The Owl Logo for  Shere Kitchens - beautiful kitchens handmade in Shere Guildford Surrey


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

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For this family of five & their much loved dog Florrie, their kitchen design is all about filling their space with light for wellbeing & happiness. The owners grew up together in a warm & 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & oil racks, beautiful warm Oak drawers & internal lighting.

Wide and deep drawer banks either side of the ovens and Range Cooker neatly hold all the pots, pans & 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 & 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 & teapots. The doors can be closed to hide toasters, crumbs & coffee machines.

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