In a light, bright Victorian flat, just a short walk from my own south Liverpool home, you will find the award-winning kitchen of furniture maker, Hugh Miller.
Nicknamed the ‘Furniture Maker’s Kitchen’, this incredible open plan space, full of handcrafted details and quirky personal touches, is the perfect example of why the Japandi interior trend is proving so popular.
Comprising of just one plan space, which includes a living, dining and kitchen area, even with its 3-metre-high ceiling and south-facing bay window, defining each area was a priority.
Heavily influenced by designers like Hans Wagner and Alvar Aalto, with their expert use of timber and lightness of touch, the homeowner and designer had also spent time extensively travelling, studying design and researching cabinet making traditions in Japan.
Creating his kitchen like ‘a huge piece of furniture’, Hugh, who is also a co-Director along with his brother Howard of luxury kitchen design company H. Miller Bros, cleverly built over three levels rather than the traditional two, to maximise storage.
At the bottom, there is a base layer of drawers and cabinets made from Iroko wood, with recessed inset doors that act as a foundation. Above that at counter level, there is a clean and uncluttered work zone, with Caesarstone ‘London Grey’ worktops and cabinetry painted in Farrow and Ball’s ‘School House White,’ so that the wood doesn’t feel overpowering.
Finally, at ‘canopy’ level, there are deep storage cabinets reachable by a purpose-made ladder, as well as Hugh’s ‘labour of love’, a long slatted ‘truss’ style open shelf. Spanning the full width of the kitchen, it forms a natural threshold between the kitchen and the rest of the living space.
This beautifully detailed piece of Japanese-inspired design also allows natural light to flood through, while still providing space for Hugh’s collection of Asian ceramics along with a series of bespoke shoji paper lanterns that light the space in the evening, forming striking silhouettes and intricate patterns through the structure.
With bespoke door pulls and pan hooks made from hexagonal solid brass rods, and drawers lined for cutlery, utensils and cookware, every element of this impressive kitchen has been crafted with care.
Having just been awarded the prestigious ‘Kitchen Design of the Year’ (over £30,000 category) award at the 2020 Designer Awards, I’m sure Hugh will be enjoying this incredible space for many years to come.
To find out more about the company behind this kitchen project, visit the H. Miller Bros website.
All photographs by Robert Holmes.
Like this post? Then why not read about ‘The Warm Minimalist Kitchen’ by Nordiska Kök.