I’ve written previously about Bert & May’s beautiful barges, designed to make the maximum use of space without compromising on design, but now I want to introduce you to their dreamy bespoke kitchen range. For me, it was love at first sight.
Created in collaboration with London-based Red Deer Architects, this new range comprises three made-to-order kitchens with a focus on honest, natural materials, simple forms and an architectural attention to detail. They’re designed in London and handmade in Yorkshire; the carcasses are made from birch-faced ply and finished with a carefully curated palette of raw materials such as brass, concrete, reclaimed timber and marble. Oh the choices!
Here is the birch faced ply, available in 55 paint colour washes which are hand applied to bring out the natural texture of the wood. I love the clean streamlined units without the need for any handles. The pairing of patterned tiles and brass taps with the wood creates a soft, natural feel that’s contemporary and rustic. I think I’ll call it modern rustic!
The taps are part of a rang of brassware designed by Studio Ore. Interestingly, they have been deliberately left unlacquered, so that the pieces age naturally and take on a patina. I like that you don’t have to be too precious.
Next up is the brushed brass kitchen, for the industrial-style lovers out there. Here it looks great as a centrepiece on a kitchen island, but Bert & May have also wrapped brass sheets around birch ply timber doors for a true statement piece. A dark lacquer is applied to the surface of the brass to create a beautiful patina that isn’t too shiny or in-your-face. It might also mean that as it isn’t pristine to begin with, any daily smears or scratches would just add to the textured quality.
My favourite is this dark reclaimed timber, just wow. These doors are made from responsibly sourced solid timber and can be finished raw, waxed or painted in colour washes. They look brilliant with this Italian marble worktop but would also work well with a chunky cast concrete worktop. Bert & May has even curated a group of earthy tones by adding natural pigments to the concrete mix prior to casting, hands up any true concrete/brutalist lovers out there!
Fancy one of your own? Bert & May offer an in-house service to help you design, measure and install these bespoke kitchens. They’re not cheap – starting from £20,000 – but you can’t beat quality and an attention to detail, whether it’s extra deep soft-close drawers, custom-made inserts or strong dovetail joints for a kitchen built to last.
It’s certainly made me think about my own kitchen in our new place. I’ll definitely be stealing some ideas from these, such as going bold with a darker kitchen, and contrasting different textures and natural materials while keeping everything streamlined and minimal.
Which do you prefer, the light or the dark?