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Consilio Interiors, Berkhamsted

A herb garden growing in your kitchen? Cupboard doors veneered in concrete? A designer who listens and a project manager who gets all the trades working together in blissful harmony? Welcome to Consilio Interiors!

A talented designer and a professional rugby player have teamed up to create beautiful bespoke and handmade English and German living kitchens and furniture for people in Herts and beyond. Meet the dynamic and extremely friendly sister and brother, Charlotte and Jamie Hearn, founders of brand new Berkhamsted business Consilio Interiors.

Consilio Interiors has only just opened in Berkhamsted but is already attracting families from all over Herts and London who are delighted to find such a talented team that understands how people really want to live. Charlotte and Jamie Hearn are siblings who listen, advise and create interiors that enhance life at home. From the minute I met them (and I’ve now met them twice) I felt that I was in safe hands. Charlotte is the designer with several years of kitchen and furniture design under her belt, and her brother Jamie gained his team building skills playing for Saracens and Worcester, while further developing his skill set working for a local building firm. For the last three years he has worked on the installation of specialist kitchens. I chat to them about living kitchens, and why people are increasingly putting more thought into the design of their homes.

People are opening up the kitchen to other areas in the house, says Charlotte. And therefore they want their kitchens to look less utilitarian and be more like a living space. That’s where the phrase ‘living kitchen’ has come from. Quite often, children go off to university and then they come back to live at home. Kitchens need to be the ultimate family-friendly place.

We’re often asked to design low-level breakfast cupboards so that younger children can help themselves to cereals in the morning. And rather than a table being in a separate part of the kitchen, increasingly people enjoy cooking while their friends and family are sitting at a breakfast bar or low level table – incorporated within the island. Something like the Bora cooking system allows for a fun and sociable cooking experience. It’s informal and it’s also sometimes influenced by our experiences of going out to eat when we can watch the action in the kitchen. Something we both really enjoy is getting to know the families we work with.

Rugby has helped me to motivate a team, says Jamie. We’re lucky to work with brilliant builders and we’ve got a really exceptional team. I really like being on site managing a project because there’s a great atmosphere and we work with the same builders, plasterers, electricians and plumbers so there’s a proper family atmosphere. It’s important to us that people enjoy coming to work.

Smart kitchens are here now, says Jamie. Alexa has come into our lives and is here to stay and people are using smart technology for everything from switching on the dishwasher to ordering an espresso. I suppose there is an element of laziness about it, but no matter how smart technology becomes, you will always have to get up and walk over to the machine to collect your own coffee.

Our own brand of bespoke kitchens are handmade locally, says Charlotte, and they really are handmade. We love it when clients come to the workshop to see their kitchen or bedroom furniture being made. We design and make traditional and modern English kitchen furniture for people who want it and we also have kitchens from a premium German brand. When it comes to finishes and trends, we are currently being asked for concrete veneers on door and also doors veneered in ceramic. Kitchens are currently quite dramatic, and there’s a move towards darker wood and patterned tiles. Herringbone parquet is also in demand. Another trend is having things that have more than one use. So you might have a trough that’s a herb garden for a while but can also be used to store and chill champagne.

Don’t cut corners, you’ll lose the edge. That’s our mantra, says Jamie. I think that people appreciate what we are doing and we’ve been surprised by how many people are visiting our showroom from London and all over Hertfordshire. We pride ourselves on our showroom being a friendly environment that people enjoy visiting and spending time in. We both feel very lucky to love what we do and we really care about every individual project and treat it as if it is our own.

Consilio Interiors  46 Lower Kings Road, Berkhamsted, Hertforshire HP4 2AA  01442 383940

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