Most would agree that good kitchen design is a balance of style and substance. But style over substance was what lawyers Cecilia and Andrew Weiler were presented with when they, together with their two teenage children, moved into their late Victorian home in south west London. ‘The kitchen was beautiful, but maddeningly impractical,’ recalls Cecilia. ‘There was literally so little space between the island and the fridge that you could barely open the door, and the same applied to the dishwasher. As well as that, the kitchen island was way too high and too big, so that it acted as a divider between the work area and the rest of the space.’



Not wanting to throw away a new kitchen, Cecilia was able to sell the cabinets via a website specialising in second-hand kitchens (for similar, try The Used Kitchen Company or Used Kitchen Exchange). Then she and Andrew set about planning their new kitchen, visiting a number of companies before meeting senior designer Rhiannon Phenis and settling on Sola Kitchens as their supplier of choice. ‘She listened to what we wanted and helped us build on our ideas, instead of telling us what to do like the staff at the other places,’ says Cecilia.


Cecilia hails from Sweden, Andrew from America, and together they share a love of simple, linear design. Working with Rhiannon, they planned the room carefully to achieve a good sense of flow. The island, though considerably smaller than the previous version, is built to the right height, and forms the focal point of the design. ‘The cabinetry takes up less floor area than before, but it also has more worktop and storage space,’ says Cecilia. ‘It is so much more enjoyable and usable, with everything in the right place.’


Picking up the golden colours of the framed wedding shawl from Pakistan that hangs on one wall of the room, as well as the rich Panga Panga wood floor, Rhiannon suggested a brass splashback. ‘It was such a good idea as it adds warm contrast to the cool white of the cabinetry, and lifts the design,’ she says.



‘This kitchen is a joy,’ says Cecilia. ‘I love the long, clean lines and the way the sunlight reflects off the brass, making it a lovely place to work, to sit with friends or just be together. And it takes a millisecond to clear up, because now everything has a place – that level of practicality makes a huge difference.’


Kitchens from Sola Kitchens start at £35,000


Photos by Lind & Cumings Design Photography


Article by: Amelia Thorpe