Handleless kitchen cabinets cashmere lacquer with solid walnut worktops, in Brighton.

The brief: new kitchen old house

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.

The design

Kitchen CAD design Brighton

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.

Kitchen design Brighton walnut worktops

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.

Cashmere handleless kitchen walnut worktops

D.M.N.M GutteridgeD.M.N.M Gutteridge
22:08 21 Mar 24
Thoroughly recommend the Black Rok team. We put in a new kitchen and got excellent advice through the planning process. We asked to see a number of different layout options on the computer and Jamie was very patient and helpful. The installation team were first rate and took great pride in their work. Overall very satisfied.
Linda WoodhouseLinda Woodhouse
16:39 05 Dec 23
Having downsized, I was somewhat daunted by the prospect of turning my narrow, shadowy, U-shaped, very basic kitchen into one that I actually wanted to spend time in. I now have a light, airy, functional space with practical ‘innards’ and modern, intuitive appliances. Thanks to Jamie and Ed the kitchen layout has been totally transformed and the best use has been made of the space with a sleek handle-less design and contemporary narrow worktops. Both Jamie and Ed have communicated professionally and openly at all stages of the project and Ed was even instrumental in steering me towards my final colour choices! I would thoroughly recommend Black Roc for their design and fitting capabilities.
steven eckhardtsteven eckhardt
15:00 20 Nov 23
WOW! Black Rok did a really fabulous job job with both design and fit. We have a high quality contemporary kitchen and appliances. The fit was done in just a few days with care and precision. We have had no issues but Black Rok have kept in touch and visited to ensure we are satisfied which of course we are. Fabulous colour and all very functional. Great decision to use Black Rok and we have no hesitation in recommending them.
Nigel BraggNigel Bragg
16:08 17 Apr 23
We have nothing but positive things to say about the team at Black Rok Kitchen Design. Having spent 3-4 years dithering over getting a new kitchen, we finally decided to take the plunge last year. We had 2 criteria: a sleek, modern, German style kitchen provided by an independent, local business with impeccable references. After coming across the Black Rok website, we were immediately taken by the striking designs and reassured by the volume of glowing customer testimonials along with photographs of recent projects. From the moment we met with Jamie in the Uckfield showroom, it was clear that he understood what we were looking for. Although we had some pretty fixed ideas on design and layout, Jamie was able to take those ideas and enhance them seamlessly into an overall design scheme that exceeded our expectations in all departments. We had a few design meetings, several phone calls and email conversations, and within fairly short order were signing off on a final specification for delivery in early 2023. In the lead up to installation, communication was great and the technical drawings provided by Jamie for layout of plumbing and electrical services were described by our builder as the most detailed and accurate he had come across. Indeed the Black Rok team came onto site during the preparation works to meet with our builder and electricians to ensure a smooth installation process. Everything was delivered on time and exactly to the agreed budget. The cabinets and interiors are really well made and constructed with an engineered precision you might expect of a German manufacturer. The installation team of Ed, Zac and Jake were really personable, treated our home with great respect and worked extremely efficiently to ensure the kitchen was installed quickly and accurately. They solved every problem posed to them, displaying great attention to detail and tidying up diligently at the end of each day. We are utterly delighted with the new kitchen, which certainly delivers a "wow" moment when friends and family come to visit. The quality of the workmanship is incredible value for the overall price paid. We still pinch ourselves when walking into the room and are so pleased with ourselves for choosing Black Rok.
philip mccabephilip mccabe
07:30 11 Jan 23
Fantastic, intelligent and responsive service from Jamie and Ed from start to end. The kitchen design stood out from the beginning for its attention to detail and a real understanding of what we wanted from the space. They recommended excellent builders and then worked with them to make sure that the end result was picture perfect to the design. Fitting was spot on from a skilled, diligent team and we were never kept waiting. Issues with 3rd party appliances were dealt with in a way which made it crystal clear that our satisfaction was the priority. Brilliant. Easy 5 Stars.
Helen DaviesHelen Davies
19:03 24 Oct 22
We are so pleased we elected to go with Black Rok kitchens, as they have designed and installed the kitchen of our dreams! Throughout the process, from design to installation we were reassured by the professionalism of Jamie and Ed. Jamie created a fantastic design for our kitchen and suggested ideas we had not previously considered and the installation by Jake, Zak and Ed has been completed to an exceptionally high standard! Nothing was too much trouble. If you're considering upgrading your kitchen, don't hesitate to contact Black Rok, you won't regret it.