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The New English Kitchen

A bazillion years ago (circa 1994) when I first began my adventure in this business, the “English Kitchen” was all the rage in the high end market.  I learned to design, by hand,  in metric and things like astragal mouldings (yes moUldings with a “u”) were all the rage.  Distressed, fly specked finishes were hot and no one wanted a white kitchen unless it was encrusted with glazing.  I learned the English style by apprenticing with a true Englishman and gentleman who I shall be forever grateful to.


astragal molding
This is a typical astragal moulding. We typically used it to cover the seams between cabinets


Those kitchens looked something like these photos from  Back in those days I did not work for a top notch custom shop like Brendan Donovan’s.  I worked for a top notch cabinet dealer so we actually imported this type of cabinetry from the UK.   This came with its own set of challenges, to say the least.  Just think of how long it would take to get a parts order and how expensive it was to transport!   Charming and beautiful in their own way, these kitchens are full of detail and working on something like this was good training ground for a budding kitchen designer such as myself.


That was then.



Nicholas Anthony Showroom, London
 Nicholas Anthony  Luxury Designer Kitchens

This is now.


Nicholas Anthony Luxury Designer Kitchens
Photo courtesy of Nicholas Anthony Luxury Designer Kitchens

Today ground zero for the latest in high end kitchen design in London is located in the West End, in and around Wigmore Street.  It’s home to exclusive brands such as Bulthaup, Poggenpohl and the Nicholas Anthony showroom featuring the latest by SieMatic.


Nicholas Anthony Showroom on Wigmore St., London
Nicholas Anthony Showroom on Wigmore St., London

The new English style is exactly that, new!  Cleaner more modern design utilizing the latest technologies are now the order of the day.  With the advent of the internet I believe it really is a small world.  Ideas and trends fly over the web at the speed of light.  We all influence each other cross pollinating our designs but there is still an appeal in wanting what the other peeps have.   Many of us here want the new, slick, Euro styled kitchen and, dare I say, many Euros and Brits are amazed at our American sized appliances, namely the quintessential 36” refrigerator!


Nicholas Anthony Luxury Designer Kitchens



I feel the advances in technology when it comes to laminates and counter top material lend themselves to these new clean- lined looks. Decorative detail is found in interesting wood grains and the random markings of stone rather than from moldings and corbels.  So what do you think? Are you yearning for the “olde world” look again?  Do you think it’s coming back or are we here to stay for the time being?


Gloria Graham-Sollecito

Gloria is a kitchen and bath cabinetry designer with AKBD certification from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. She has also served on the Florida Treasure Coast Chapter's Board of Directors as the VP of Communications. Her work has appeared on This Old House as well as in Florida Design Magazine, K+BB Magazine and the Palm Beach Post. She is co-author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Remodeling Your Kitchen, Illustrated, as well as a freelanced writer contributing occasionally to the Sun Sentinel in the area of kitchen design. She is a proud member of the Blanco Design Council and the illustrious Brizo Blogger 19.


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