How Important is Symmetry in Traditional and Modern kitchens?
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19th September 2014
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20th November 2014
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How Important is Symmetry in Traditional and Modern kitchens?

If symmetry was the most critical factor of kitchen design then you would expect all wall cupboards and base cupboards to be 600mm wide so that all the breaks between the doors match vertically and symmetry is maintained. Wall cupboards and base cupboards would all be 720mm tall to balance the area above the worktop with that below. This would include your tall oven / microwave housing, fridge, freezer, sink base and dishwasher.

You may well think that the answer would be obvious and it is … but that’s exactly what everybody would expect me to say. However, one important ingredient is missing.

If symmetry was the most critical factor of kitchen design then you would expect all wall cupboards and base cupboards to be 600mm wide so that all the breaks between the doors match vertically and symmetry is maintained. Wall cupboards and base cupboards would all be 720mm tall to balance the area above the worktop with that below. This would include your tall oven / microwave housing, fridge, freezer, sink base and dishwasher.

So what could be wrong with the mental image that you should now have ?

Examples of such kitchens are illustrated by these five photographs of average traditional classic and modern kitchens which you may think look okay and you could well be right – they just ‘look’ okay.

STEREOTYPICAL-TRADITIONAL-SHAKER-KITCHEN-IMAGE-1

1. Stereotypical traditional shaker kitchen

STEREOTYPICAL-traditional--CLASSIC-KITCHEN-IMAGE-2

2. Stereotypical traditional classic kitchen

STEREOTYPICAL-MODERN-KITCHEN-IMAGE-3

3. Stereotypical modern kitchen

STEREOTYPICAL-MODERN-KITCHEN-IMAGE-4

4. Stereotypical modern kitchen

STEREOTYPICAL-MODERN-gloss-white-KITCHEN-IMAGE-5

5. Stereotypical modern gloss white kitchen

However, even though there is clear evidence of symmetry they do not project design flair or much imagination as most kitchen ‘designers’ adopt the same stereotypical layout, lacking in inspiration and just plain boring. None of these images conveys any real sense of personality or shows that any thought or creativity has gone into producing a luxury kitchen that is exclusive or different. ‘Bespoke’ doesn’t even enter the picture as it’s more a case of making a kitchen fit standard cupboard sizes rather than designing and hand-making cupboards to fit the kitchen and suit the customer.

A kitchen like those above is rather like your mother’s favourite recipe: you can recognise what it is but if you try to replicate it without all the right ingredients there’s obviously something missing and as all the best chefs agree you need to add ‘passion’. Putting it on a plate it’s the difference between that home-made, hand-crafted mouth-watering food and a bland, slightly tasteless offering bought from a low-cost high street supermarket.

So what is the ingredient missing from the above images of traditional classic and contemporary fitted kitchens ?

To find the answer you only have to examine a few photographs of real luxury traditional kitchens or bespoke contemporary kitchens in our customers’ homes throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Here we show 5 photographs for direct comparison.

6. Traditional handmade exclusive Broadway kitchen

6. Traditional handmade exclusive Broadway kitchen

7. An example traditional  bespoke Broadway kitchen with exclusive features

7. An example traditional bespoke Broadway kitchen with exclusive features

8. A symmetrical Broadway kitchen dresser with exclusive features

8. A symmetrical Broadway kitchen dresser with exclusive features

9. An example modern kitchen with exclusive features

9. An example modern kitchen with exclusive features

10. An example modern kitchen with exclusive features

10. An example modern kitchen with exclusive features

What do we mean when we say Broadway kitchens are “Exclusive and Different”?

The traditional classic kitchen design in photograph 2 can be sharply contrasted against the kitchen in photograph 7, which we recently installed.

Every minute detail of the Broadway traditional bespoke kitchen in photo 7 is a statement reflecting the personality of the customers who are anything but plain and boring. It exudes an air of sophistication as it benefits from items which make it so apparently individually-styled and tailor-made. It is these facets of ‘exclusive and different’ that are so sorely lacking in photos 1 to 5.

Other photographs (6-10) shown here are of real hand-crafted kitchens which we have designed, handmade and installed in customer’s homes throughout the UK from The West Midlands to Inverness in the North and Shanklyn in the South and from the mountains of West Wales to The Wash on the East coast of England.

To quote an ancient phrase ‘the devil is in the detail’, unusual shapes and widths of cabinets, worktops, cornices, pelmets, plinths coupled with imaginative lighting, electrical gadgetry and devices to meet the lifestyle needs of the customer all contribute to produce a kitchen which is truly bespoke and exclusive to the individual customer.

An elegant bespoke kitchen doesn’t have to be overly elaborate or ornate just giving enough visual clues to show that it is a design which has been well-considered in all aspects yet fully functional in all respects.

The visual and physical balance of a kitchen is undoubtedly very important but it is the exclusivity of items that set it apart right down to the special shape, edge profiling and thickness of the top quality worktops.

You may observe that fired into the ceramic tiles behind the hob of the hand-painted traditional kitchen in photo 7 there is a hand-drawn image of the actual house where this luxury traditional family kitchen is fitted. The kitchen reflects the elegance of the property itself picking up styling clues from the house and its owners.

There are many other items which make a kitchen more exclusive and different from any others on the market and it is, generally speaking, the smaller independents who have the capability to produce a kitchen of unique individuality.

So there you have the secret to owning your very own quality, luxury, bespoke, fitted kitchen whether your taste is traditional or contemporary.

We’d be happy to work with you, free of charge and without obligation, to create your idea of a dream kitchen – just give us a call or send us an email.