06 Mar Introducing Senior Designer, Rachael Workman
When customers work with us to create their dream kitchen, they deal directly with us, throughout. We’re a small business, a close knit bunch and passionate about what we do. So it feels only right to introduce some of the key members of the team who will look after your dream kitchen design and installation. To kick off our series of introductions, we need to start with the founder of and senior kitchen designer at Kitchens Bespoke, Rachael Workman. Rachael is the visionary when it comes to delivering distinctive creative spaces and has been designing bespoke kitchens for over twenty years.
What is the best bit about the job of a kitchen designer?
There’s three elements about the job I really enjoy;
- I really enjoy the design process. Especially if there are some challenges to overcome and I need to come up with a creative solution.
- Surprising people with an idea they are not expecting! Sometimes I have a design a customer just wouldn’t have considered, and are then thrilled with. I love taking them on that journey.
- The satisfaction of completing a project. Walking into the finished kitchen, seeing my designs realised and seeing the customer blown away by it, is really the best feeling as a designer.
What is the nicest thing a customer has said about their kitchen?
There’s one customer who always sticks in my mind, she said to me, ‘Rachael, I come downstairs in the morning and my kitchen looks like a show home, I love it!’
They just couldn’t believe it was their home.
What advice do you give to someone looking to make the most of a small kitchen?
- Start by making a list of all the things you struggle with in your kitchen and then we can look at addressing them with elegant solutions.
- Keep the overall look simple and not too heavy in colours and materials
- Maximise your work surface space, by not using dresser or floor to ceiling units.
What’s the best way to make a large contemporary kitchen still feel homely?
- Incorporating seating with a table and chairs, or breakfast bars and stools, naturally creates hub to gather round.
- Be clever with colour and try not to have everything in the same finish. Even if you’re going for a really coordinated, sleek look. Using two different worktop materials works really well.
- If the space is really big, I’d suggest creating definite zones. Lighting is key here and can really transform an open space into a cosy one.
Is there one thing you’d change about your own kitchen?
Yes! I wouldn’t have free standing fridge and freezer next time around. I’d have an integrated one and one with an ice maker!
Is there one item in the showroom that all customers love?
(Without hesitation!) Yes the pantry! I think it is everyone’s kitchen storage dreams realised! I am asked to include one in almost every design I do.
Is there a style or item that you generally steer clients away from?
Black granite worktops. Black is the colour of the moment but a glossy black granite worktop shows every finger and smudge mark, so not a good fit with a young family!
And are there any items or styles you always recommend?
I incorporate a Quooker tap into nearly every design now. I think they’re fantastic. They’re safe for children to use, energy efficient, look great and I think once you have one, you don’t go back! (not even an ad!)
How do you create something timeless?
Keep it classic, not too ‘of the moment’ and not too many statement pieces. If you do go for a statement piece, go for one that is easily changed or repainted if it does feel outdated in a few years time.
Do you have a favourite kitchen style or colour scheme?
This is the hardest question. I have to say the in-frame shaker kitchen in a dark blue is my current favourite. However my husband favours the more contemporary German style in a white gloss. Not sure who would win if we were doing our kitchen again!
What colours and styles do you see being the most popular this year?
Black. We saw it in Germany 18 months ago, and it’s now here and available on everything. Especially with the charcoal or graphite led colour schemes. I love it but I would always advise customers to choose a few elements to showcase it with, then it looks really fabulous.
What are you excited about this year?
Despite being primarily a kitchen designer, our main supplier has just launched a new range of bespoke bedroom furniture… I’ve had a peek and I love it. Kitchens Bespoke does offer fitted bedroom furniture and we’re now going to extend the range to include this new set. I’m really looking forward to working with these products.
Oh and I’m really looking forward to getting to the other side of Brexit one way or another!
Lastly, when you’re not being a kitchen designer of dream kitchens, what are you up to?
Well, I’m in the showroom Monday-Saturday so my evenings and precious Sundays, are taken up with riding my horse, seeing friends, spending time with my family and catching my breath! However, I have now booked myself onto a Try-a-Tri event with two girlfriends so it looks like I am now triathlon training too. Clearly, I don’t have enough to fit in to the week!
Feeling inspired to start planning your new kitchen or your bedroom? Tell Rachael about your wishlist at Rachael@kitchensbespoke.co.uk and she’ll be delighted to meet you for a free design consultation.