12th May 2020
Whether you’re a secret chef, star baker or just love entertaining, these hand-crafted kitchens will impress any guest, and will last a lifetime.
It’s been a while since any of us has set foot in our favourite restaurants. And with the internet explosion of home cooking and baking on the rise — if you didn’t Instagram your banana bread did you even make banana bread? — there are many of us wishing we’d invested in our kitchens before now.
One Irish design and manufacturing company, Rhatigan and Hick, has a showroom (and client list) so envious that it contains our dream kitchen, pantry, larder press, and then some.
Based in Aughrim in Co Wicklow, the company is run by designers and cabinetmakers Ed Rhatigan and Gary Hick, who design all cabinetry for your kitchen and manufacture it in their Wicklow workshop.
This Rhatigan and Hick-designed kitchen allows for storage space in the island unit as well as the surrounding cabinets. Photo: Supplied
We’re often told to follow the triangle concept when designing a kitchen: the sink, fridge and hob should all be within the one area to make cooking and cleaning easier for you. Rhatigan and Hick take this into account, but go a step further with the design process.
Speaking to image.ie, Ed Rhatigan says, “We take it step by step with clients in the design phase, so a lot of time goes into the early stage design work. We initially work out a flow within the kitchen that suits the client, considering the type of storage that they need.
“The triangle concept is basic; one triangle in a kitchen is not really enough. There are three triangles in a kitchen: one is your cooking zone — hobs, ovens and general prep space should all be in the same area; the second is your food storage area, where your larder press is located very close to your fridge, so your food storage is all in one space; the third is your prep and wash-up area which is your sink, bin and dishwasher,” says Ed.
Whether it’s a big or small kitchen space, the key is to get it “cleverly laid out because people have lots of specific requirements”.
Rhatigan and Hick will design and manufacture bespoke cabinetry, which is made by hand in its Co Wicklow workshop. Photo: Supplied
Ed will also try to incorporate a larder press into his kitchen designs. “A larder press is the best use of space possible. Every time somebody looks at one of our larder presses in the showroom they say ‘that’s amazing’.”
“The larder press is where I nearly start with the design,” says Ed, followed by “where can we put the sink and the hob so that we can have food counter top space, a nice amount of storage? And then we can start playing with the design”.
Ed’s main aim is that homeowners can freely move around their kitchen and it functions well, but looks great at the same time.
“We find a lot with clients that they’re generally replacing a kitchen that they bought maybe five or 10 years previously, and the first thing they’ll say to me is, ‘we rushed into this the last time and we wanted to get it right this time because it never really worked, it was just a kitchen that filled a space’.
“If you really look at how you’re going to store everything in the kitchen, you can be happy that you’ve achieved the best out of the space and then you can start looking at the design.
“We often see lots of wall units in a standard kitchen: three or four units on the wall and a couple of base presses along the bottom. People are storing food underneath in bottom cabinets and in wall units. They’ve got plates in one area, pots stuck in the back of other cabinets.”
Whether you’ve a big or small kitchen space, Rhatigan and Hick will work with clients on a design that will look luxurious and function according to your lifestyle. Photo: Supplied
Rhatigan and Hick offer bespoke designs, meaning its designers work outside standard kitchen sizes so whatever the client wants to store in their kitchen cabinets, they will create custom-made storage for them.
“Our kitchens — the way they’re made — will last indefinitely,” says Ed. “The handmade nature of them and the style and detailed methods that we use is similar to furniture that would have been made 100 years ago, so there’s no reason why the cabinets would not be perfect in 20 or 30 years’ time.”
As well as dream larder presses, Rhatigan and Hick specialises in island units complete with underneath storage and a sink or a hob built in.
For 2020 trends, clients have been requesting hobs with built-in extractor fans.
Rhatigan and Hick also create furniture for other rooms, such as dining rooms, wardrobes, dressing rooms and home offices.
Rhatigan and Hick is open for design consultations. For more information, or to book an appointment, see the website.