Melissa is creative director at heritage kitchen crafters, Harvey Jones. Founded in 1977, the company specialises in bespoke, handmade kitchens that blend sophistication, functionality, and timeless beauty.
What made you want to go into kitchen design?
When I moved to London and started to integrate myself into the world of interiors here, it became apparent that the British kitchen sector was something truly special. I had some concerns about focusing my design only on kitchens, but I was so wrong. Kitchens are incredible. They really are the beating heart of the home. And as soon as I saw how much attention to detail and pride went into the kitchens we craft, I was transformed. I’m lucky that I get to enjoy each and every day in my work.
What’s your design ethos?
Design with passion and consideration. Stay humble. And always make time for nature because it will make what you design that much more meaningful.
Can you tell me about the role of sustainability at Harvey Jones?
We are incredibly considerate to the environment and our impact on the planet. Always dedicated to crafting kitchens that last a lifetime, we make sure that our product is of the best quality, providing clients with a timeless kitchen. And the ability to refurbish our kitchens removes the need to ever put one of our cabinets into landfill. We source sustainable materials and produce everything locally at our workshop in Cambridgeshire. And we have even started a new stream of products from all of our off cuts – stay tuned for some exciting things to come, like furniture for our beloved furry friends!
What are the current trends in kitchen design?
We are seeing a lot more pattern play and material mixture in our designs. It’s such a fun journey for us to work with clients who are open to some bolder choices when it comes to the finishes of their kitchen. Brass hardware is still very popular, but now against richer cabinetry colours instead of the ever-popular earthy neutrals. Clients are ditching wall cabinets and opting for clever storage solutions below, giving space for artwork and decorative lights up above. We love being able to personalise kitchens to suit the individual style of our clients. No two kitchens are alike, each one inspiring the next.
As it’s such a huge investment, how can homeowners successfully future proof a kitchen?
Invest in a handmade kitchen so you can be assured the quality will never deteriorate and that the kitchen you install on day one will be exactly the same for years and years to come. Making sure you invest in a kitchen that can adapt in style over time, with the ability to repaint and change the hardware to allow the aesthetics to be updated through changing style seasons. And investing in storage will always pay back. You can find a solution to a change in functionality needs as long as you have the right storage available.
Can you tell us about some of your favourite designs to date?
That’s the beauty of our kitchens, they are so personalised and full of character that my favourites change constantly. I’m obsessed with designs that incorporate moments of surprise right now. Hidden walk-in rooms like pantries, larders and boot rooms are really fun and create such a wow factor. A recent kitchen in an old chapel conversion took my breath away, I was sad to leave when we were finished. That’s when you know we have really done it right. The moment you walk in, your whole body relaxes in happiness!
What’s your kitchen like at home?
My kitchen at home is a classic Harvey Jones Shaker but with a bit of a funky twist. I have a soft spot for vintage items and blending quirky textures, so I chose a stunning green and purple granite on a blue island against a more neutral taupe perimeter of cabinetry. And I went for a complete mixture of six different handle styles in antique brass. I have two toddlers, so the large island provides the perfect course for them to race around! It was important to me that my kitchen didn’t feel at all like a showroom. Sometimes people assume because of what I do that my home will be like a show house, but we do everything in the kitchen, and it certainly is full of life, play and lots of wonderful meals!