Mr & Mrs Laing - West Coast, Scotland

The brief

We’ve all heard of the his’n’hers bathroom – but what about the his’n’hers kitchen?
The creation of distinct zones for Mr & Mrs Laing's project in the west coast of Scotland was a key part of the brief – and, however unusual it might sound, it has resulted in an amazingly successful design.

We were asked to come up with ideas for a new home that was undergoing a substantial reconfiguration. Part of a Grade-B-listed mansion that had been converted into apartments, this property had been formed by knocking three of those flats into one single dwelling. The resulting space, not surprisingly, was enormous, with a substantial area allocated for the new kitchen, open-plan to a dining area and living room.

Mr & Mrs Laing were very keen to get the flow of this room just right. Mrs Laing had some specific requirements, such as a walk-in pantry and a dedicated area in which to cook and prepare food. Mr Laing, meanwhile, requested a section where he could mix drinks, prepare breakfast or simply relax without either of them getting in each other’s way.

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The generous footprint (the kitchen alone covers 7m by 6m) presented two challenges: first, how to fill the space without overfilling it, and second, how to make the different zones work independently yet still flow together as a whole.

The solution was to use Stoneham’s stunning island as a centrepiece and then carefully arrange the appliances around the perimeter, with the position of each depending on which of the pair would be more likely to use it. The water and ice dispenser, for example, are in part of the room where they won’t interfere with the cooking. Similarly, the food prep areas are near the pantry – it doesn’t just mean ingredients are within easy reach, it also gives Mrs Laing a dedicated zone so there’s never a fight for elbow room!

A toughened glass table from Intaglio nestles into one of the curves – a good place for breakfast out of the way of the main cooking area. Exotic wood veneers were incoporated to add warm notes to the room and give it a more homely, comfortable feel. Stoneham’s American walnut plinths are teamed with cupboard doors in Ivory and walnut, with Corian’s goldtoned Sahara topping the island. Burgundy glass acts as a splashback around the sink, where black granite work surfaces help to anchor the kitchen in the space.

Separate but together, while working in perfect harmony: sounds like the dream kitchen of the future.

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