Elite Bistros: The Kitchen Studio

Design by Corinne Barton

Chef Gary Usher and the team at Elite Bistros had a vision for a farmhouse-inspired kitchen studio to hold cooking masterclasses and provide the perfect backdrop for creating content. Their designer, Corinne, helped bring their vision to life!

Project date:

March, 2022

Location:

Chester

Range:

Vård

Finish:

Doll & Tusk

Layout:

Island

Size:

12 Units - Medium

Goals for the space

Gary wanted this space to feel like a home from home. Despite Elite Bistros having a large industrial kitchen downstairs, they were keen for this space to be the polar opposite. A fully working kitchen in its own right, their new test kitchen was to be for filming content, hosting events, and finishing off dishes. That’s why they wanted it to have a familiarity and a homeliness to it.

Soft, traditional finishes

The space for the kitchen was an empty first-floor mezzanine that sat in the eaves of their industrial headquarters. Keen for the kitchen to offer a stark contrast with its surroundings, Gary requested soft, traditional finishes to stand off the industrial backdrop of the room.

The team wanted this kitchen to be a statement with a pop of colour and beautiful textures. It had to be imposing and hardwearing, yet soft and simple.

On-trend colours

An excellent combination of our Vard range in Doll and Tusk, this kitchen combines the on-trend dusky pink with the classic and traditional light grey. Featuring a subtle and modern brass Mix bar handle and matching Kallix gold tap, subtly tied together with the brass shelf supports. The warmth of these touches works beautifully with the warm solid oak worktop and shelves.

The details

A great example of a farmhouse style kitchen, the shape and grain of the Vard doors and the traditional aspects of this kitchen are then furthered with the addition of a Belfast sink, a key driver for the classic feel in this space.

Add to this the excellence of the Butler’s Pantry and the clever use of pull-out bins and you have a kitchen that not only looks stunning but that really works for the Elite Bistros team.

Natural elements

Gary was keen to bring in natural elements that could really contrast the industrial and metallic space around the kitchen. That’s why we added so much wood to this kitchen and why we opted for the solid timber Vard doors.

We also knew how much Gary (and all chefs) love a good butcher’s block chopping board – so we had a special Smile Kitchens one made for him!

Corinne and the Smile Kitchens team have been a joy to work with. From initial design right down to the delivery driver, our experience has been faultless and smooth. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Smile Kitchens to any of my friends and family.

Ashley @ Elite Bistros

Gary showed so much enthusiasm for this kitchen, it was great to collaborate with him and create this beautiful kitchen. We chose a lovely symmetrical kitchen with plenty of storage, some lovely little touches, and a modern-meets-traditional feel.

- Corinne

Make this kitchen your kitchen

View this range in the colour used in this kitchen and start to plan your own.

View this kitchen

Discover the details

These are the accessories chosen for this kitchen.

How are we different?

Online design service

Our Smile design team are experienced kitchen designers by trade, not just sales people.

Samples delivered to you

Feel the textures, see the colours, and assess the quality of our products in your own home.

Price match guarantee

We won’t be undercut by like for like prices with our price match guarantee.

No payment until delivery

You won’t have to pay a penny for your kitchen until it’s been delivered.

How we work

Connect with our expert designers from the comfort of your home and bring your dream kitchen vision to life.

Planning your kitchen

Browse our site and explore our kitchens, then book a consultation with our designers. They will ask about the scope of your project and share inspiration, ideas, and ways to optimise your space.

Creating your design

Your designer will present your design with a 3D walkthrough and a full breakdown of costs. We'll make amendments until the design aligns perfectly with your vision, and we'll also send you samples of doors, handles, and worktops.

Placing your order

When you are 100% happy with the design, we'll send out a design pack for your fitter to double-check. Once everything is finalised, lets arrange a call to run through every detail and place your order.

FAQ's

What’s included in the design service?

What isn’t included?! You’ll have your very own 1-on-1 dedicated kitchen designer who will listen to your needs, get to know you, and offer expert design advice throughout your project. Your designer will send free samples, tweak your design as many times as you need, and provide high-quality renders of your design alongside a video walkthrough. We’ll provide a fully itemised transparent quote as well as technical elevations for your fitter to check. Plus, you’ll receive access to our brand partner’s discount codes! If you decide to order your kitchen with us, the initial £25 payment for your design consultation is taken off the cost of your kitchen PLUS we give you another £100 off.

How long does my design consultation last?

We book 1 hour for your online design consultation – plenty of time to discuss your project and chat with your personal designer.

Does your service include free samples?

Yes! After your design consultation, your designer will send you free samples including door colours, cabinet internals, worktops, and handles. The only chargeable sample is for the bespoke colour match service, where there will be a fee of £30 per door sample which is refundable upon ordering.

Do I have to buy my kitchen from you?

There’s absolutely no obligation to buy a kitchen from us after having a design! We’re a team of designers, not salespeople, so you’ll never be pressured into buying anything here. We always recommend getting quotes from different suppliers before purchasing, so you can feel confident in your decision. We’re committed to keeping our prices low all year round, and we’re with you throughout your project.

What are the next steps after my design consultation?

Following your design consultation, your designer will take your brief and start designing. They will arrange a time that suits you for a design presentation, ideally the following week, where they will present the design to you and talk you through the quote breakdown. After this meeting, you will receive the design, 3D walkthrough, floor plan, and a fully itemised quote. You can share the link to your 3D walkthrough with your friends and family for feedback!

Do you supply and fit kitchens?

