Meet The Designer
Elise Lennon-Porter is a designer for a long-established, family-owned kitchen company that continues to push the boundaries while maintaining its Italian heritage
As a designer, Elise Lennon-Porter was truly in her element when she came to designing her own kitchen. Aware of the vast choice of styles and all the latest kitchen design techniques to maximise space, Elise who has been a kitchen designer for 15 years, put the same enthusiasm and passion into her kitchen as she does into all her designs.
“It was a great experience as I could see the design journey from a client’s point of view,” says Elise, who works from Kitchen Flair’s showroom in Lostock Hall.
“We always ask clients to come into the showroom as they can get lots of inspiration here. We have many kitchens on display, of varying sizes and different styles. Clients get a real feel as to what would look good in their own home,” says Elise, who will then visit clients to assess the space and discuss their new kitchen.
The next stage is preparing CAD drawings to present to the client: “The first draft might not be ‘the one’ – it often evolves as it can be changed to suit whatever the client wants. Customers like it when we think outside the box to create something unique that’s really going to wow them.
“That’s the reaction I’m looking for – I love it when their eyes light up!”
One such kitchen designed by Elise was for clients living in a large farmhouse: “I was very much led by the client on this one – three walls were knocked down to create a huge space. The client wanted a massive island that looked like a table. She chose Shaker style cabinets with a decorative cornice which made it look very grand, dark Dekton worktops and glass mirrored splashbacks, which reflected the beautiful views from the bi-fold doors – it was stunning!”
While the majority of Elise’s clients don’t have a huge space to work with, she applies the same innovative design skills to create kitchens that look amazing and are ultimately practical: “One of my first kitchens was for a couple, who had a small kitchen that had awkward spaces. There was a washing machine that was difficult to access, so I had to devised a way to incorporate it – we thought it might not be achievable but we did it and they were delighted!”
For her own kitchen Elise chose Shaker style cabinets in dark graphite with white worktops: “I have also included some copper accents too.
“When I sit in my new kitchen, I look at it and I think, ‘wow’ and I realise that’s how clients feel when they have a kitchen designed by Kitchen Flair.”
Always keeping ahead of the industry, Elise adds: “Shaker style cabinets are here to stay – they aren’t going anywhere but we have seen a shift in colourways. While dark blues are still incredibly popular, there has been a gradual introduction of deep forest and heritage greens.
“With regards to flooring, luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are becoming increasingly popular as they are so practical and with regards to worktops, marble effect remains a firm favourite.”
Founded in 1993, Kitchen Flair continues to be a successful family business with Kristina Libertini now at the helm. The family’s Italian heritage remains important, and Kitchen Flair continues to fuse quintessential Italian design with quality craftsmanship.
Having designed kitchens for many clients within the Ribble Valley and across Lancashire, Kitchen Flair also works throughout the UK and Europe, as Kristina explains: “We work all over the country and have even installed kitchens in France and Sweden. Because we manufacture in-house, clients can have as little or as much as they want, we support the whole process, so clients get a truly unique kitchen to suit their lifestyle.”