‘I love it because it’s very clean and easy on the eye,’ says Saib. ‘You’ve got the contrast of the colouring, plus it manages to be both contemporary yet traditional.’ His favourite feature is its half-moon shape. ‘There’s something very unusual about it when you walk in,’ he says. ‘It’s very pleasant and inviting to work in there.’
Saib is someone who does a lot of cooking himself, so he knows what makes a good workspace. ‘I like a kitchen,’ he says. ‘I know what happens in there. And the key to a good kitchen is, he thinks, appliances. ‘Look is important, but the appliances are absolutely vital,’ he says. He and Neil plumped for Miele. ‘They’re reliable and efficient,’ he says.
The budget for this particular kitchen came in at just over £40,000. But if your own budget doesn’t stretch that far, there are ways of cutting corners. ‘There are companies that will sell you a fully assembled kitchen,’ says Saib. ‘I went to the Ideal Home exhibition – it’s aimed at the consumer rather than the designer, so I’m not really a fan – but there I found a company from which you can buy the furniture and then put it together yourself.’
That said, he recommends investing as much as you can. ‘Generally I don’t think that kitchens and bathrooms are areas where one should be penny pinching. Obviously you’ve got to keep within what you can afford, but there’s a market for everyone, from Ikea to the very top-end brands. And within that market I would go for the maximum possible within one’s reach.’
Certainly, he and his mother have no regrets about what they spent on the art deco kitchen. ‘If I were to do it again, I’d do it in exactly the same way,’ he says. ‘My own kitchen is very similar to the one Neil and I designed. I’ve been enjoying it for 15 years and I really use it. It isn’t just something to look at.’
This is a sponsored feature. If you have a project you would like to discuss with Neil, you can see more of his work and contact him through the Open Plan Designs sourcebook page