The New Forest Eco Home Kitchen

Winner of the Ideal Home Kitchen Awards 2023, this kitchen is set in the Clay Retreat, a newly built, low-carbon, family home located in the New Forest and designed by local architects PAD Studio. Pluck was involved very early on in the project, before they had broken ground, meaning we were able to work with the architects to ensure the cabinetry was perfectly integrated into the space.

The homeowners dreamt of creating a sustainable and modern house that celebrates natural materials and craftsmanship. The kitchen is in the communal side of the L shaped building, it is a light, bright and welcoming room for the family to share.

It was important our cabinetry did not dominate but sits in harmony with PAD’s beautiful design. One of our first challenges was incorporating enough storage for the family, whilst keeping the number of cupboards to a minimum.

The homeowners knew they wanted a large island and plenty of space for coffee making, a skill they take seriously! We designed tall cabinetry on one side that incorporates their coffee kit, including a handy shelf for easily accessible cups. A larder houses consumables and the range cooker is the centrepiece of the back run of low cabinets. The sink is here too, located with views through a square (triple glazed) window out to the garden.  

With all appliances on the back run we were able to leave the island clear of kit, creating a generous worktop area for food prep. PAD had a vision for this custom piece that includes waterfall edged Caesarstone worktops and the design has a sculptural feel due to the negative spaces created by the open areas underneath.

Palette-wise, this space is all about soft, tactile, and natural feeling finishes. PAD’s interior scheme includes clay render walls, with exposed timber battening, a balustrade hand wrapped in sisal rope and a poured concrete floor.

We worked closely with the homeowner to select the cabinetry colour and though on paper Ritzy seems bold – it is a coral pink – it echoes the warm, soft hue of the walls and complements the green views of the garden. The finish is a high pressure laminate, which has a uniform, matt and gentle feel, again in keeping with the rest of the space. The island has a Ritzy skirting, which feels playful and ties the cabinetry together.

The London Plane adds a texture thanks to the speckled grain of the wood, veneers that we hand arrange to enhance the stunning pattern and press onto birch plywood. The cooker’s extraction is concealed in London Plane cabinetry which visually, brings a pleasing balance to the wood used in the rest of the design. 

We believe this kitchen is a triumph of cohesive design – it has an understated simplicity, as all elements work together, without competing for attention; a beautiful and practical communal room for modern family life has been created in the Clay Retreat.

Photographer: Malcolm Menzies