Yes and no. We supply all the kitchen furniture you need to transform your room – from cupboards and handles to worktops, sinks and taps. We then work with your chosen fitters – any trusted local installer you’d like  – sharing everything they need, all the small details to support your fit every step of the way. We deliver your new kitchen, then work hand in hand with your fitter to make sure everything goes super smoothly.

What range of worktops do you offer?

The real question here is “what type of worktop would you like?” We stock a huge range of worktops in a laminate and Minerva but if you love a super sleek Quartz top or a rustic wooden counter, we’ve got great supply partners to bring you any type of worktop you’d like.

Where do your names come from for your kitchen ranges?

If you hadn’t guessed yet, we absolutely love the concept of Hygge and the Danish approach to warm, cozy living. So we draw on all those Scandavian influences to name our kitchen ranges. Don’t worry, we still don’t really know how to pronounce Hygge (Higgy? Huggy? Hyoo-guh?), so we’re happy to go with whatever you call our range – we’ve heard every variation (and every one sounds wonderful!)

Do your units come supplied rigid or flat packed?

A great question, because you’ll be wondering how much space you need to make for the delivery (and how much work your fitter might need to do). Almost all our units are supplied rigid and ready to fit. You’ll need a good amount of space ready for the units. We have a small number of units that have to be flat-packed due to their size however we’ll be sure to let you know in your quote if this is the case.

Do you offer bespoke sized units/doors?

We’ve got such an extensive range of kitchens that we can always try to accommodate your space. When we design your kitchen, we make sure everything fits snug as a bug.

Do you supply appliances?

We don’t currently supply appliances, and there’s a really good reason why. We’re brilliant at designing kitchens, but not so good at manufacturing washing machines and fridges. So let’s leave that to the appliance experts. Our designers will help you create the perfect appliance-shaped gaps in your custom kitchen design, and our partners at AO.com will happily fill them. And because we work closely together, you’ll get a lovely 10% discount off any appliances you fancy.

How do I know my new/existing appliances will fit into my kitchen design?

Easy! We’ll tell you. We’ll check for you. And then we’ll double check. We’ve been doing this a long time, and we know how the vast majority of appliances are sized (they’re actually all fairly standard). But just to be certain – send us the measurements of your appliances (or just the model number and we’ll go Googling to get the details) – and we’ll make sure they fit snugly into your new kitchen designs.

How long are your kitchen quotes valid for?

Our price quotes are valid for 30 days from the date of quotation. Should your design change as part of the amendment process, we will provide an updated quote and honour the prices provided at the time of original quote as long as it is within the original 30 day quotation period.

Why do you charge for your design service?

The honest answer to this is that we think it’s more than worth it! Your design consultation is with a qualified designer, not a salesperson. The quality of service you will receive from your designer – their care and attention to detail in creating your design and the high-quality renders of your designed space plus a 3D walkthrough and fully itemised easy to understand quote are worth paying for. Plus if you’re not 100% happy with it, we’ll refund you the design service fee.

Do you offer an at home measuring service?

We don’t currently have a home measuring service, but we do have wonderful designers who help walk you through the whole process to measure your kitchen yourself. And then we’ll ask your fitters to double check and verify all those measurements themselves too, just to make sure. Any professional fitter will want to take their own measurements so we verify every inch. Only when you’re happy, your fitter’s happy and we’re happy, do we move ahead with the order process.

What if I have measured wrong?

We’ll be double and triple checking every measurement, so don’t worry. Your chosen fitter will want to measure everything themselves too (if they don’t, we’ll give them a nudge), and then any measurements that were a bit skew-whiff, we’ll rejig the designs and update the quote. No worries at all.

Why do I need an online design consultation?

So you can design your dream kitchen in your pyjamas? So you can browse brilliant new kitchens without leaving your current one (and sneak whatever snacks you like)? So you can get to know our amazing designers one on one? All great reasons why we like to have a design consultation with you. Most importantly, a video call helps us get to know each other and clearly understand your vision for a new kitchen. And it means we can share our screens and walk through a 3D visualisation of your transformed room together.

How much is the deposit?

We don’t ask for a deposit on any of our kitchens – you don’t have to pay for your kitchen until it’s delivered in full and you are 100% happy! We’ve never had a customer not pay for their kitchen we’ve delivered!

What method of payment can I use?

We have a secure online payment system for you to pay for your new kitchen when it’s delivered. We accept the following payments:

  • Visa credit and debit
  • MasterCard credit and debit
  • American Express
  • Bank transfer

Do you have a fitting service?

We don’t have a fitting service, so you’re free to choose any local trusted fitter you like. Many of our customers like to get a few different quotes from fitters, and we’re more than happy to sense-check any quotes for you, helping you find the right fitter for the right value.

Do you provide instructions for installation?

Absolutely. We might not have a fitting service, but we send out a comprehensive fitting pack for your installers. It’ll have all the instructions and drawings they need, but just in case that isn’t enough, we’ll be sure to have a chat with them too. And we’re always here to answer any questions or help in any way we can during the fit too.

How long have you been open?

We opened the doors to our new way of designing and supplying kitchens in 2020 (though we’d been putting the groundwork in a long time before that). Our team has decades of experience in kitchen design, and our founder has been working with kitchens for so long, he’s become a permanent fixture.

Where do you deliver?

We deliver to the mainland UK. Please note this excludes Northern Ireland.

Where are you based?

Our designers work from home, so you might be chatting to them in Newcastle or Newquay, Kent or Kendal. Our HQ is in Greater Manchester.

Other real kitchens

We know that nothing beats seeing a real kitchen in a real customer’s home. Take a look around and check out your favourite ranges in real projects.