At the start of every kitchen design process, H. Miller Bros’ approach is always set out to find out what is unique about a project and a client to create something genuinely original. On this occasion, the client told H. Miller Bros that they dreamed of having a larger, functional, yet playful kitchen, so that they could enjoy family life with their three small children.
Co-Founder, Howard Miller, expanded the client’s brief to incorporate intangible things that he knew would make a significant improvement to the clients’ lives – striking a balance between removing clutter and allowing space for the joyful paraphernalia that comes with a young family.
Getting more natural light into the space and creating a route from the kitchen to the garden was also considered. Innovative ideas included a cork panel integrated into the cabinet fronts that was stained black to match the black front of the oven to bind the design together. It also acted as a bit of a sound absorber and sits over the splashback so that there is a lot of space to pin up the kid’s drawings, reminders, birthday cards etc. This curates an evolving backdrop of things for the family pin to it.
Howard also designed an over-counter corner breakfast cupboard with a pull-out tray to store the usual appliances (toaster, coffee grinder, blender etc.) that typically clutter up worksurfaces. The client had also shared a picture of some antique oak drawers they loved, so H. Miller Bros tested various blends of wood stains to create a recipe to replicate it, albeit in a more contemporary cabinet style. Howard also discovered that the clients were music lovers, so designed the cabinetry knobs to be enlarged versions of the volume knob from their beloved 1970s record player.
The new space allowed for an island, which was designed as a big table in the middle of the room and enabled light and views through and around it. The sink run is a set of floating drawers that project from the wall, and the flooring continues under them to make the room feel more spacious. The full-height cabinets were hand-painted a calm, matte Farrow & Ball ‘School House White’, which contrasted with the ‘China Blue’-coloured floor from the Coloured Flooring Company to give the design a playful tone. Howard also lined the bottom of all the drawers in the coloured floor vinyl to provide the family with a splash of colour when opened.
Finally, he included a giant larder cupboard with a cold shelf worktop, in-door storage, a wine rack and glass store, a hanging rail and one of the company’s signature solid oak bread boxes.