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A new approach to luxury in the kitchen

Part of the conversation when we start working with new clients is to explain why a Johnny Grey kitchen isn’t just any old kitchen. Various adjectives (depending on which side of the Atlantic) can be used to describe our kitchens: high-end, custom, bespoke, top-of-the-line, premium, and of course, luxury. Luxury, in turn, comes with its own set of associations. One of our favourite approaches to luxury is “Rough Luxe,” a concept developed by designer Rabih Hage in his London hotel of the same name.

Our version of “Rough Luxe” uses design to hold together a series of very individual pieces of furniture, some of which are antiques, bric a brac and found pieces, combined with the application of principles based on neuroscience – you might call this instinct-based design. “Rough” in this context means a focus on texture, using solid, natural materials and finishes. Here you can see an example of a kitchen we designed for a family of six. They wanted something unostentatious that reflected their love of textures and colour.

dishwasher and kitchen cabinets

The finishes in the cabinetry and furniture we used evoke texture and age. This is an example of how we celebrate wear and enjoyment of tear and embrace irregular and hand made imperfections in the construction of furniture and fittings.

The other component of “Rough Luxe” is of course luxury. Luxury means our bodies are quietly taken care of. In neuroscience terms, the design responds to our hard-wired needs. Elements of this include efficient but hidden ergonomics, long views, natural light and the relaxing effect of seeing nature and keeping in tune with the time of day. We also design to maximize ease of movement, ‘soft geometry’ and other body support mechanisms like non-slip surfaces and worktops at the proper height.

Here you can see how we’ve applied some of these principles using freestanding furniture in the center of the kitchen.

circular kitchen peninsula

The circular shape of the peninsula allows your body to move around without having to make sharp turns or walk at a specific angle to meet a straight line/edge. It also has no sharp corners so does not alert peripheral vision and its link with the brain’s fight and flight mechanism.

Finally, it’s also important that the space reflects the personalities of our clients. The incorporation of clutter and happiness-inducing objects allows one to feel at home. Here you can see how the client has used her own wallpaper and freestanding pieces and put her individual stamp upon the style and taste of the room.

kitchen cabinet handle


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