Our client had a fairly clear idea of the way they wanted their new kitchen to work. The challenge for us was to create a design that not only functioned effectively with all the things on the “Wish List” but it also had to have the understated, elegant look of a Black Rok kitchen. The client intended to knock the wall down between the dining room and the kitchen, they then wanted to relocate the kitchen to the opposite end of the space. They were keen that the kitchen would not dominate the space and would leave enough space for a dining table and chairs.
The wall run needed to house the oven, fridge, sink, hob and dishwasher, oh and a larder cupboard cut in around some pipe boxing. The base units are framed on either end by the tall units and the look is lifted by the wall units and panelling. The peninsula was to be kept free of any appliances but have space for seating and a mix of cupboard and drawer storage.
How it worked Out
The kitchen is a beautiful example of simplicity, the unfussy design sure to last the test of time. There are pleasing details such as the up lit panelling above the wall units and very elegant colour scheme, with the lava grey framing the white wall units and worktops. The high degree of functionality within a relatively small kitchen allows for the space to remain clutter free.
What our customer said
‘We are very happy with the design and quality of the kitchen, it looks and feels stunning’.
The key component with the design of this cubanite grey kitchen was to maximise the feeling of space and light. Our clients wanted the usual level of functionality within the kitchen space whilst also requiring a neatly concealed laundry zone in the new extension. The style needed to be subtle and elegant, allowing for the materials and finishes to add a touch of understated glamour.
After a fair amount of exploration the shape that best suited the space focused on a single long run of cabinetry along the main wall. With no wall units or tall units this run was to be elevated above the ordinary with 80mm quartz worktops, sitting above the handle-less channel detail.
This set a tone for the kitchen and blended the two spaces into one with the cabinets wrapping around the new opening. On the opposing wall the sink run featured the one tall unit, to house the fridge/ freezer, along with bins and the dishwasher. Two high level wall units provide useful storage whilst not interfering with the space above the sink. To add a further touch of glamour three simple LED illuminated glass shelves provide a little extra storage on both walls.
How it worked out
By keeping the main run of furniture to worktop height the space feels very open and light, whilst clever storage and fully integrated appliances ensure there is no compromise when it comes to functionality. The stainless handle-less channel detail and the worktops certainly elevate a very simple design to another level, whilst the sculptural Extractor hangs like a piece of art work above the hob. Elegance, simplicity and German functionality, mixed up with a little design flair… it’s another great Black Rok kitchen.
As specialists in contemporary kitchens we love it when our customers are set to fully embrace the Black Rok ideal; big, handleless kitchens that seamlessly integrate the very latest technology are becoming something of a forte for us. And as luck would have it, that’s exactly what this particular customer wanted. Their property was to be extended to allow for a large kitchen-dining-living area, finished with vast banks of sliding glazed doors.
Incorporated within the kitchen was to be the very best in Siemens integrated appliances, including two full size ovens, a microwave combi, a steam oven, a coffee machine, a warming drawer, a full size integrated dishwasher, a zone less flexi induction hob , a full height A-cool fridge, a full height A-cool freezer and a built in wine cooler… oh and a downdraught extractor that rises up from the island worktop.
The kitchen also needed to blend seamlessly into the TV zone whilst offering ample storage with drawers and pull-outs complete with seating on the island for five.
The shape of the space lent itself to a big “T” shaped island with the big bank of tall-units and the sink run set against two of the walls. Our customer decided on a satin lacquer grey door with handle-less cabinetry. To bounce the light around we used an off-white Quartz, built up to 100mm, this set the tone with the stunning overhang on the island creating a beautiful seating area for all the family. To accommodate all the technology we configured a bank of five tall units whilst on the island a bank of beautifully accessorized drawers sits below the induction hob and downdraught extractor.
To the right of the tall units the sink sits nicely in front of the window, complete with full sized dishwasher and pull-out waste bins and recycling. Further storage runs along the end wall whilst to the left of the tall units we designed the TV zone. Here we built a false wall into which we set a run of low level units and a column of LED illuminated glass shelves.
How it worked out
There is so much to this kitchen that it is hard to know where to start. The first thing that strikes you is just what an amazing space it is. The huge glass doors coupled with the sheer size and scale of the kitchen make you feel like you’ve just stepped into a movie set.
That changes the second you begin to touch and use the kitchen though, suddenly it’s more like being in a very expensive car showroom, a luxury, German car showroom of course. But the feeling of solidity, the reassuring weight of the doors and drawers, coupled with the beautifully tactile surfaces give such an overriding sense of quality it’s hard not be impressed.
