An early 20th century extension to this beautiful Victorian mansion in Edinburgh provided a rare opportunity to reconfigure without extending further.

As a grand billiards room, the original extension was unsurprisingly surplus to modern family life and was being under-utilised as a play room. The kitchen in the meantime was sited in the original scullery, only slightly increased in size from its original form. The family lead a typically busy life, have a real passion for cooking and sharing meals with friends and family and dreamed of a large, open-plan sociable kitchen and dining space that was connected to the garden. So the switch was planned, converting the existing kitchen to a cosy space for the children and injecting some inspiration into the unloved billiards room.

The crux of the brief was to position the cook in the centre of a social environment where a large family could gather, surrounded by professional-grade cooking facilities. A large glazed opening to the rear south-facing garden bathes the space in natural light and presented the opportunity to create a beautiful dining space with alfresco vibes. After much consideration, an unconventional twin island solution allowed our designers to place the chef in the centre of the room within a classic galley context between the two islands, with cleaning on one side and cooking on the other.

Combining the cooking island and the dining table together via a raised divider and dining bench (which discreetly conceals a radiator) allows the cook to connect with guests and views alike. From the chef's central galley, a step in one direction leads to the ergonomically positioned oven bank, the large format ovens projecting from the wall of bespoke in-frame cabinetry in what has become a signature DK&I detail. A step in the other direction leads the chef towards the storage wall, complete with large format integrated cooling appliances and a cleverly concealed walk-in pantry.

Our bespoke in-frame cabinetry cloaks all of this functionality and social ergonomics in classic and elegant beauty, completely in keeping with the period property whilst embracing progressive kitchen planning principles. The hand-painted finish encourages the client to have fun and be brave with the colour palette, safe in the knowledge that repainting in due course is a natural occurrence that should be expected in order to properly care for the cabinetry over the decades to come.