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Harvey Jones Expert Q&A

This month we invited our designer, John, from our Tunbridge Wells showroom to share his knowledge on all things design.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

I graduated with a BA in interior design, at the beginning of my career I worked mainly in architects and interior design practices, dealing with corporate office design. I specialised in executive furniture design, before moving from London to Tunbridge Wells to work for Harvey Jones.

2. What is your design mantra?

There’s a lot to be said about form following function; keep it simple and well thought through. My hero’s Ray and Charles Eames once said, “details are not details, they are the design.”

3. What is your kitchen like at home?

My kitchen also acts as the living room, it’s very eclectic as I like so many different styles, colours, and objects. It has a mixture of new and old. The Shaker kitchen is simply painted and is the perfect backdrop to my unique style. It's timeless.

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

I love the challenge of the plan and I am constantly looking at articles of renovation house plans.

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

My first consideration for any kitchen is the clients brief and what they are looking for from the space. As a designer, I feel it’s my job to think outside the box, by introducing ideas they may not have thought about before.

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

Sometimes the smallest of spaces can be the most rewarding; it’s a challenge and requires you to think innovatively.

It’s quite easy to go overboard with adding unnecessary detail, once you’ve got a design you love, stick to it. Avoid adding in elements that are an after-thought.

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

While we do still see range cookers on some hand built kitchen wish lists, recently they have been overtaken by a trend for eye-level, built-in ovens, particularly in open plan kitchens. As well as the fact that they can be sited a more convenient height, meaning there’s no bending over to see into the oven at what’s cooking, they can offer more flexibility, too. Models that offer different modes in one, such as combining a steam oven and microwave for instance will help refine your cooking skills. The popularity of TV shows such as The Great British Bake of and Britain’s Best Home Cook have opened up people’s eyes to appliances such as Neff’s Slide and Hide oven and helped them to understand the merits of installing a warming drawer. From a design point of view a bespoke kitchen with a bank of tall appliances holding the ovens set side by side horizontally gets away from the old traditional single stack.

9. What Kitchen Trends do you predict in 2020?

The trend for bespoke painted kitchens continues to be a popular one. Adding an island in an accent or darker colour is also where people are able to show their slightly braver side. Currently dark blues and greys are popular and these strong shades look great when contrasted with a light worksurface and splash back. Also on the rise are quartz composites or Corian worktops with delicate veining to create a faux marble or granite appearance.

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

If you are planning an extension and appoint an architect to do the plan, it’s always worth considering the overall kitchen design in the early stages. By knowing what kitchen you want and committing to that company, you have time to develop the design along the way, rather than rushing a decision at the end when the architect's plan cannot be changed. If you don’t you may end up spending a lot of money with a compromised plan.

Speak to John in Tunbridge Wells, or find your local showroom here to discuss your project with another designer.

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