Top tips for planning your dream kitchen

PUBLISHED: 13:01 04 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:01 04 June 2020

Choose a room with a view, you’re going to spend a lot of time here. The views across the Bollin Valley, here, run from the kitchen into the dining room too.

Choose a room with a view, you’re going to spend a lot of time here. The views across the Bollin Valley, here, run from the kitchen into the dining room too.

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Macclesfield bespoke kitchen desiger and master craftman David Lisle offers his top tips on achieving your perfect kitchen

Think social: a kitchen has a function beyond that of just cooking. It�s a social space too, so have plenty of seating and an open plan flow into a casual dining area 
Photo: Aaron ZaccardelliThink social: a kitchen has a function beyond that of just cooking. It�s a social space too, so have plenty of seating and an open plan flow into a casual dining area Photo: Aaron Zaccardelli

David Lisle has a well-earned reputation for crafting bespoke interiors and his kitchens form the heart of many a luxurious Cheshire home. As he sees it, it is his role to support his customers in the planning and design of their dream kitchen, not simply to build the kitchen they think they want. After all, a great deal will be invested in anything David creates; not just financially, but emotionally too.

“It’s a well-worn phrase, perhaps, but no less true for that, but the kitchen today really is the heart of the home. It’s where we cook, eat, socialise, spend time with our closest family and friends – it’s a multifunctional space that needs to work for many and varied people and uses.

“Most people will invest in a brand new kitchen only a couple of times in their lives. I design and build kitchens all the time, so I have learned a thing or two over the years that I use to help my customers achieve their dreams.

“For people who are planning to stay in their home for many years, who value the space that they will probably spend most of their time in, choosing a David Lisle kitchen just makes sense to them. I run a full-service design and build business and can add a great deal of value to the decision-making process.

Don�t be a slave to fashion: it�s your home and so should reflect your personality. You can be as quirky or eccentric as you wish and still have a kitchen that delivers against every desire. Here, colour is key and the Sigmund Politzer inspired fridge-freezer is the client�s pride and joy.Don�t be a slave to fashion: it�s your home and so should reflect your personality. You can be as quirky or eccentric as you wish and still have a kitchen that delivers against every desire. Here, colour is key and the Sigmund Politzer inspired fridge-freezer is the client�s pride and joy.

“Many customers come to me even before the build starts, bringing their plans with them. This is a great idea, as builders and architects don’t think about the function of a kitchen when designing the space it will fill. I will check that doors and windows are in the right place, for example and before now have even had the kitchen moved to another part of the house entirely. It’s not just about the size of the space itself, but about the light and the views – what is it you prefer to see from the room where you will spend so much time? Too many are situated in the front of the house, or north facing where the natural light just isn’t good enough for such a well-used room.

“It’s the most important room you will ever create, so take your time and think about every single aspect.”

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Add curves: a kitchen doesn�t have to be a room of square boxes on wall and floor. Here curving cabinetry is reflected in the ceiling coffer too, creating a gentle flow throughout the spaceAdd curves: a kitchen doesn�t have to be a room of square boxes on wall and floor. Here curving cabinetry is reflected in the ceiling coffer too, creating a gentle flow throughout the space

When you think about bespoke kitchens, you might also think ‘traditional’ or ‘old-fashioned.’ In David’s case, this would be a mistake. Indeed, David has been a trend-leader in his work since he started making one-off pieces of furniture in 1984. Currently he is creating a rather stunning kitchen using bamboo, quite possibly the most environmentally-friendly material on earth.

“Bamboo is a grass and grows like a weed. Indeed, it’s said that the giant bamboo that we are using can grow 50cm a day – and you can even hear it growing. Once it’s harvested, it’s cut into strips and made into a sort of plywood equivalent, but much greener than MDF or chipboard. It can then be polished or hand-painted. This is my first one, and I am very pleased with the results.”

Size doesn�t matter: by choosing bespoke, you can have a beautiful kitchen in any space � the perfect balance of form and function. In this corner kitchen, lighting, a bespoke splashback and inset shelves create a sense of light and space.Size doesn�t matter: by choosing bespoke, you can have a beautiful kitchen in any space � the perfect balance of form and function. In this corner kitchen, lighting, a bespoke splashback and inset shelves create a sense of light and space.

Myth buster

In the last three decades, David has the same conversation with almost every customer who visits his showroom. It revolves around three key myths:

All fitted kitchen are bespoke: Many kitchen companies use the word bespoke, encouraging customers to believe that their kitchen will be custom-made for their home. While to some extent this is true – the kitchen is designed and fitted into the space allowed – unless each piece is designed and made to fit a specific space or purpose, it is not bespoke.

A solid wood kitchen is best: In fact, solid wood isn’t necessarily the best material to use in a space where there is often steam and rapidly changing temperatures, as it shrinks and expands with heat and moisture, which can lead to cracking. One of the most famous cabinet-makers of all time, Chippendale, discovered that veneer - very thin pieces of solid wood overlaying a wood or wood-particle base - is much more stable.

Quick-fit quality kitchens: There is no such thing as a quick fit quality kitchen. Quality furniture needs to be scribed to fit the shape of the wall and floors, checked and rechecked and fitted and refitted until it is seamless. Quick fits result in quick problems!

Visit davidlislekitchendesign.com to see more of David’s work.

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