The installation, and especially the attention to detail, are what make this kitchen so good. For example, check out the bank of isolator switches above the coffee machine, neat, tidy and super functional. And you find details like this all over the kitchen. LED lighting illuminates the stainless steel handless channel detail, drawers are beautifully accessorized , the 100mm quartz worktop with stunning overhang detail, the stainless steel plinths… the list could go on and on.
Every now and again a kitchen so beautifully encapsulates what we do that we wish we could pick it up and put in our showroom; this is definitely one of those kitchens.
What our customer said
“We had wanted to upgrade our kitchen and create an open living area for quite some time and we knew it would be a significant investment in the value of our house. Much thought was put into specifying the kitchen itself with visits to national shows to gather ideas. The big hurdle we faced was who to choose to make this dream a reality and to do it justice.
We needn’t have worried!
Black Rok have been superb from the start. They showed incredible patience with us during the design stage and numerous changes of mind on style, colour scheme, this work top, that work top and what size and shape the main feature island would be.
Each step of the way our thoughts were accurately reproduced in photo-realistic designs that made it really easy to visualise our plans. Sound advice and design expertise was on tap and readily accepted. How nice also to see the designer actually involved in installing the kitchen too! No contract kitchen fitters here! We felt that Black Rok were as emotionally committed to the project as we were and dedicated to the fine details.
Seeing the kitchen taking shape it was also abundantly clear that the German built units are of the highest quality and will be trouble free for years to come. Our thanks to Jamie and Ed for a truly fantastic job from start to finish. If you are considering a new kitchen, we have no hesitation to recommend Black Rok.”
This kitchen occupies a major part of a new extension added to a Grade II listed barn conversion. Our client was looking for something unique that would form the focal point of the space; aside from being a great place to work the kitchen also needed to be beautiful to look at.
The initial challenge was to work within four major design constraints. Firstly the AGA had to go on an internal wall, secondly, for structural reasons, the oak post had to be positioned no more than 850mm from the front of the AGA, thirdly the island had to start from the oak post, appearing to be a part of the building, and finally we had to try and lose the unsightly ‘step’ in the wall between the existing building and the new, glazed extension. You can see the story unfold in pictures in our photo montage video.
Working with such a big space is exciting, working within a big space that is tightly governed by the interaction between certain fixed elements is seriously challenging. It can seem incredible that in a space so big the success of a design can pivot on ‘finding’ a few extra centimetres to make something work. This design hinged on solving just such a problem, we had to find a way to make the space between the AGA and the oak post work.
We came up with the idea of rounding off the corner of the island, closest to the AGA, by insetting a solid oak butchers block into the quartz. Not only did this round off the corner perfectly but it also set a tone that would run throughout the whole kitchen.
We designed the AGA housing to have built-in solid oak shelving on either side with built-in LED down lights. The final oak element would be a substantial 100mm solid oak breakfast bar, sitting at right angles to the main island.
To mask the joint between the existing building and the extension we designed a section of drop ceiling which, in conjunction with a pair of 200mm deep larder cupboards, would hide the step and give everything the true built in appearance.
With the major structural considerations taken care of it was then a question of how best to arrange the appliances, storage and what finishes to use. The sink run housed a dishwasher, under counter freezer, waste recycling pull-out, along with some cupboard space and removable access for the AGA pump and stop-cock. The tall units were to house a full height, built in fridge, a multi-function oven and the two reduced depth larder cupboards.
The sheer size of the island allows for significant storage in the form of drawers and cupboards, it also houses a built in wine cooler, steamer, induction hob and the feature oak chopping block. Above it sits a remote control flush-fit ceiling extractor.
The island gave us a chance to do something a little bit special with the overhang detail. With integrated lighting installed under the 100mm Quartz worktop this detail really comes to life, whilst also physically connecting the island to the oak post. To further integrate the kitchen with the original building we designed a big and bold solid oak breakfast bar to fly at right angles from the main island.
How it worked out
That this project went so well is no small achievement. It goes without saying that there is tremendous potential for things to go wrong. Designing not only the kitchen but also a considerable amount of the wall and ceiling detail requires significant thought and attention to detail. Months before the kitchen was fitted key decisions had to be made and drawings produced to ensure the builders could prepare everything to the exact specification required. Get one of these things wrong and you have a very big, very expensive kitchen that will not fit in the space.
The design itself was always striking, but the way it works within the space itself, indeed the way it uses the details and quirks of the space, are the real achievement with this kitchen. The interplay between the wooden elements, the quartz, the cabinetry and the lighting capture exactly the unique specialities we have as a company. Designs like this go a lot further than simply arranging cabinets and choosing the colour of the door. It is the understanding of the various technologies and materials and how they will work together that makes these types of kitchen possible.
