The contemporary Shaker style is a perfect evolution of furniture design principles that have been passed on for generations and across continents. For interior designers and homeowners looking to create timeless elegance in their kitchen, or elsewhere in the home our bespoke Shaker designs with their high-end craftsmanship and luxury finishes create the perfect contemporary answer.

Finally, if you were wondering why the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing became know as the Shakers, it was because of their ecstatic dancing during services!

For more information about working with Langstaff Ellis to design a beautiful shaker kitchen for your home please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

 

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Bar Extensions Template

Top Ten Considerations When Creating A Home Bar

The finest contemporary homes are being created to accommodate an enjoyable variety of rooms that enhance the pleasures of entertaining. From capacious dining areas to the modern audio-visual room creating spaces for welcoming friends are our stock in trade, but the trend we are enjoying more than any other is the welcome return of the Home Bar.

We’ve worked on numerous Home Bars and have a sound idea of the elements you should consider when creating one; this then is our guide to the ten major considerations for creating your perfect Home Bar.

1. Style

In many ways the Home Bar is all about style, alongside a reflection of the owners’ unique taste. It’s a place that conjures a convivial mood for enjoying cocktails, aperitifs, parties, after dinner drinks or even a well chosen cigar. So it’s worth considering how you’re going to use the bar and what mood you want to convey.

If you’re like us you’ll want somewhere snug and comfortable, we’re big fans of wood paneling, discreet lighting, an impressive drinks cabinet and comfortable but striking furniture. Think of the classic American bars, amongst our favourites are the Campbell at Grand Central in New York with its huge marble bar-top, and Melbourne’s Everleigh with its clubby sophisticated interior.

If you prefer something more funky and modern consider seamless lines, interesting shapes and influences of gleaming wood and chrome. We love the Dog & Badger in Medmenham, Buckinghamshire with its sleek mahogany and cedar bar evoking the sweeping lines of a classic Riva Launch from the Italian lakes.

2. Lighting

No one likes walking into a halogen bright bar; bad lighting is the biggest mood killer any bar can have. So it’s really important that you install integrated mood lighting.

Discreet lighting throughout the bar can create an intimate atmosphere, perfect for relaxing. We’d recommend hidden lighting within the cabinets and storage spaces. Soft lighting picking out reflections and shadows in glassware helps create a mood while subtle lights can be integrated into any piece of bar furniture but look especially good glowing from within the bar top itself.

3. Finishes & Work Surfaces

We get especially excited about working on a bar because the combinations for different finishes and work surfaces are endless. We’ve already mentioned how fabulous mahogany can look as does walnut, but think of the possibilities for creating something truly individual with the bar-top. Wanting a classic Zinc bar is understandable but there are so many other finishes to make your bar unique such as copper, polished concrete, slate or cherry.

It’s fun to contrast the finished bar itself with oak surfaces for shelving while the cabinetry favours discreet smoky shades.

4. Furniture

In a bar you need to be comfortable and if you’re creating your own space you can be expressive too. If you’ve ever wanted to create your own perfect bar stool this is your opportunity. Depending on the size of your Home Bar you could also have a few tall or low bar tables with comfortable bucket seats or leather armchairs, created especially for the space.

The fun part is thinking about the upholstery, for example we came across a bar in Madrid where every stool was covered with beautiful cowhide, though personally we like to be more subtle favouring rich fabrics and antique leather.

5. Mirrors

Mirrors always look good in a bar, they give the room a feeling of space but can also be used to enhance the ambiance. They can be used in clever ways such as behind the shelving where glassware is displayed or in cocktail cabinets enhancing the soft lighting within, but large mirrors can also be a feature on their own.

Amongst our favourites to use when creating a bar are antiqued or smoked mirrors that create a feeling of luxury, giving the whole room a discreet impression of space.

6. Storage

Every home bar needs ample storage, which is where creative cabinetry plays such an important role. Think about everything that needs to live in the bar; spirits, beers, wines and mixers; cocktail making equipment, sharp knives, ice buckets and chopping boards; glassware that can serve everything from a Martini to a Craft Beer; and even books containing your favourite cocktail recipes. You also want the cabinets and shelves to look great but be functional too.

Our recommendation is to never underestimate the storage you’ll need, but make sure the units are fantastic pieces of furniture with wonderful dovetails, subtle pocket doors that can slide away and discreet lighting. Think too about the ironwork; handles need to complement the style of the bar, which is why we love the industrial styles of Buster & Punch.

7. Wine & Beer Fridges

Every home bar needs refrigeration; wine, beer and mixers need to be kept cold, as do garnishes for cocktails, so a good fridge is an essential investment. And we’ve always thought Vodka straight from the freezer is always much better too! Don’t forget you’ll also need copious amounts of ice so a fridge that can deliver straight into an ice bucket is also worth considering.

No one likes the distraction of a humming appliance so consider low noise level options, we recommend Gaggenau at the luxury end of the market, but if you’re after an efficient workhorse Fisher & Paykel can’t be beaten.

8. Wine Storage

A specific wine fridge is a brilliant addition to any Home Bar and can also be an interesting focal point. Modern wine fridges are not just for whites either, multizone fridges are available from companies such as Eurocave to keep red and white at different temperatures with capacities from as small as two bottles up to 100+.

Many Home Bars combine a wine fridge with an elegant wine storage and display unit, that can be handcrafted to accommodate as many bottles as you need.

9. Sinks & Ice Troughs

All the best bars have a lot of sink capacity, not just for washing up but for storage too. One of our favourite bespoke items to create is an ice trough, which can be filled with ice to keep beers and spirits suitably chilled.

You should also consider hot and cold water options. The latest innovation from Quooker, the CUBE combines their existing boiling/cold tap with a Sparkling water option to deliver filtered chilled sparkling water straight from the tap.

