Kitchen Stori announces Top 10 Real Stories of 2023

31st January 2024 | All About Kitchens

After extensive deliberations, our esteemed judging panel is thrilled to unveil the Top 10 Real Stories of 2023. Meticulously evaluated for their design excellence, innovative concepts, and adept use of materials, each project serves as a beacon of inspiration, undoubtedly deserving of the coveted “winner" title from a pool of hundreds of exceptional entries.

This year's judging panel comprised five distinguished members of the Uform team. These individuals, each bringing a unique perspective shaped by their diverse areas of expertise and extensive industry experience, contributed to the comprehensive scoring process. Reflecting on the evaluation journey, Sara Cotter, Category Manager, shared her thoughts: "We are delighted with the entries we’ve received this year; the 10 winning projects earned their titles by crafting aspirational living spaces through ingenious use of our products and breathtaking design. It’s a pleasure to see our products in situ in incredible homes throughout the UK and Ireland."

The year’s competition also sees the introduction of one overall winner selected from the final top 10, read to the end to find out which project is our top Real Stori for 2023. 

L to R: Judging Panel - Oliver Phelan, Sales Director (NI/ROI) | Sara Cotter, Category Manager | Dan Winchester, Sales Director (GB) | Linda Murray, Graphic Designer | Jack Pullan, Showroom Designer 

Broomside Design, Yarm

Effortlessly combining classic design with modern styling, this newly completed open-plan kitchen and living area by Broomside Design ticks all the boxes for Mr & Mrs Gawthorpe. Traditional inframe cabinetry is used throughout the space using a mix of our Belgravia range and the Aurora range created by our sister brand, Novelle. The ornately detailed shaker style of Belgravia works seamlessly with the modern slab design of Aurora as they both feature an authentic woodgrain and are painted in a matching Kitchen Stori exclusive shade, Shell.

Traditional design details complement Belgravia’s opulent design, from classic pendant lights to tongue and groove panelling on the integrated bench seating whilst contemporary design features are dotted throughout the design paying homage to Aurora’s modern style. From matte black hardware, crittall windows and doors, contrasting wood slat panelling on the island and marbled worktops with a seamless backsplash to name a few. The design flawlessly balances both styles creating a kitchen that is both timeless yet individual.   

Range: Belgravia - Shell | Retailer: Broomside Designs | Real Stori: Mr & Mrs Gawthorpe 

Duo Kitchens & Bathrooms, Derby

A modern masterpiece, Duo Kitchens & Bathrooms have created this contemporary kitchen, seamlessly designed to match the architectural style of this home. The minimalistic styling has been achieved using our Zola Soft-Matte range, a sleek slab door, in contrasting colours of Indigo and Light Grey. Handleless rails in Graphite add to the minimalistic styling while tying together the colour scheme of black accessories, including the integrated appliances, stools, criticall windows, and door frames.

Deep pan drawers and full-height cabinetry throughout this kitchen maximise storage space, reduce clutter and keep the area fuss-free. A built-in bar and coffee area features an AEG coffee machine, AEG wine cooler, wine glass storage behind tinted glass doors and open shelving for coffee syrups and biscuits. Unusually shaped, this L-shaped kitchen features two islands, one at the coffee/bar area featuring a curved design and bar stools. At the other side of the room, a dual-height island is home to the hob and lower stools for dining. Cleverly designed, this kitchen has space for calming coffees in the morning, family dinners, and hosting celebrations. 

Range: Zola Soft-Matte - Indigo & Light Grey | Retailer: Duo Kitchens & Bathrooms | Real Stori: Mr & Mrs Toor

Kitchen Ergonomics, Hertfordshire

Using one of our bestselling shaker ranges, Aldana, Kitchen Ergonomics have created a showstopping design in their client’s newly extended property. The cabinetry, painted in Deep Forest, adds depth to the large open plan space whilst brass accents throughout pop against the statement hue. The large multifunctional island features waterfall worktops, ample cupboard storage underneath the overhang, two built-in Neff Slide & Hide ovens flanked by deep pan drawers and the hob, perfectly positioned for socialising whilst cooking.

A breakfast pantry keeps morning necessities tucked away and toaster crumbs kept out of sight whilst a symmetrical built-in bar takes this kitchen from day to night. Pocket doors allow for ease of access with ample storage space for cocktail shakers and mixers, with two wine coolers on hand to keep things chilled. This project also includes a matching utility room with built-in bench seating, aptly placed to hold coats and bags at the backdoor as soon as the family arrive home.  

