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by Dev Direct on May 29, 2012

 

Suzie Lilley is a business manager for Bute Fabrics. She moved into her Georgian duplex apartment on the outskirts of Edinburgh city centre in 1999 and had her kitchen fully renovated by September of 2000. Adam and Colin at Development Direct on Dalry Road designed and installed her kitchen.
 
What was the kitchen like before you renovated it?
 
The kitchen actually used to be downstairs, which just made no sense for the layout of the property. You enter the flat on this level and the living space is here, so I wanted my kitchen to be an extension of that. also, the kitchen downstairs was awful – it was terracotta and pink, and had absolutely no storage.
 
What made you choose Development Direct to design your kitchen?
 
Development Direct was the first kitchen showroom that I visited. I had a meeting with Colin, the owner, and the designer Adam. They don’t charge for the design service as nine out of ten people that they meet end up getting their kitchen from them.
 
I was quite specific about what I wanted – being trained in interior design, I did have a really clear idea of my requirements. The very first design that Adam put together was perfect – it really didn’t need any changes.
 
Did you have any problems during the installation?
 
Not during the installation, but i did have a bit of a problem getting the actual space ready. I needed to take a wall down to make the space open-plan, but i couldn’t get a builder to do it. At the time they were all too busy and, because it wasn’t a massive job, I kept getting let down.
 
I mentioned it to Colin and he straight away got his builders to come and do it. Because it was part of the kitchen, as such, he was happy to look after the job. And the builders were great! They were perfectionists – they even filed down the door to the utility as it was sticking. I would definitely use Development direct – and they’re builders – again
 
What effect were you looking to achieve with your design?
 
I am quite headstrong and I know what I like and what I don’t like. I definitely wanted a white kitchen as it creates a lot of light, but I definitely didn’t want gloss cabinets. I really don’t like shiny things. I wanted to keep the design simple so that the kitchen wouldn’t date.
 
The other thing I had my heart set on was an island. It’s now my favourite feature in the kitchen – it’s asymmetrical shape is so unusual.
 
I’m also a bit obsessed with storage, so I wanted to make sure that I had enough room for everything. Adam joked that I had enough storage for a family of five in this kitchen! I hardly have any cupboards though – I opted for drawers instead.
 
Everything is just so much more organised – I even have refrigerated drawers instead of a fridge. It has stopped me from buying food that I don’t need because I actually see everything that’s in there.
 
Can you talk us through the appliances in your kitchen? Do you have any gadgets or appliances that you have found particularly useful?
 
I went all out in this kitchen but I do use absolutely all of the gadgets and appliances in my kitchen all the time. When we were planning the kitchen, it actually got to the point where Colin and Adam were talking me out of buying gadgets that I wouldn’t use.
 
I have a Neff double oven, which has the ovens placed side by side so I don’t have to bend down to get things out. I’ve got a boiling water tap, built in dishwasher, microwave and warming drawer. Adam also found me a great four-burner hob that has the burners placed in a horizontal line – I really wanted one but we thought such a thing didn’t exist.
 
Then, at the very last minute, Adam managed to find one that was brand new on the market. It just makes so much sense not to have to leand over pots and pans to get to the ones at the back – simple, but genius. The kitchen has been worth every penny.
 
Do you spend a lot of time in your kitchen?
 
It’s funny actually, when we were planning the kitchen, Colin said that it was going to make me a good cook – and it has. It’s such a nice kitchen to be in that I actually enjoy spending time in here now. I’ve even baked a cake!

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