The next step in kitchens? A kitchen-within-a-kitchen where everything can be swept out of sight

An integral pantry and utility are vital ingredients in this family kitchen by Humphrey Munson. Arabella Youens takes a closer look.

When Peter Humphrey, founder of handmade-cabinetry specialists Humphrey Munson, was asked to design a family kitchen and entertaining space for a country house in Surrey, his first instinct was to carve out a partition or, in the firm’s terminology, introduce a ‘Humphrey wall’.

Not only does this approach create useful ancillary space that doubles as a pantry and utility, but it positions the hardworking elements of the kitchen closer to the action, improving its flow and functionality.

In this instance, there was an added advantage, too: ‘The client wanted the main kitchen surfaces to be clutter free,’ says creative director Louisa Eggleston. ‘As she regularly entertains in the kitchen, this means everything can be swept out of sight between courses.’

The cabinets, in the firm’s Nickleby design, finish well below the 9ft-high ceiling so that they didn’t feel too overwhelming; they include glass panels that are illumin-ated at night. The central island acts as the main food-preparation area and includes an integrated Kohler Deerfield sink (

Recommended videos for you

A sophisticated monochrome colour scheme was favoured over bright hues: the island, cabinetry, pantry-door architrave and shelving units are painted in contrasting pale greys and blacks from Humphrey Munson’s in-house paint range. ‘As a counterbalance, the units surrounding the fridge are in natural oak, which adds warmth and character,’ says Louisa.

The floors are laid with Brampton, a natural limestone sourced from the company’s flooring library (, and simple glass Walcot pendants by Jim Lawrence hang over the island (

Humphrey Munson — 01371 821300;