Range: Aldana - Deep Forest | Retailer: Kitchen Ergonomics | Real Stori: Mr & Mrs Butt

Back To The Kitchen, Waterlooville

This beautiful kitchen was designed and fitted by Back To The Kitchen, featuring our true inframe range Belgravia, in two of our exclusive Kitchen Stori paint shades, Light Grey and Parisian Blue.  The focal point of this kitchen is the large island, with curved doors and the unique feature of a 2m long wine rack, home to up to 60 bottles of this family’s favourite beverages, complemented by warm LED lighting illuminating the bottles below.

Fluted glass doors throughout the space help in breaking up the cabinetry run and add a softness to the kitchen, with the bi-folding doors opening to reveal a large appliance garage. Pull-out doors sit on either side of the range with custom internal spice and oil drawers, keeping them in arm's reach for cooking. The corner cupboard of this large kitchen has been cleverly designed to reveal a secret walkthrough into the larder and further to the utility room. A consistent style runs from the kitchen intho both of these rooms, through tongue and groove panelling, our Florence range in Light Grey, and open shelving for easy access to everyday items.

Range: Belgravia - Light Grey & Parisian Blue | Retailer: Back To The Kitchen

Everfine Installations, Chorley

Dark and moody, this sleek space has been designed for Mr & Mrs Bielby by Everfine Installations in Eccleston. Opting for one of our slab door ranges, Zola Matte painted in one of our darker hues, Graphite. An antique bronze mirrored splashback pairs beautifully with an Infiniti Quartz worktop, opening up the space while adding to the moody colour palette.

For a seamless design, handleless rails painted in copper have been used to create linear lines. The copper accents have been carried through other accessories in the space, including the lighting fixtures, bar stools, the kettle and the Spirale tap from 1810 Company. All the appliances in this kitchen such as the ovens from AEG and the wine cooler from Caple have been integrated in line with the cabinetry to create a streamlined, contemporary area.

Range: Zola Matte - Graphite | Retailer: Everfine Installations | Real Stori: Mr & Mrs Bielby

Stag Kitchens & Interiors, Lymm

This project in Cheshire by Stag Kitchens & Interiors saw the transformation of a barn into a family home. Keeping with the classic, country styling of this home, this space has been designed using our Belgravia range, a traditional inframe shaker. A rustic brick wall creates a striking feature backdrop in this room, for a classic U-shape design which utilises the central island to maximise storage and functionality.  The colour scheme of this kitchen was carefully chosen, using Shell for the walled cabinetry and Deep Forest for the island to create a calming space which richly contrasts with the feature wall.

Classic styling has been used throughout this space including the cabinetry being topped and tailed with traditional cornicing and plinth to create a built-in look as well as subtle Antique Brass metallic accents being used to compliment the beautiful colour scheme, including the handle knobs, Quooker tap, lighting fixtures, bar stools and the metallic trims around the bespoke Westin extractor fan. 

Range: Belgravia - Shell & Deep Forest | Retailer: Stag Kitchens | Real Stori: Mr & Mrs Sutton

Ella Austin Kitchens, Farnham

The heart of this modern family home in Winchester, this large open-plan kitchen, dining and living area has been transformed by Ella Austin Kitchens. Fitted with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, this kitchen maximises storage in a modern, minimal style, using our Aldana range painted in Graphite. This narrow shaker creates a seamless design when paired with our handleless rail system in a matching Graphite shade. The dark hue of the cabinetry in this space has been balanced with light-marbled worktops, patterned bar stools for a pop of colour, and a beautiful lighting scheme, pairing full-height windows for natural light and statement lighting fixtures.

The simple yet effective design of this space has allowed Aldana to be continued from the kitchen into the living area, home office and utility room. The adjoining living room area features a bar cabinet equipped with bi-folding doors, a beautiful mirrored back panel, and an integrated wine cooler. The home office continues the Graphite colour scheme and seamless design, using handleless rails and colour-drenched walls to create a striking, modern design. The large utility room features Aldana in a calming Light Grey shade. This space is home to integrated appliances, bespoke coat-hanging storage, and a hidden larder. 

