We recently had the pleasure of talking to award-winning Dublin-based interior designer Emma Webb.
“Emma is passionate about designing for the wellness of her clients and focuses on delivering restorative spaces that people feel good in. Her creative vision and expertise in implementing the principles of Biophilic design and Nudge design result in interiors that are beautiful, calm and restorative as well as supportive of positive lifestyle choices”.
Emma chose to work with Surreal Designs on the kitchen element of a recent refurbishment project in Dublin for which she deservedly won a prestigious SPID award.
The following images are a sample of the design drawings produced by Surreal Creative Director, John Blaine.
“The simplicity and clean lines in this exquisite kitchen allow the original features of the magnificent home to shine. The real wow factor is the Eggersmann technology that makes this a wonderful space in which to live and cook”
Here is what Emma had to say about the process:
What was your inspiration for this project, especially the unique kitchen?
I had a vision for this beautiful period home in Dublin which overlooks the sea – I wanted the design to be minimalistic but exquisite. The property itself had so many unique features – ornate original cornices, beautiful bay windows and wooden floors that could tell stories going back generations – features that needed to be front and centre of the design. So I wanted to create a kitchen that had all the functionality for modern-day living but was hidden away.
Why did you choose an Eggersmann Kitchen?
The quality of the workmanship and the materials used is far superior. In this case, because I didn’t want the hob or the sink to be visible, the Eggersman motion sliding worktop was ideal – it not only hid the hob and the sink but when open also provided additional seating in what was a relatively restricted space.
How did you come to work with Surreal?
I investigated trying to make the worktop but very quickly realised I was never going to get the same technology to achieve such a unique user experience. It was during COVID and we couldn’t travel to Germany to visit Eggersmann so I saw that they had an Irish supplier and rang Surreal.
Was it a difficult process designing a kitchen with such a specific brief?
Within a few minutes, their Senior Designer and owner John Blaine phoned me back. We hit it off straight away – John was as excited and enthusiastic about the project as I was. I sent John the Drawings and gave an indication of the budget and two weeks later, the client and I visited the Surreal showroom on the outskirts of Galway. Within 2 hours we had the whole kitchen planned out and we paid the deposit.
How did you decide on the layout?
John and the team at Surreal’s unique skills made it easy – they know the Eggersmann range inside out and are experts in space planning and the ergonomics of designing a kitchen that is as easy to use as it is beautiful to look at. I would always use an expert kitchen designer to confirm the layout of the appliances and storage units – they can turn a good kitchen into a great one.
Why should interior Designers contract a Kitchen designer?
The flow and movement within the kitchen is key. Kitchens are often used for preparing and cooking, serving drinks, watching children doing homework and entertaining all at the same time. How does all that work seamlessly? The Surreal Designers are experts in Modular kitchen design. They understand the flow but also know what fits where. I have seen beautiful kitchens where they can’t open the fridge fully! Kitchen Designers help to avoid expensive mistakes.
The materials used in the kitchen are amazing – where did the inspiration come from?
The home is located near the coast and I wanted to carry the calm influence of nature through the house using natural materials and a colour palette that reflected the Irish landscape. We ordered samples through Surreal so that they would have them for our first meeting. The unit doors are made of beautiful textured material in a natural wood effect, not unlike the driftwood you’d find on a beach, and the stone used has the same colours as typical pebbles.
What is the main feature that you are most proud of?
The Island unit is completely clad in marble quartzite and looks almost like an art installation. The sliding Eggersman worktop is a piece of engineering genius and all the doors to the appliances open with a touch of the hand using motion sensors.
Did the project all go to plan?
Yes, Surreal managed it from start to finish and the workmanship of the fitters was excellent. We had one hiccup where a piece of the marble got damaged but Surreal organised a replacement and made cutting boards for the client out of the damaged materials which was a lovely gesture.
Do clients usually let you choose the Kitchen supplier?
I would usually recommend a few suppliers to my clients and arrange for them to visit the showroom and meet the designer. Surreal is based just off the motorway outside Galway City with lots of parking so it’s an easy commute from Dublin or Limerick.
What 5 pieces of advice would you give to people starting out on a kitchen renovation?
- Hire an interior designer!!!
- Be honest with your budget. It will save a lot of time and avoid disappointment.
- Make sure to price tiles and appliances – nice tiles are key to the overall finish.
- Follow the light; Harnass the morning light for your breakfast area and the valuable evening light for preparing and eating your evening meal.
- Count the units in your current kitchen and decide how much storage you need and only then can you start the design.
View photos of the finished project on Emma’s website – https://www.webb.ie/