Neptune has created a hard-working kitchen for Irish TV chef and food writer Donal Skehan, that will evolve with the restoration of his new family home. With plans for a thoughtfully considered full renovation and extension in the coming years, Donal and his wife Sofie wanted the interim kitchen to cater to family life, create a photogenic space for Donal’s recipe creation and filming, and, crucially, offer the adaptability to be moved to a new location when the renovation works take place.

“I was very clear that I didn’t want to put in a new kitchen only to rip it out again when we did the extension,” says Donal. “I was sold the minute the Neptune design team told me that the cabinets are individual pieces of furniture and could be repurposed at a later date.”

The property’s picturesque coastal location just outside Dublin, where the garden wall reaches up to the sandy dunes, first attracted the family to the 1930s cottage. While Donal and Sofie had begun discussions with architects about how they might eventually create their dream home while respecting the legacy of the original building, they also needed a workable kitchen for the foreseeable future.  Creating an interim kitchen with longevity was an exciting challenge for the Neptune design team as it required careful planning and consideration for the next phase as well as strong attention-to-detail to meet with Donal’s long list of kitchen ‘must-haves’.

Donal and Sofie opted for the clean lines and elegant simplicity of the Suffolk kitchen as its adaptability and meticulous details suited their needs well, with well laid out spice drawers, concealed bins, backlit cupboards and a pantry cabinet with adjustable shelves. The cabinetry was painted in Neptune’s Cactus eggshell paint. The rich depth and tranquillity of the deep, relaxing green with its minty coolness proved “a game-changer, it fit so well with the cottage aesthetic” and creates a welcoming backdrop for Donal’s video content. 

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Working closely with Donal and Sofie, Neptune’s design team were able to maximise the layout and functionality of the space and they positioned the farmhouse table (which Donal purchased at auction 15 years ago) as a continuation from the kitchen with a fitted Buckland bench seat, creating a cosy atmosphere. “Seeing the kitchen table, I bought so long ago make it into our final home and fit so well is really pleasing,” says Donal.

The kitchen will be fully repurposed in their future final kitchen space when the time comes.

Donal Skehan said: “All the functional details in the kitchen have made life easier, and you don’t get to experience that until you are in the space and using it. As a new homeowner, going into these projects with builders and decorators can be daunting, but we had an exceptional experience with the Neptune team. Everything we wanted was discussed and translated into what we see now and have planned.”

Fred Horlock, Design Director, Neptune, said: “At Neptune we believe in good design standing the test of time. All our kitchens are made from sustainably sourced timber and are guaranteed to last a lifetime. When Donal and Sofie came to us with the challenge of creating a kitchen in two phases that can grow and transform into the final kitchen space of their renovation story we were confident we could deliver exactly what they need now and, in the future, creating an expertly crafted, sustainable, full-circle design.”

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