When Rachel Davies decided to revamp her kitchen, she knew it wasn’t going to be a straightforward task. ‘We wanted a space that would work as a family room but also as a kitchen for my cookery school,’ she explains. Rachel started her business, Rachel’s Kitchen, in 2010. She ran cooking classes at different venues across London but was keen to create a base for the business at home, generating a unique, approachable atmosphere for her sessions. ‘Hands-on classes usually have about 10 people on them and cookery demonstrations can have as many as 20. I also offer corporate team building and hen parties, so it was important we had a large, practical space. But it also needed to be warm and homely so my husband, Simon, and I could relax there with our two young children, aged one and three’.

Rachel worked with Scenario Architecture to create an extension to her Victorian home in East Finchley and then turned to Matrix Design to help with the kitchen. ‘Our designer, Jaimee Warda, was brilliant. It was great that we could create a kitchen based on our specific needs, and she was really responsive to our ideas,’ explains Rachel. ‘She even plotted out the size of a chopping board and replicated it around the island on her computer to see how many people could fit around it in a class.’

One of the biggest concerns was storage. ‘I used to have a whole room full of kitchen equipment for my cookery school – that’s now the baby’s bedroom.’ Rachel laughs. ‘The kitchen has storage right up to the ceiling with extra bits tucked in everywhere. I have so much stuff that isn’t normal for a standard kitchen – such as three rice cookers. Finally everything fits; it’s fantastic.’ Creating a dual-purpose kitchen was a big undertaking, but well worth it. ‘I’m so happy with how it turned out,’ she says. ‘We don’t have to do much at all to transition from cookery school to family kitchen. The amount of workspace is ideal and the stainless steel worktops are really practical. I need a lot of appliances and was lucky enough to partner with Gaggenau. I have everything I could possibly need.’

Kitchen prices from Matrix Design start from £30,000.
Photos by: Nick Smith

Article by: Katy McIntosh