Endowed with expertise from running her own design company, Lisa Cook still employed a kitchen designer when it came to creating her own dream culinary space
Lisa Cook had a dream, and she moved from London to Berkshire to chase it. ‘We bought an Arts & Crafts house, and now we’ve converted it into the Georgian idyll I envisaged. The house was gutted back to the bare bones because we had the ceiling heights and proportions to turn it into a modern Georgian house. We kept the original floors and staircase as they were sympathetic to the new design, but changed all the windows, rendered brickwork, added on, went into the loft, and built the orangery I’ve always wanted.’
It’s clear that Lisa is not afraid of a project, yet to crystallise her view of the ideal kitchen she sought out a design partner. ‘We had David Salisbury come and do the artwork and build the orangery, and I realised that the kitchen would be no less of a specialist job. I wanted a kitchen that would last forever – one that is timeless, and that I can paint and update over the years because it is quality. Through my design work on various client projects, I knew the level of quality that Martin Moore offer, and I wanted their level of service, the ability to have input, and to work with someone who gets the job done. Michael O’Sullivan did the overall design while I sourced certain elements like the worktops, and we created the larder together. I wanted it to be large enough to be able to walk in and turn left and right, and for the floor and worktops to continue into there. Together, we modified the architect’s plans and created storage and workspace from the former cloakroom.’
Now, Lisa; husband Dean; Sophie, 12; Toby, 10; Ollie, four; Wilbur, the Golden Retriever; and Jambo and George, the cats, have a family space where they can all hang out together all the time, because practical design means that the flotsam and jetsam of a working kitchen are tucked away from the most utilised areas. ‘I wanted somewhere we could be together, but without feeling we were on top of each other. It’s a big entertaining space, yet we can all still have weekend lunches and quick bites at the island.’
So, given Lisa’s unique perspective on her own project, does she have any tips for the rest of us? ‘It’s such a crucial hub so don’t make rushed decisions. Also, although I chose Martin Moore, I did see several companies. Get all your ideas together, and consolidate them. Only once I’d done that, did I feel ready. So, mainly, do your homework.’ Wise words, indeed.
Kitchen prices start from £35,000 at martinmoore.com
Photos by Darren Chung
Article by: Kate Rowe