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Harvey Jones Expert Q&A

Helen

This month we invited Helen, an expert designer in our Harrogate showroom, to discuss all things design.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Helen Flanagan and I’ve been a kitchen designer at Harvey Jones for nearly four years. After studying furniture and product design at university, I knew I wanted a career in design.

2. What is your design mantra?

I wouldn’t really say I have a design mantra; I love some symmetry – but not everywhere! Symmetry across a full kitchen can sometimes look a little twee, but in the right places, it can be a great feature. I think colours and handle details have the biggest impact on a kitchen. A unique handle can really set a design off.

3. What is your kitchen like at home?

To be honest, my kitchen at home is grey and small and I don’t have enough cabinets, but I can’t wait to design my own kitchen one day!

4. What inspires your work? Where do you go for inspiration?

I love getting inspiration from Instagram and other people’s home renovations, that’s definitely my favourite source for inspiration along with Pinterest.

5. What are your first considerations when designing a new kitchen?

The first consideration is what type of appliances. I need to work out how many/if I will be including tall height furniture because putting that in the wrong place will shrink a room.
After that, it’s about finding the focal point of the kitchen, which is most often found around the hob.

6. What projects have you found the most rewarding and why?

The most rewarding projects are when the client isn’t really a ‘designer’ but is open to something a little different. When they don’t come with an initial idea of what they want and are open to your ideas, you can create a ‘wow’ kitchen rather than working around a predetermined layout idea.

7. What do you try to avoid?

I try to avoid too many wall cabinets. If a customer feels they need wall cupboards, choosing one wall, and keeping the others free, is a much cleaner and more spacious look.

8. How has kitchen design changed over the last five years?

Since I first started, my particular style has changed, I learn something on every job and like to make sure I have a focal point somewhere. I try to challenge clients a lot more than I used to and encourage them to consider how I would design the space to suit the way they want to use it

9. What kitchen trends do you predict in 2018?

In 2019 I predict seeing more customers opting for bold colours. Most of my clients went for grey this year, so maybe something a little more daring!

10. Do you have any tips for homeowners embarking on a new kitchen project?

Homeowner tip: try to hold back your ideas/designs until after your designer has put forth their ideas; you might prefer it and, if not scrap it and do your thing!

For more design inspiration, request a copy of our 80-page brochure or browse our blog and page for recent case studies. Alternatively, book a complimentary consultation in your local Harvey Jones showroom to discuss your kitchen design with our expert designers.

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