10. Dishwasher

Perhaps the most practical part of your Home Bar is the dishwasher. Someone has to clean up at the end of the day, but there’s no reason why you can’t have something stylish that integrates well into the overall design of the bar to do the hard work, which is why we recommend Fisher & Paykel Dishdrawers. Each discreet Dishdrawer is a self contained dishwasher but they can be configured in stacked units if extra capacity is needed.

Everything in your Home Bar should be elegant and stylish right down to the dishwasher!

For more information about creating the ideal Home Bar please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Extensions Kitchen Template

10 Tips for Planning your Kitchen Extension

We’re lucky to work with many clients who are able to build complete new spaces for their kitchens. Whether a renovation or an extension the ability to create a dream kitchen is something that we love to be involved with.

However, we’ve learned that there can be some pitfalls along the way, so in this blog we offer some advice on what to consider when planning the perfect kitchen.

1. Make sure there’s a comprehensive plan

It may seem obvious but it’s worth repeating, plan what you intend to do in as much detail as possible. There is more to a kitchen than cabinets and appliances so you need to give proper consideration to plumbing, drainage, electrical wiring, sockets, lighting, heating and extraction as well as the positioning of appliances, cabinets and island.

2. Involve an experienced designer early

The beauty of involving a great kitchen designer early in the process is two-fold. Firstly they are used to planning unique kitchens from scratch so they will have a checklist of all the elements that need to be considered, from the position of sockets to the optimum position for the island. Secondly, they will produce meticulous plans and be able to show you 3D CAD drawings so you can see the end result and make adjustments early in the process.

3. Don’t let egos hinder you – get the designer working with the architect

We have been privileged to work with some wonderful architects; generally they have a vision for a property and the kitchen will be an important part of it. However the devil is in the detail, sleek slim cupboards for example, may look fabulous on paper but they can be inadequate for storage. If the kitchen is to be a living space you need to make sure it’s built around the way you’re going to use it.

The answer is to get your designer to work with your architect. In our experience, we’ve found that once we understand the architect’s vision we can create a kitchen that both fulfills the desired aesthetic look combined with the practical needs of a working kitchen.

4. Think about how you’ll use the space

For some people the kitchen is a statement space that looks impressive but doesn’t get used for much more than boiling a kettle. For others the kitchen is a combination of entertainment and living area, creative culinary workspace and the hub of the home. Each kitchen will have different requirements, the former for example may just need a simple stack oven arrangement, minimal refrigeration and discreet cabinets, while the latter may need an AGA or large hob, copious storage and space to seat a large family. Everyone’s kitchen usage is different but as with everything else talk to your designer about how you’re intending to use the space and let them help optimise it for you.

5. Plan the layout for efficient use

You have probably heard about the working triangle, designed to minimise effort and walking distance between sink, fridge and cooker by placing them on 3 points of a triangle. Obviously this makes for an efficient workspace but you shouldn’t feel constrained by the concept, instead use the principle of shortening walking distances between the practical elements in your space as a guide. For example, if you have a hob in the island and a range cooker you may want to locate them parallel to one another so you can work efficiently between the two. It is also worth considering how much space you have between the island and cabinets or cooker; make sure there is plenty of room to create a spacious workspace that can accommodate two cooks if necessary.

6. Consider the cabinetry

The majority of your kitchen consists of cabinets so you should think carefully about the design, their uses and how they are positioned. Most kitchen companies work to standard sizes so can’t be very flexible. The benefit of using Langstaff-Ellis is that everything can be bespoke. So no matter how awkward the space or whatever unique need you have – for your collection of Claris Cliff ceramics or single malt whiskies for example – we can create perfect solutions.

7. Create a bespoke Island

No kitchen is complete without the focal point of an island with its multiple uses as a hub to cook, eat and socialise. Planning the size, how you’re going to use your island, the appliances you want to include and the materials it is finished in need careful consideration. Many clients opt for a Bora Professional hob, incorporate a wine fridge or have bookshelves; others may have a sink with a Quooker hot water tap, integrated microwave and seating for the whole family.

With finishes ranging from beautiful wood to quartz, marble, granite, concrete, or a solid surface countertop the options to express your kitchen’s unique character are endless so make sure to think through your needs and use a professional designer to help you create the perfect island for your kitchen.

8. Plot the plumbing & electrics

This is an area where working with your designer, architect and builder really will pay dividends. Knowing well in advance where your appliances, basins, waste, drainage and ducting need to be located will enable your builder to get it right first time. Changes late in the process can prove to be expensive!

9. Plan underfloor heating wisely

Most new kitchen extensions will incorporate underfloor heating but you need to be careful where you put it in relation to your cabinets and appliances. For example, heating pipes in the floor beneath fridges and freezers will mean they have to work harder to achieve their low temperatures, equally there’s no need to have heating under cabinets, firstly because wood expands or contracts depending on temperature and secondly because you could be heating whatever food you may be storing in them. Again, issues can be avoided by careful planning with your designer, architect and builder.

10. Do your research

We are privileged to have worked on hundreds of unique kitchens in all kinds of homes so have an excellent command of what does and doesn’t work, however we love to learn, so while we can help design and plan everything you should want we always encourage Langstaff-Ellis clients to do their research.

If there’s a funky new appliance we haven’t encountered we want to know about it or if you’ve seen an amazing piece of design you’d like to emulate let us know. Everything you discover will help you to brief us so we can translate your vision into a unique bespoke kitchen.

Designing and building a new kitchen extension doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task if you plan well, avoid the pitfalls and involve all the right people. Our experience can make your job easier so contact us using the details below to find out how we can help to design and plan your kitchen extension.