The King of Kitchens reveals what works, what’s new, what’s timeless and how Texas fits in – Christopher Peacock shares his secrets

0

BBritish-born designer Christopher Peacock began his career in the early 1980s working in Terence Conran’s furniture store in London. He later crossed the pond and launched his eponymous Christopher Peacock Cabinetry in 1992. It all sprouted from a kitchen display in a small store in Greenwich, Connecticut, leading to a storied career.

Although his company makes all manner of cabinetry – from bathrooms and mudrooms to mud rooms – Peacock is best known for starting many of the trends that now permeate kitchen design.

This year marks Christopher Peacock’s 30th anniversary in design and in this exclusive PaperCity interview, he looks back, reminisces about his successes and sees what’s next.

After 30 years of leading kitchen design and creating quality cabinetry, Christopher Peacock shows no signs of slowing down.

As we talked and reflected on the massive change that has taken place, not only in kitchen design, but also in home design over Peacock’s 30 year career, we realized how much these changes of design have empowered women.

You see, the great estates in Europe have always placed their kitchens (scullery) well out of sight. Servants had to stay behind the scenes – so much so that many houses were even built in separate passageways so that servants never clashed with family members or their guests. Like the necessary barn or stable, the kitchen space was a work space. Out of sight, out of mind.

In fact, the Oxford definition of scullery is “a small kitchen or room at the back of a house used for washing dishes and other dirty housework”. And so it has been since time immemorial.

As homes were built in America, these age-old design features persisted. The kitchens were isolated from the rest of the house. As American suburbs were rapidly populated in the 1950s, the kitchen was only an efficient space for a housewife to prepare supper on the table and do the dishes. While the man of the house savored his pipe and his slippers.

The so-called “women’s work” remained very secret and out of sight.

“When I started my career, kitchens were very utilitarian, without beauty,” says Peacock. PaperCity.

Of course, these days, cooking and cleaning are no longer considered “women’s work” and the kitchen has become an integral part of the home. They are no longer out of sight. Instead, open kitchens are now the norm.

“I’ve seen this change in lifestyle,” says Peacock. “Now the kitchen is basically a living room in which we cook. Kitchens are now the focal point of most homes, often setting the tone for the rest of the home design, not the other way around.

“That’s why they must be eternal and timeless.”

Peacock - An example of his furniture-style cabinetry with an evolutionary, acquired feel.
An example of his furniture-style cabinetry with an evolutionary, acquired feel. Photo by Megan Lorenz, Interiors by Jessie D. Miller.

Peacock is hailed for bringing European flair and charm to previously bland American kitchen design. His cabinets stripped that builder’s staple suburban sensibility and introduced the “furniture look” to American kitchens. It was a style he grew up with, so it wasn’t new to him, but it turned out to be a revelation to the industry.

“I grew up in England surrounded by her,” says Peacock. “Most homes had a story, so spaces and kitchens naturally evolved, adding found furniture to the mix over time.

“It’s nothing I can take credit for. That’s just what I knew. The kitchen is the workhorse of a room, where people unload their groceries or their dishwashers, where the children do their homework and where people entertain friends over a glass of wine.

Exploring how a space is used is part of discovering how it should function, Peacock believes. That’s why he and his team of designers take a holistic approach to their design.

“The process begins when I drive home and continues as you travel through space,” says Peacock. “When people come to us, they come with a vision of how they’re going to live in space.

“But we need to know how the family Actually lives there. What happens there on a Saturday morning? And how is it used on a weeknight? So when we leave, it works for them.

Peacock remembers a story from his early days. “One of my first installations was in Greenwich, and it set the tone for everything that followed,” he says. “I was meeting a client who wasn’t known for being warm and fuzzy, and I remember being so nervous to see if he would like what I had done that I was determined to never feel that way again. .

“I think that’s why I will always try to outdo myself in every design.”

Peacock - Says he takes a holistic approach to design, first deciphering how the space will actually be used.
Christopher Peacock says he takes a holistic approach to design, first deciphering how the space will actually be used. Photo by Megan Lorenz, Interiors by Jessie D. Miller.

Post-pandemic, Peacock says he’s seen a steady increase in the number of former customers requesting minor updates to their 20-year-old kitchens he designed. Mostly a fresh coat of paint or updated hardware, but the designs and their functionality remain timeless and loved by homeowners.

“We don’t build cabinets that are meant to be disposable,” says Peacock. “It’s supposed to last a lifetime.”

Peacock kitchens are synonymous with beautifully handcrafted British-inspired cabinetry. Everything is American to order – in the heart of West Virginia.

With 10 current showrooms spread across America, Europe and Asia, Peacock always intends to expand its existing reach.

With North Texas’ massive growth, it’s no surprise that Peacock’s showroom in Dallas is doing quite well. While his next showroom to open is set for Palm Beach, Florida in the spring of 2023, he’s also targeting Arizona (possibly Scottsdale) and Seattle for future outposts. Planting another showroom in Texas could also be on the horizon, says Peacock PaperCity.

Peacock – Dallas showroom explores the limits of modern kitchen design.
The Dallas showroom explores the limits of modern kitchen design. Courtesy of Christopher Peacock.

“I love Texas,” says Peacock. “People travel there a lot, so it’s a sophisticated clientele.

“I did two projects in Fort Worth many years ago. It was during the Christmas season, and I was so impressed with the care and expense that people put into showcasing and decorating their homes. I knew it would be a good fit. So Fort Worth was actually the catalyst to come into the Texas market to begin with.

Christopher Peacock sees the future

How did white kitchens become Christopher Peacock’s signature?

When he opened his first showroom in Greenwich, Peacock said everything he saw and designed was pretty, but also highly decorated – and with a rich color palette. It was the saturated style in the 1980s and 1990s.

“When I moved into my space, I felt the need to react against this prevailing trend,” says Peacock. “So I installed a pure white kitchen with a white subway tile backsplash, and it just took off – it’s still really taking off.

“White kitchens are timeless, fresh and clean. And they’re easy to update because they go with any decor. But white people are in decline.

When it comes to color, we might see a similar reaction to those all-white kitchens that are starting to take over. Rather than all white or even newer models using four or five coordinated colors, Peacock notices some change.

“The chic monochrome look is always coming,” he says. “Kitchens in often surprising tones like charcoal gray or even bolder emerald greens are the next step. All in one shade.

Peacock – warmer woods
Peacock says woodwinds are making a comeback, especially in lighter tones. Photo by Joshua McHugh.

Beyond that, wood tones are making a comeback.

“We’re doing more and more where wood cabinetry is the predominant material,” says Peacock. “Light woods are always popular, like walnut and oak. But I think the next big trend is really a clash of styles. Elegant cabinets topped with more traditional moldings. Antique wood floors married to sleek cabinets. It will be a mix of styles. »

Whatever the stylistic trend, Christopher Peacock seems to be one step ahead. He approaches his fourth decade of creation with as much passion as ever. That is why owners and designers always follow the leader with pleasure.

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.