The attention to detail throughout, coupled with the quality of the finishes, is something that should be seen to be fully appreciated. The photographs do little justice to the overall effect and if you are serious about a kitchen of this type, the owners are so happy they will allow us to show perspective clients their kitchen.
What our client said
We have absolutely loved using our new kitchen created by Jamie and Ed at Black Rok in Uckfield over the Christmas holiday period. It’s a sure fire way to test out whether or not all the drawers, cupboards, appliances work in their nominated space within the centre of our home – I can tell you, Jamie helps you to create a dream that actually comes true.
Our journey with Jamie (and Ed) began over a year ago when we moved to the area, initial enquiries originally, ideas that grew and Jamie helped to turn them into a reality. He took our ideas and drew up endless plans for us to look at and consider, nothing was too much trouble. He led us through each step of the way and if we made a suggestion he would turn it into a practical reality so that it worked within the space. He supported our colour choices and even questioned them if he felt they wouldn’t work. My husband and I changed our minds from time to time and even had the odd disagreement (Ok argument!) in the showroom but the Black Rok team didn’t falter, just incorporated the changes into the designs. He spent hours at his showroom in Uckfield with us and here at home going over the finer details, nothing too much trouble. He worked tirelessly with the builders, electricians, plumbers and numerous tradesmen on the telephone, over email and face to face on site, so we didn’t have to. He kept us informed every step of the way.
When the time came to install our beautiful kitchen, Jamie himself and his team, Jake and Zac worked constantly and quietly, making sure each step worked like clockwork before moving onto the next phase (cleaning up after them each day). They all made it appear so easy asking questions when they felt they needed to but essentially just getting on with the job always polite and respectful of our living space.
The end result is just glorious, we love it, a dream come true and everything works together in harmony, the old, the new, the gloss, not to mention he also installed a sparkly new office along with an amazing utility room — the house is reborn.
We thank you Jamie (and Ed, Jake and Zac), you have created something really very special, but most of all you have created the heart of our home and we LOVE it.
Being installed within in a Grade 1 listed property in one of the oldest, most prestigious buildings in Brighton this kitchen had to be sensitive to the character of the building. Our client wanted their new kitchen to occupy less space than the existing one, in order to free up space for a small table and also make the cooking zone more compact and easier to use.
The design had to incorporate a washing machine, dishwasher, American fridge freezer, wine fridge, two ovens, not to mention a boiler and water tank. In terms of style they wanted something with both subtlety and elegance that would do justice to the building.
Whilst the left-hand wall served as a useful preparation area the right hand wall, seen in the image above, was messy and awkward. The plan was to try and create more of ‘work-centre’ where it was possible to access everything in the kitchen without having to take more than a few steps.
Every now and again, you walk into a space and an idea just hits you, this was one of those wonderful occasions. On first visiting the property the height of the rooms, coupled with the extraordinary ceiling detail, meant this kitchen had the chance to be something a little bit different. With such an abundance of height the eye just couldn’t help but be drawn up.
We settled on an idea to build a double height bank of wall units, which would not only house the boiler but would also step up at one end to allow the American fridge-freezer and ovens to sit alongside the sink section of worktop. A small island would provide further prep space, room for the hob and a place to sit and socialise.
In terms of cabinetry, the furniture was to be handle-less, high gloss cashmere lacquer. The original idea was to have contrasting white wall units but in the end the decision was taken to settle on one colour throughout. The major feature in the kitchen was to be the solid walnut block worktops and framing.
The timeless beauty of the wood being both a sympathetic, nod to the age and character of the building as well as a wonderfully tactile material that only gets better with time.
How it worked out
Described by our chief fitter as ‘a wall of awesomeness’ this kitchen delivers an impact that bellies its apparent simplicity. The high gloss furniture and the wooden elements combine together perfectly to deliver a kitchen that really does do justice to the property.
The feature wall units provide great storage, as well as hiding the boiler, but they also draw the eye upwards, as intended, to the wonderful ceiling detail. A pair of old ship lights hang from the ceiling with additional task lighting coming in the form of LED down-lights, integrated into the wall units.
The feature walnut worktop and framing add a luxury feel to the kitchen with details like the panelled area above the fridge and ovens providing additional visual interest, as well great storage for books and a stereo.
Whilst it can seem the obvious thing to do in a period property is to install a new kitchen that ‘pretends’ to be old, thankfully our clients on this job were determined not to fake anything.
In the same way that using a different type of brick to repair a building allows the building to be read like a diary, having the confidence to let the old integrate with the new is often how original architecture is most honestly preserved. Just as the original period detailing is a true reflection of its time, this is a kitchen that is proud to be of the now.