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    What do you get when you bring together an award-winning architect and an award-winning kitchen designer?

    Simple answer, something very special. A kitchen that is as beautiful as it is functional and perfectly adapted for this creative family.

    For Rupert and Laura Cook, their contemporary, stacked townhouse in the heart of Winchester is a true labour of love. The tallest of the five houses on the terrace, on a steep slope, they’ve had to dig deep – several metres in fact, to achieve a structure of lofty proportions that would satisfy this modern family of six.

    Rupert: “For this house, we knew it was going to be a long game. We decided to wait and live in the space first before we started work. Understanding where the sun was at different times of day and how the space served our needs. This was a real luxury, but one I would highly recommend.”

    Laura: “Previously, the main living space was upstairs, and the most heavily used area was one end corner, and everyone used to get clogged up in it. There was no proper connection with the garden despite it being west facing for great evening and afternoon light.”

    The old narrow, galley kitchen had to go. IH kitchen designer Jay Powell set to work to extract a lifetimes worth of inspiration and ideas from Rupert and Laura’s imagination.

    Rupert: “We've got loads of kitchen showrooms in town. And we've been to most of them. We wanted something modern, yet crafted, in the sense of traditional, real materials, not synthetic or artificial .”

    Laura: “For me it was somewhere where I wouldn't be isolated on my own and could work comfortably, but still feel connected to what was happening elsewhere in the house. We didn’t want it to look too ‘kitchen-ee’ if that makes sense, but a space for living that feels more like a piece of furniture with a gorgeous palette of materials.”

    A considered scheme ensued, designed with both purpose, and refined elegance, but also with just the prescribed amount of ‘edge’. It was always going to be bold, yet understated and elegant with real organic materials.

    A flat expanse of blackened band-sawn oak and black handles delivers a visual punch as you walk in. 

    Character rich finger jointed raw oak drawer boxes; construction laid bare with grain running through from cabinet to cabinet. Deliberately knotty, deliberately honest. Rupert’s style, Rupert’s bravery, with Inglis Hall playing wingman with the expertise to make it happen.


    Then there is Rupert’s big light. A one-off architect designed, set-piece, wall mounted light inspired by early Julian Opie sculptures. Capable of setting the mood or task lighting, it’s the classic architects toy!

    Design details that make life just a little bit better - the benefit of experience.

    A ‘grab and go’ larder, and family meeting spot round the peninsular. Fast and slow. Weekdays vs weekends. Hang out or run for the next meeting. A family on the move but still connected.

    Dishwasher cleverly tucked on the end of a run, so it doesn't disrupt this of flow of people in and out.

    An undeniable homage to real materials, layers of quality that last a lifetime and will improve with the inevitable wear that this tribe will provide.

    Rupert: “A lot of kitchens, you open a door, and it feels flimsy. You don’t get that at Inglis Hall. It's solid. A comfy feeling when you pull out the drawers and close them. I’m a fan of Danish designer Arne Jacobsen. The cutlery we have was designed in the 60s. And it gives me joy to use. The look and feel and quality - a nice weight. I think you could say the same is true of this kitchen.”

    A project of true collaboration.

    Dare I say a creative alchemy.

    It was always going to be something special.

    With thanks to Laura and Rupert Cook.

    Rupert Cook is Partner of the award-winning architects MCMA (Miltiadou Cook Mitzman Architects LLP). Winners of the 2024 Newcastle Lord Mayor’s Prize for Newcastle Courtyard house and countless other projects.