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Commissioned for a family home renovation this bespoke kitchen was custom made to order. 

The Courthouse Kitchen brings together all the elements of modern family living into a beautiful yet practical space, perfect for entertaining. With organic tones inspired by the surrounding woodland and a respectful nod to family heritage, the colours and natural textures create a calm and stylish backdrop to a fully customised kitchen designed with family life in mind, in a perfect blend of style, luxury and functionality.

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A serene oasis blending busy family life with relaxed entertaining space

The Courthouse Kitchen brings together all the elements of modern family living into a beautiful yet practical space, perfect for entertaining. With organic tones inspired by the surrounding woodland and a respectful nod to family heritage, the colours and natural textures create a calm and stylish backdrop to a fully customised kitchen designed with family life in mind, in a perfect blend of style, luxury and functionality.

A family space for all occasions: the essence of the brief

When a lovely couple from Oxshott in Surrey came to us with their vision for creating the perfect family kitchen, we were thrilled to become a part of their journey. Family was an integral part of the brief; not only for their own two delightful children to grow up in, but for regular entertaining of the wider family and for conducting daily life and work.

The existing kitchen layout restricted movement between the different areas of the house and the couple were keen to open up the space to invite a relaxed, natural flow from indoors to out. Seating was also an issue, as regular gatherings of 15+ people were problematic.

With the kitchen intended to be the true heart of this family’s home, functionality was key. The space needed to be suitable for everyday life, with plenty of organised storage space, but also for entertaining, work and relaxation. Scuff-resistant paint and hard-wearing surfaces were a must, without compromising the beauty and style of the finished result.

This was a family with a very clear vision of what they wanted, both visually and functionally, and we were delighted to bring their ideas to life in this beautifully hand-crafted kitchen.

A natural habitat both inside and out

The property backs onto beautiful woodland and the couple wanted this reflected in natural textures and tones. The kitchen is flooded with natural light at the garden end, courtesy of both a large, remote-controlled roof lantern style skylight which can be lifted up in summer to let in fresh air, and full-width bifold doors, channelling the harmony between outside and in.

The choice of colours and materials was critical, and after extensive consultation with Benjamin Moore, they chose the complementary shades of Vintage Vogue and Light Pewter, which together with the oak shelving, island end and table really highlight the tones of the forest and create a wonderful sense of peace. The Caesarstone worktop in Cosmopolitan White keeps the whole space feeling light and airy but grounded in natural stone, while the beautifully understated Rowen and Wren handles throughout pick up tonal accents from the bar stools and other furniture with a glowing warmth.

Nature and nurture: combining family roots with stylish contemporary design

For a family-centric couple, it was important to acknowledge their South African ancestry and incorporate family heirlooms. Working with Interior Stylist Belle Hadley, the couple had decided to house the inherited barrister bookcases in the kitchen, so we considered these in the designs, staining the hand-turned pedestal leg of the island unit to match them precisely. A large oak table, also a family heirloom, took up residence overlooking the garden while the oak accents were finished with a floating shelf over the sink to display their most treasured pieces. As this was at the darker end of the room, we added an inset LED lighting strip to maintain consistent lighting and warmth.

A social space allowing organic movement and joyful company

A frustration of the previous kitchen was its narrow and restrictive layout, which created bottlenecks when guests were around. As large family gatherings are a regular occurrence for this sociable family, with plenty of South African-inspired barbecues and outdoor entertaining, it was important to create free-flowing movement between inside and out that would allow those long summer get-togethers to continue well into the evening, unimpeded by the chillier British weather.

The offset positioning of the island allows for plenty of space for guests while the table and island end provide extensive seating potential, as well as natural confluence points for people to gather around to chat.

Hand-crafted car cabinetry and integrated wine cooler with reeded glass doors enable effortless entertaining without interruption, and the concept of flow is echoed in the choice of flooring, where interior and exterior tiles are matched to create seamless movement from kitchen to patio. While outdoor entertaining plays a big role, the chill of British evenings meant it was important to be able to continue gatherings well into the night without any awkward break between outside and in.

Aesthetics, ergonomics and the beauty of craftsmanship

Everything about the Courthouse Kitchen is entirely custom-made for this family, and their specific ideas of what they wanted really shine through in the finished design.

To incorporate the stunning, hand-painted Hannah Livesly splashback tiles, we had to resize the canopy to fit the exact dimensions, which meant the tiles could align perfectly without any need for cutting. As the couple was keen to avoid any framing lines or jarring edges in the cabinetry, everything was hand-crafted in our Surrey workshop according to the precise dimensions of the space available, which meant we were creating unusually large sections to create a seamless finish.

Practicality and accessibility were crucial, and the kitchen features extensive storage space, with a total of 24 drawers for the ultimate convenience. Full height cabinetry lines the back wall, housing a pantry, fridge, ovens, freezer and breakfast cabinet complete with coffee machine and toaster. The large Shaws Belfast sink is equipped with a Quooker boiling water tap, and next to the cooking area is a compact home office workstation easily closed away behind custom-made doors, with a desk and plenty of USB points, facilitating a seamless, side-by-side blend of work and family life.

With the choices of paint and naturally hygienic surfaces this is a kitchen primed for everyday family life, easy to tidy and easy to clean, with oodles of storage, yet one which oozes style and simple family values.

Creating a customised, hybrid space for family, life and work

With home becoming a more prevalent priority for many during the pandemic, it was important to create an environment where home life and work could be balanced and yet kept separate, maintaining boundaries while facilitating flexibility and uninterrupted flow. Choosing quality, hand-made and natural materials ensure the longevity of the finished design and echo the sustainability of the surrounding forests that provided so much inspiration for this kitchen.

More than just a room, the finished space is a reflection of this family’s values and way of life, a customised, hybrid space to make the most of family, work and entertaining. It provides a wonderfully open space for entertaining with a stylish nod to their family heritage and a gorgeous splash of South African sunshine.

A curated, customised service from start to finish

We love nothing more than bringing our clients’ vision to life, helping them to access the services, materials and finishing touches that can make such a difference to the finished product. Our first love is the furniture and hand-crafted cabinetry and we work with a network of trusted craftspeople to ensure every client has the choice and expertise they need on hand for each element of the kitchen delivery.

The beauty of a fully bespoke kitchen is that nothing is off-limits, and we adore the challenge of finding ways to bring the most personal touches to life. Every kitchen is designed and constructed for that specific space, so there need be no compromise in the execution of each unique vision.

Press feature

This kitchen has been featured in Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathrooms magazine. To see more click here.

We consider ourselves very fortunate to have been a client of Shere Kitchens. They are professional, friendly, kind, expert craftsmen. They delivered everything we wished for. They were extremely flexible in dealing with a delayed build. Nothing was ever too much hassle. They were creative with our ideas and turned it even the seemingly impossible into reality. Would and have recommended them.

CB, Oxshott, Surrey