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It was an absolute pleasure to work with this family on their kitchen extension - to design, make and fit this - their vision and dream kitchen, part of creating a home they love.  

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For this family of five and their much loved dog Florrie, their kitchen design is all about filling their space with light for wellbeing and happiness. The owners grew up together in a warm and bright beachside town in South Africa, so bringing as much light into the hub of their house was paramount to it feeling like home. They helped us name this kitchen for our portfolio - The Ilanga Kitchen - which means sunshine in Zulu (pronounced e-lan-ger).

The design

Biophilic design is about making connections with nature to help create a positive space, centered around feeling good. In this project there was a focus on natural light, using roof lights to open up views of the sky, and heightened glazing that maximises the view of the trees from the sink. The sliding doors create an almost seamless connection with the garden where they love to play with their dog and enjoy a braai (South African for BBQ or cooking over fire). The handcrafted kitchen is at the centre of it, furniture that has been made by our craftsmen, with beautiful materials, using traditional cabinetry methods so it's built to last. With their story behind how it's been custom designed it brings an extra feeling of specialness into the home.

Classic yet contemporary, this kitchen has the best of both worlds, timeless Shaker style cabinetry alongside the modern strong black accents from the window frames, appliances and pendant lights. The handpainted white shell coloured cabinetry with warm handmade Oak interiors is matched beautifully with the soft ivory white tones of the Frosty Carrina Caesarstone worktop.

The layout

The layout details were thought through carefully to ensure that it works for a growing family using it in different ways at the same time - one might be making a chocolate chip banana cake, while someone else is preparing the BBQ, another chopping salads while the children work on school projects or tend to their seedlings being grown by the kitchen sink.

As you walk into the kitchen, the larder cupboard and Fisher and Paykel fridge freezer are together, so that all ingredients can be seen at the same time. The larder cupboard has adjustable shelving, quartz bottom shelf, spice and oil racks, beautiful warm Oak drawers and internal lighting.

Wide and deep drawer banks either side of the ovens and Range Cooker neatly hold all the pots, pans and serving dishes as well as utensils, tea towels and tupperware.

The Island worktop has been kept completely clear as it is the main food prep space as well as a breakfast bar. There are drawers so crockery and cutlery is on hand, and a pull out food bin at one end so that vegetable peelings can be easily tidied away before putting chopping boards in the sink and utensils in the dishwasher.

The 'appliance garage' is next to the boiling water Quooker Tap, with stunning Oak grain to admire when the bi-fold doors are left open displaying favourite cups, milk jugs and teapots. The doors can be closed to hide toasters, crumbs and coffee machines.

This space is about family. Cooking, eating, sharing, making memories and feeling happy.

Replenishing wood for future generations

By working with us your kitchen is designed and made to last, so sustainability is at the core. We're also committed to replanting trees and using off-cuts in our conservation project to make Bug Homes. Read more on our Community Page.

“Shere Kitchens were an absolute delight to work with throughout the entire process. Nothing was ever a problem or too much effort, and there were no hidden extra costs. Mike and Andy were always on hand or prompt to respond and chat through details, and were incredibly patient and helpful with final decisions. The finished result is beautifully crafted and is all we hoped for.”

KA, Guildford, Surrey