Range: Aldana - Graphite | Retailer: Ella Austin Kitchens | Real Stori: Mr O’Neill 

Direct Wholesale Kitchens, Edenderry

Country chic, this large open-plan space has been created by Direct Wholesale Kitchens for Mr & Mrs Dundon in Limerick. This beautiful kitchen has been designed to tie in with the countryside surroundings, using our beautiful Madison range in one of our rich hues, Slate Blue, adding depth to the space. Subtle hints of oak feature throughout this space including shelving, a top box wine rack and a curved wood block for the island countertop. These elements enhance the design and add a touch of elegance. The continuity of this colour and styling has been continued throughout this home, with the dresser, boot room and utility room blending in perfectly.  

The large, uniquely shaped island is a beautiful focal point in this open-plan space, perfect for cooking and entertaining. Three large pull-out drawers on the island give added storage for essential appliances and utensils such as the food mixer and a wine cooler. Clever hidden storage has been used throughout the kitchen, keeping the area clutter-free and creating extra worktop space. Matching Antique Brass hardware accessorizes the space, tying each area together in beautiful harmony. 

Range: Madison - Slate Blue | Retailer: Direct Wholesale Kitchens | Real Stori: Mr & Mrs Dundon

Berkshire Kitchen Studio, Slough

Modern and glamorous, this home in London has been transformed by Berkshire Kitchen Studio. This sophisticated design features a dark and moody colour scheme, using our Zola Soft-Matte range in Graphite to create a seamless design. Glass-fronted cabinetry has been used to showcase crockery, glassware and everyday essentials such as tea and coffee.

Our brass handleless rails create a stunning colour contrast with the Graphite slab doors while creating sleek linear lines in this space. This kitchen features a striking lighting scheme, using ceiling spotlights, pendant lighting and LED lighting below the cabinetry and along the countertops to illuminate the space and highlight key areas for food prep, cooking, and dining. Cutting-edge gadgets, a beautiful waterfall island and impeccable finishes have transformed this space into the heart of this home. 

Range: Zola Soft-Matte - Graphite | Retailer: Berkshire Kitchen Studio | Real Stori: Haji Hussain

Brookwood Kitchens, Armagh

Introducing our overall Real Stori winner – Brookwood Kitchens. Satisfyingly symmetrical, this classic open-plan kitchen/dining area expertly created by their design team oozes sophistication. Using our Wakefield range as the base, the design of the overall space accentuates the traditional details of the door style perfectly. Colour matched to a popular shade by a well-established paint brand, the delicate white with subtle grey undertones highlights Wakefield’s key design features, from the grand shaker frame with beaded detailing to the authentic wood grain.

The light and airy feel is continued with a meticulous lighting scheme complemented by natural light sources as well as sparkling white worktops. Homely greige walls and edged linen Roman blinds add softness, whilst rich walnut accents like the herringbone floor and the detailing on the dining chairs add beautiful contrast and warmth to the space.

Subtle pops of contrasting metallic finishes feature throughout for added elegance whilst intricate design details set this kitchen apart and amplify the traditional aesthetic.

The kitchen island features framed end panels and box pilasters at either end adding another layer of exquisite detail whilst the cabinetry is topped with an extended traditional cornice and tailed with a moulded skirting plinth creating an opulent built-in look.

A majestic mantle shelf with arched legs frames the area above the range cooker making it a central, focal point for the luxurious space. Bi-fold dresser doors keep the coffee station easily accessible but neatly tucked away whilst the larder featuring spice racks for additional door storage keeps everyday necessities and appliances out of sight.

Range: Wakefield, Custom Colour (using our in-house Colour Match Service) | Retailer: Brookwood Kitchens | Real Stori: Mr & Mrs Johnston

Reflecting on the 2023 competition, Ursula O’Dowd, Group Marketing Manager, comments:

"We are absolutely thrilled with the exceptional quality of entries we received from our approved retailers as part of our 2023 campaign. For our judging panel, the task of selecting the Top 10 winners proved to be particularly challenging, given the remarkable calibre of the Real Stori submissions we’ve received. The competition has served as a powerful reminder of how fortunate we are to collaborate with such talented retailers throughout the UK and Ireland and we’re proud to have them represent our Kitchen Stori brand. Congratulations to this year's winners! A heartfelt thanks to all the entrants for their outstanding contributions and we eagerly anticipate even more remarkable projects in the year ahead."

Looking for more inspiration? Check out more Real Kitchen projects here. Ready to get started on your journey to your new kitchen? Book a design appointment to get started! 

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