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The kitchen had to have a Meaty kitchen area with a large hob, sink and  plenty of worktop space, meaty oven, microwave, and dishwasher too. It had to have a place for a 90cm Smeg oven as this is one of the best ovens for running over the Jewish holidays (they cannot turn an oven on or up during the Sabbath or holidays) It had to have a Milky kitchen, small hob and sink a dishwasher microwave and oven. It had to have a separate milky drink area with a pull-out build under fridge for milk and a Zip tap. This helps keep all the children out from under her feet whilst cooking as they can sort themselves out with hot or cold drinks. Then a dream would be an area for toaster, Breville and such like again to keep children (well a lot of teenagers!) out from the main cooking area. A have table for six that had space to expand to ten and a relaxation space. Air con essential as Hanna likes the outdoors and finds air con gives her the feeling of fresh air (she jogs every morning before the family wake). A walk-in pantry for all back up stock, a freezer and the big pans, the Shabbas kettle and step ladders. Interestingly she is not a hoarder at all and did not want maximum cupboards as exceedingly rare request for a Kosher kitchen with a big family. Units had to go to the ceiling, the ceiling had to be rebuilt to offer improved sound and smell insulation as she hates the fact, she can hear people and smells seem to get into the room above.

It is worth mentioning that this house has no TV’s and no lounge, so the kitchen is really the family social space, they have a huge dining room with a sofa area at one end and this is used on the Sabbath. They have a play room with lots of toys and hobby crafts and two desks in it. So the kitchen is truly their gathering space as the children are either in here, in the play room or their bedrooms. Life is not about TV (or devices) and always about learning, family time and praying. This home has a really happy calm feeling their parenting skills are amazing as all the children are so respectful and well mannered.

The first challenge was to convince them to do more building work and make the doors to the play room and succah sliding, make the door to the dining room sliding by concealing a pocket stud wall behind the drinks area, and relocating the entrance to the walk in pantry, (it was a very long thin room with a door at one end) by making the entrance central it made the pantry much more usable and a cabinet door as the entrance adds to the feeling of space too. My first design had more cupboards as I just could not believe how with so many children, she would not need more storage. It is amazing now visiting her to see how the cupboard are not full, she really does have all she needs and no more. So the design started to come together and when I designed the toaster area she couldn’t believe it would work and fit, I extended the wall to make sure it has enough interior space as I sat observing Hanna one lunchtime to study how the boys came in for their lunch, out came a toaster and a Breville (one cooked a pizza) and they were all busy making their own cooked lunches, grabbing a drink and off back to school. All whilst Hanna baked a cake having already batch cooked her bread for the week, what an amazing family they work like clockwork. Hanna has a home-made cake on her island every day and it intrigued me that no one was overweight (she said ‘if it is always there, they only eat it if they want to’, no rushing and grabbing for the rare treat that I had in my childhood! The design evolved and was fine-tuned and fine-tuned over many months and then the challenge of colour! She thought she wanted a white kitchen but knew it needed to feel less like a kitchen and I worked so hard on this aspect, her sister was even facetimed into a meeting to look at colours from America and tried to get her back on white saying they never date and always look bright. This conversation made my job even harder as knew Hanna could not visualise it and even struggled to articulate what she liked and did not like. I knew a room as big as this needed some contrast and styling and eventually won her over and now, she says she was blessed to have me and how I was right to fight for the colour scheme as she could not wish for anything better, (very cute). There are lots of unique design features to chat about, the whole extractor area is made from Quartz and stainless steel, this is great for a busy cooking area and especially for the Shabbas kettle as it cannot steam damage anything here. The toaster unit was a challenge as I needed to ensure it had drawers to suit the appliances and wanted to make it that the drawers could be opened without the upper part and wanted to hide the worktop edge otherwise this dark unit would have had a white line through it when closed.

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The walk-in pantry had special hinges that allow an inward door and still offer full width entrance.

Every appliance had to be checked to meet Kosher requirements and this is more that looking for sabbath settings as they are so strict that this actually wasn’t okay and I liaised with a lady in Israel, a Rabi in London, Hanna, Miele and Siemens. I think you will all know the rules for Kosher kitchens, but if not, should I get through I can answer your questions as super strict rules are amazing.

I wish I could say that the client wanted sustainable but they didn’t seem too interested and I have worked on them as much as I could, they use plastic plates dishes & cutlery all the time a very common Jewish habit as they don’t have to be careful as to what food on what plate they simply use plastic and throw away, I have pushed and pushed for paper and palm plates and hope they will stick with it. They have one super large integrated waste bin which they love that I found and even sourced super-sized bags for them, this size of family do not use council bins they have industrial size Biffa bins, but Biffa do hand sort all waste and recycle thank goodness. The main thing about my work is I fit kitchens that will last and last and I expect this kitchen to last for many, many years.

The material I chose for their suitability for a large family and a busy cook, lots of bright Quartz to create a clean fresh space and cloudy darker laminate doors that help disguise fingerprints and drips etc.

The last question on the judging brief is value for money!!!! Well, how do I answer this I feel every penny was worth it as the clients could afford all the nice things and love so much the end result, their last kitchen was Leicht cost them 60K and lasted 7 years! We have worked so hard together that I know that they will not be dealing with changing this kitchen anytime soon, they all love it and all treat it with respect too. When you love something that much it is easy, when you have something wrong you just do not.

I should also confirm I chose and designed the ceilings, furniture, plants, windows, sliding doors, Hanna needed me to find everything even coffee tables. It has been great fun and extremely consuming, in a good way.

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Project cost: £137,063.00

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