Inspiration, Information, In the Kitchen
Next up in our series of interviews is the beautiful designer Julia Kendell, whose specialist discipline prior to becoming a regular on our TV screens, was that of a a Professional Kitchen Designer. Here she offers some great tips and a candid opinion to the questions I posed.
You’ve been a mainstay on our TV screens now for a number of years appearing on 60 Minute Makeover and DIY SOS among other home makeover shows but which, of all the shows you’ve taken part in, are you most proud of and why?
I'm proud of what we achieve and the difference it can make to a family's life in all my programmes, but I do particularly enjoy DIYSOS The Big Build where we have the opportunity to take on whole houses, complete them to a high specification and transform a family's life completely. I used to work privately for wealthy clients, but nothing beats the look of joy, I call it the 'Oh my God!' moment, when a down-to-earth family see for the first time what we have achieved for them and you can actually see the weight lifting from their shoulders. It's a huge privilege to be a part of the process
I know from our time working together, that you specialise in Kitchen Design and given that our website is visited in the main by kitchen buyers seeking expert advice, what are your top five tips for efficient and ergonomic kitchen design?
1 Consider the flow around your kitchen, ie how you will move around it, trying not to put obstacles in the path of main thoroughfares. Be particularly careful if you are incorporating island units or a peninsular with angled corners.
3 If you are incorporating a hob on an island, build in a small prep sink into the island too to prevent the need for carrying pots of boiling water over to a sink on another worksurface. I see this badly thought-through detail in kitchens all the time and it is so dangerous.
4 Work out your real cooking style before you invest in a Tepan plate or uber-large range oven you'll never use!
5 Use practical worksurfaces and finishes that you don't need to be too precious about. If you want your kitchen to look good for years to come its important to make the right choices for your family.
There’s been a recent a debate regarding Kevin McLoud’s opinion on kitchens relating to a quote taken from his latest publication in which he states ”Structurally there’s negligible difference between the £5000 kitchen and it’s £50,000 equivalent” Do you agree with this if we consider primarily the construction of the furniture and doors?
Who is your favourite designer and why?
Without question it is Johnny Grey. He has pushed the boundaries of kitchen design and taken a wholly fresh approach. I love his confidence in putting many different timbers and colours together creating a marvelous cacophony that is both energising and uplifting. His disregard for the norm is inspiring and I look to him alone for my own inspiration.
If you had the power with the flick of a finger to create something to make your work as a kitchen designer easier what would you choose?
In your projects outside of television how important is the use of the internet to both raise awareness of your private projects or commissions and in sourcing quality products?
Do you keep your finger on the pulse in the KBB sector? Do you read the trade mags, visit KBB Events, check out the internet for kitchen industry updates?
What new tools do you believe are essential for the 21st Century designer?
If you were to choose five kitchen components to use in your ideal kitchen what would they be?
Finally Julia, do you use Social media for your business and if so which are most effective for your business as a whole and what is your twitter address for fans to follow your tweets?
I love using Twitter. I think it is a phenomenal marketing tool and works instantly to put you in touch with your target audience if used cleverly. I have been introduced to many interesting new products by small businesses, trades people offering great services and the opportunity to put other people together. I try to avoid Facebook as I think it would be too easy to lose valuable time.. I just don't trust myself!
I'd ike to thank Julia for her comprehensive and inspirational answers to my questions and to discover more do browse over to her website www.juliakendell.com